Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Travel through Time in Framingham

Old Burying Ground Cemetery in Framingham
It was around mid October when I started getting the travelers itch. I need to get away, go on an adventure, but I was stuck in my hometown of Framingham, Massachusetts. I googled "Hiking trails in Framingham" and I stumbled upon a post about the Old Burying Ground.  I remember going there for my 3rd grade field trip that showcased the long history of Framingham. So one fall afternoon I took my my dog with me to explore the historic grounds of the Old Burying Ground on Main Street.

Upon entering it's gates, you are greeted right away with mysterious looking headstones and primitive looking graves. The town keeps the grounds pretty neat and clean, and the graves seem to be well taken care off.
Weird looking markings on a grave

Take your time and explore every inch of this place because some graves are hidden. Some of the coolest looking and oldest graves are hidden in the right hand corner of the cemetery. The oldest marking I could see were from the late 1600s, but there are older graves that are ineligible. 

Grave of a Revolutionary Soldier
There are several Revolutionary War soldiers buried here as well as veterans from other wars. As you walk in, there is a plaque with the names of the Revolutionary War soldiers. One of my best finds was the grave of Peter Salem. It is located all the way in the back, down a slight hill and it is completely by it self. One of the best things about this place is that you can go home and research the names you found. You'll find out that some of the people buried here played a significant part in American history.

A freed black slave who killed British Marine Major John Pitcairn 

One of the oddest graves I found was near the front right corner and the gravestone described several children dying on the same day. If you look closely at the photo below you will notice that half of it is upside down. I don't know it this a mistake or if it was done on purpose, but it's the most interesting grave in the whole cemetery. 

This is what I could make out from the carvings on the grave: "4 of the children of M' Ezra and Susanna Twitchell. Susanna died Dec 19th 1776 age 8yr. Anna who died Dec 18th 1776 age 6yr. Calvin who died Dec 18th 1776 age 3 years 6 months. Synthya who died Dec 18th 1776 age 1 year 5 months"

Even after I left Old Burying Ground I couldn't stop thinking what killed these kids all on the same day.  Was it a disease? Was it an Indian massacre? It took me a while but I did find out what the cause of death was. All four of these kids died of throat distemper (diphtheria) on the same day. Here is more info on the Twitchell family.

Old Burying Ground Cemetery is located on MAIN STREET in FRAMINGHAM. Please check it out, you will not be disappointed at some of things you will find.