Hingham Cemetery, Hingham
About Hingham Cemetery, Hingham
As was customary in England at the time of early settlement, the dead were buried around the meeting house, the first being approximately where Old Derby stands today (34 Main St.) and the second being the Old Ship Church (107 Main St.). The property behind these meeting houses was privately-owned farmland and changed hands many times over the next 150 years, yet tradition holds that burials continued “among the grazing farm animals.” We know this practice continued until about the time the cemetery was incorporated in 1838.
The work of at least four colonial headstone stone carvers of note has been identified in the Colonial section. Local slate came from the Boston area (grey slate) and the Abington/Randolph area (purple or “red” slate.) In 1994 an extensive inventory of the cemetery’s colonial headstones was completed with the publication of two volumes of photos and descriptions of the collection. (The Cemetery owns one set; the other is held at the Hingham Historical Commission office.)
In 1989, a new board of enthusiastic directors (and the first two women in its 150 years of incorporation) was installed, and a restoration program was begun. Over the next 10 years roads were repaired, trees pruned and replanted, headstones cleaned and restored, publicity articles written and historical tours started, sales brochures produced and records put on computer with a website link.
Two new burial areas were opened within 6 years: the town’s only Veterans’ burial ground (see above) and in 2000, a Memorial Garden for in-ground burial of cremated ashes among flowering dogwoods and azaleas. Further gravesites were established in 2007 paralleling Water St. alongside the Memorial Garden.