I went back to Holliston again, lured by the name on the map: “Indian Cemetery.” No Native Americans or Indians from the 19th century as far as I can tell. I can’t say for certain, but I think this cemetery and the nearby “Indian Ridge” follow the New England / suburban pattern of naming things after what the newcomers recently displaced.
For those of you who have never seen a New England cemetery, the dominant fact is stone. The Massachusetts soil is thin; some say the easiest thing to grow on a Bay State farm are rocks. These rocks make good walls if not good neighbors. They also denote sacred ground here, much as they have for millennia. (The Greeks used rock to outline temple boundaries.)
The rock here is hard, and the words on headstones are chiseled in fine script that somehow is still legible after two centuries. This burying ground also had small, squat, inscrutable stones — barely recognizable as important objects — that mark people forever unknown to us. This part of Holliston’s hinterland was clearly a poor part of town, and many people are remembered by initials only.
Here are some of the more interesting names and stones:
Mr. William Gallot
died Nov. 9, 1838, Æt 44
The Lord has call’d our frind [sic] away,
Relentless death hath stain.
We trust our loss has prov’d to be
His everlasting gain.
Beloved Auntie Doe
Doris B. Gallot, 1912-1992
Here lies the dust of an infant. Daughter of Samuel and Polly Nichols.
She died Dec. 24, 1805
- Achsah Whittemore (♂ – †1867)
- Ellen Faustina (♀ – †Sep. 3, 1844 Æt 1 year, 3 mos. & 16 days)
- Clementine F. – Wife of John Whitaker †May 12, 1851 Æ 32
- Patience Lamb (♀ – †1841 Æ 58)
- Samuel Nichols (♂ – †1808 XXXVIII)
- Sarah Rider (♀ – †Dec. 8, 1832 Æ 1 day)
- Nancy Rider (♀ – †Dec. 8, 1832 Æ 1 day)
- Kezia Bullard (♀ – †1821 Æ 49)
- Eliazer Bullard (♂ – †1824 Æ 60)
- Haziah Bullard (♀ – †1831 Æ 61)
- Algernon Heine (♂ 1926-1994)
- Jesse Haven (†1813 Æ 68), Betsey Haven (†1821 Æ 42), Mr. B. Haven, Mrs. C. Haven, Dea. J. Haven
- Miss Nabbe Cozzens (†1806 Æ 19)
- Mr. Hopestil Eames (†1821 Æ 77)