|Hartford Avenue (Route 126)|
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
This is a privately-owned cemetery. It was established in 1845. This cemetery shares it's western border, but otherwise has no connection, with North Bellingham Cemetery. Enter the cemetery, make the first right turn, and the area on your left is the Oak Hill Cemetery.
The Massachusetts Historical Commission refers to this cemetery in MACRIS as BEL800.
Historic Milestone - North Bellingham and Oak Hill Cemeteries
Accepted for Listing in the National Historic Register
The Bellingham Historical Commission is pleased to announce that the North Bellingham Cemetery, which is public, and the private Oak Hill Cemetery were accepted by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, for listing in the National Register of Historic Places on September 25, 2012. Acceptance of the cemeteries into the National Register of Historic Places is a milestone for the town of Bellingham as it is the first historic listing in the National Register for the town.
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's official list of buildings, districts, sites, structures, and objects that retain their historical character and are important to our local, state, or national history. The National Register was established under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and is administered in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Historical Commission. In addition to listing on the national level, both cemeteries were included for listing on the State Register of Historic Places.
The town of Bellingham was established in 1719 but remarkably, the North Bellingham Cemetery is older than the town with the earliest reported burial in 1712. This 1-acre cemetery has roughly 130 headstones tracing the evolution of funerary art in the 18th and 19th centuries. Veterans from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War are buried there. Oak Hill Cemetery was established in 1849 reflects mid-19th century ideas of burial and commemoration with its rectilinear layout, which is based on family lots rather than individual burials, and its predominantly marble rather than slate headstones. The cemeteries are located on Hartford Ave just past the Wal-Mart plaza heading northeast.
Both cemeteries were determined to be eligible for listing on the State and National Registers and were nominated for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places at the Massachusetts Historical Commission's June 13, 2012 meeting. Now that the properties are listed in the State and National Registers, they are eligible to apply for State preservation grants under the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund.