Burying Point Cemetery

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Burying Point Cemetery

Also known as Charter Street Cemetery, Salem Burying Point

51 Charter Street
Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, 01970 USA
Phone 978-745-0195
Memorials 853 added (77% photographed)

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Laid out c. 1637, Charter Street Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Salem and one of the most ancient in the country. Charter Street Cemetery was earlier known as "Ye Burying Point" (c. 1700) because before the land below it to the south was filled, the cemetery rested on a point of land with the South River flowing beneath. Another former name for the Charter Street Cemetery was "Ye Burying Place" (c. 1780).
The cemetery is located withing the Charter Street Historic District which includes the Cemetery and the Grimshaw House (c. 1700), which abuts the northwest corner of the cemetery, and the Samuel Pickman House (before 1680) which adjoins the northeast corner of the cemetery.

There are 17 box tomb markers in the cemetery. Seven of these structures flank the path leading from the main entrance on Charter Street, two on the west and five on the east. They layout of the gravestones tends much more to grouping by family than to neat rows. This, combined with several English oak trees, gives the cemetery a distinct 17th century feeling.

The cemetery parcel was assembled between 1637 and 1767. The oldest section of the cemetery is the southwestern comer, including all of the Derby Street frontage except a small swath at the east end. The section immediately to the north was laid out in 1668 followed by a
narrow piece of land extending along the east end of the first two parcels. The area near the Charter Street gates was laid out in 1767.

The oldest extant gravestone is that of Doraty Cromwell (d. 1673). She was the wife of Philip Cromwell (d. 1693). The gravestone and tomb markers of early settlers include that of Captain Richard More (d. 1692) whose gravestone is the only one of the Mayflower passengers known to exist

This cemetery sits on 1.47 acres. There are approximately 700 headstones. The earliest death date is 1673, the latest 1858. (with one in 1894, Ingersoll)

The Massachusetts Historical Commission refers to this cemetery in MACRIS as SAL.806 Burying Point.

This cemetery is referred to as GR1 Charter Street Cemetery in the "Vital Records of Salem Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849."


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GPS Coordinates: 42.5204926, -70.8923492

  • Added: 18 Jan 2003
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #1835987