The Brigham Cemetery is a one-acre rectangle tucked into the northwestern end of St. Mary's Cemetery on the south-west facing slope of Mount Pleasant Hill. A narrow grassed path, between houses, leads from its northwest corner to West Main Street. The official entrance is via a double-leaf wrought-iron gate, supported between a pair of tall rock-faced granite posts facing the street. Mounted on the gate is a bronze plaque commemorating Ephraim Brigham's gift of the land in 1808, and the 1882 establishment of the Gibbon Fund. The main rectangle of the burial ground has a fieldstone retaining wall along the north and south sides, a stone wall along the west, and a wire fence with concrete posts along the eastern boundary with St. Marys Cemetery. This was the first and only burial ground associated with the Unitarian Church of Marlborough.
In its origin, this little graveyard illustrates the horror with which the smallpox was regarded during the 18th century, especially during the epidemic of 1792-93. The land for the cemetery was given in 1808 by Ephraim Brigham to the Second Parish in Marlborough, which in 1806 built its church on Pleasant Street. His parents, Capt. William and Lydia Brigham, had been buried here in 1793 on what had been part of the Brigham farm, having been denied interment in the town cemeteries because they died of smallpox.
The cemetery sits on about 1.12 acres. There are approximately 250 headstones. The earliest death date is 1782 and the latest 1933.
The Massachusetts Historical Commission refers to this cemetery in MACRIS as MRB.806 Brigham Cemetery.
This cemetery is referred to as GR4 Brigham Cemetery in the "Vital Records of Marlborough Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849."
GPS Coordinates: 42.34138, -71.55946
- Added: 31 Mar 2007
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2211881
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