Old South Cemetery

Photo added by Jonathan Bare

Old South Cemetery

Also known as South Cemetery

South Main Street
Sherborn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, 01770 USA
Phone 508-653-2375
Memorials 39 added (51% photographed)

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Sherborn's first settlers are buried in the South Cemetery. It is the oldest burial ground west of the Charles River. Hopestill Leland was the first person buried here in 1655 (his grave stone is no longer extant). Here, also, lie those who died in the epidemic known as the "Memorable Mortality" in Sherborn, the "Great Sickness" in Holliston, and later spoken of as the "Holliston Plague." This epidemic occured in the 1750's.

Facing the walled entrance and backed by whispering pines is the Memorial Boulder inscribed on its inset bronze plaque, "The Most Ancient Burying Ground, On the West bank of the Charles River, Established by the Settlers of the Boggestowe Farms before 1660. Here rest from their labors The Founders of Sherborn, Holliston, Medway. Erected by the Historical Societies of The Three Towns, 1915."

Headstones were often not placed on graves in the early years of the settlement to keep the knowledge of their losses from the Indians. This fact, the ravages of time and other circumstances result in there not being many of the earliest stones extant here, but there are several of the 'Memorable Mortality' of 1754. By 1830 William Biglow noted in his History of Sherburne that the South Cemetery "lies unfenced in a pasture, is over-run with Whortleberry, fern, and other bushes, and many of its gravestones are prostrated and exposed to the trampling of horses and cattle." In 1915 the Sherborn Historical Society undertook its restoration .

There are approximately 36 headstones and fragments of other stones. The earliest death date is 1727, the latest 1788.

The Massachusetts Historical Commission refers to this cemetery in MACRIS as SHR.807 South Cemetery.

This cemetery is referred to as GR7 Old South Sherborn Cemetery in the "Vital Records of Sherborn Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849."


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GPS Coordinates: 42.211, -71.35514

  • Added: 8 Sep 2008
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2275431