East Parish Burying Ground

Last updated
East Parish Burying Ground
East Parish Burying Ground, Newton, Massachusetts.jpg
LocationCentre Street, Newton Corner, Massachusetts
Area2.9 acres (1.2 ha)
NRHP reference # 83004010 [1]
Added to NRHPDecember 23, 1983

East Parish Burying Ground, also known as Centre Street Burying Ground or Centre Street Cemetery, is an historic cemetery located at Centre and Cotton streets in the village of Newton Corner in the city of Newton, Massachusetts. On December 23, 1983, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been called the "most important, the most evocative and also the most fragile historic site in the city." [2]

Newton Corner, Massachusetts Village in Massachusetts, United States

Newton Corner is a village of Newton, Massachusetts, United States. Newton Corner borders Brighton, a neighborhood of Boston, as well as the city of Watertown, Massachusetts. Newton Corner is divided by the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), it has on-off access in both directions at Exit 17.

Newton, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Newton is a suburban city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. It is approximately 7 miles (11 km) west of downtown Boston and is bordered by Boston's Brighton and West Roxbury neighborhoods to the east and south, respectively, and by the suburb of Brookline to the east, the suburbs of Watertown and Waltham to the north, and Weston, Wellesley and Needham to the west. Rather than having a single city center, Newton resembles a patchwork of thirteen villages. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Newton was 85,146, making it the eleventh largest city in the state.

National Register of Historic Places Federal list of historic sites in the United States

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred in preserving the property.



East Parish Cemetery dates from the 1660s when the term parish had both a political and religious connotation. The East Parish Church was First Church in Newton organized in 1664, which celebrated its 300th anniversary in 1964, but was dissolved in 1973 after failed attempts to merge with its two daughter churches, Second Church in Newton (West Parish) and Eliot Church. First Church's last church building at 1115 Centre Street in Newton Centre is now the Greek Evangelical Church of Boston. [3] [4]

Second Church in Newton United States historic place

The Second Church in Newton, United Church of Christ, is located at 60 Highland Street in West Newton, a village of Newton, Massachusetts. This church is rooted in the Congregational denomination, does not require uniformity of belief, and welcomes all visitors. Its present church building, a Gothic Victorian structure designed by architects Allen & Collens and completed in 1916, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Newton Centre, Massachusetts Village in Massachusetts, United States

Newton Centre is a village of Newton, Massachusetts, United States. The main commercial center of Newton Centre is a triangular area surrounding the intersections of Beacon Street, Centre Street, and Langley Road. It is the largest downtown area among all the villages of Newton, and serves as a large upscale shopping destination for the western suburbs of Boston. The Newton City Hall and War Memorial is located at 1000 Commonwealth Avenue in Newton Centre.

First Settlers Monument

The First Settlers Monument was erected September 1, 1852, to commemorate the first settlers of East Parish and has inscriptions on its four sides as follows: [5]

Thomas Wiswall (1601–1683) was an early settler of British America, a prominent early citizen of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and a key figure in the founding of Cambridge Village, now known as the city of Newton, Massachusetts.

Windsor, Connecticut Town in Connecticut, United States

Windsor is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States, and was the first English settlement in the state. It lies on the northern border of Connecticut's capital, Hartford. The population of Windsor was 29,044 at the 2010 census.


East Parish Burying Ground fronts on Centre Street on the west and on Cotton Street on the south, but the actual corner of those two streets is occupied by city-owned Loring Park, a long, narrow tract of 13,200 square feet (1,230 m2), whose longest side fronts on Centre Street. East Parish burying ground is bordered on the north and east by lands of the Centre Street congregation of the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. Across Centre Street is the campus of the former Newton College of the Sacred Heart, which is now owned by Boston College, which uses the campus for its Law School as well as to house freshmen. Cotton Street is the approximate boundary between Newton Corner to the north and Newton Centre to the south.

Newton College of the Sacred Heart was a small women's liberal arts college in Newton Centre, Massachusetts. It opened in 1946 and merged with Boston College in June 1974.

Boston College private research university in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, United States

Boston College is a private Jesuit research university in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. The university has more than 9,300 full-time undergraduates and nearly 5,000 graduate students. The university's name reflects its early history as a liberal arts college and preparatory school in Boston's South End. It is a member of the 568 Group and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Its main campus is a historic district and features some of the earliest examples of collegiate gothic architecture in North America.

Boston College Law School is one of the six professional graduate schools at Boston College. Located approximately 1.5 miles from the main Boston College campus in Chestnut Hill, Boston College Law School is situated on a 40-acre (160,000 m2) wooded campus in Newton, Massachusetts.

Current Status

East Parish Burying Ground is owned today by the City of Newton, which lists it as Centre Street Cemetery with an area of 125,620 square feet (11,670 m2). Historic Newton manages the preservation of the graves and tombs of Newton's City-owned historic burying grounds. [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

Green-Wood Cemetery Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York

Green-Wood Cemetery is a 478-acre (193 ha) cemetery in Brooklyn, New York City. The cemetery lies several blocks southwest of Prospect Park, located between South Slope/Greenwood Heights, Park Slope Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, Kensington, and Sunset Park. It is generally bounded by 20th Street to the northeast, Fifth Avenue to the northwest, 36th and 37th Streets to the southwest, Fort Hamilton Parkway to the south, and McDonald Avenue to the east.

Jackson Homestead Historic building in Newton, Massachusetts

The Jackson Homestead, located at 527 Washington Street, in the village of Newton Corner, in Newton, Massachusetts, is an historic house that served as a station on the Underground Railroad before the Civil War.

St Pancras and Islington Cemetery St Pancras and Islington Cemetery, East Finchley.

St Pancras and Islington Cemetery in East Finchley, North London while situated in the London Borough of Barnet is actually two cemeteries, owned by two other London Boroughs, Camden and Islington. The fence along the boundary which runs west to east between the two parts of the cemetery has been removed, although the line of it is still marked.

Oak Hill Park (OHP) is a residential subdivision located in the Oak Hill village of Newton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Oak Hill Park is shown as a separate and distinct village on some city maps, including a map dated 2012 on the official City of Newton website. Situated adjacent to Boston, Oak Hill Park is roughly bounded by Mount Ida College to its northwest, Dedham Street to the northeast, the Charles River to the southwest, and Mount Lebanon Cemetery and the Boston city limit to the southeast.

West Parish Burying Ground United States historic place

The West Parish Burying Ground, also known as the River Street Burying Ground or River Street Cemetery, is a cemetery located at River and Cherry streets in West Newton, Massachusetts, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Established in 1777, the cemetery is owned and maintained by the City of Newton; the Second Church in Newton, its original owner, was known as the West Parish.

West Newton Village Center Historic District United States historic place

The West Newton Village Center Historic District encompasses the heart of the village of West Newton, in the city of Newton, Massachusetts in the United States. It extends along Washington Street between Lucas Court in the west and Davis Court in the east, and includes a few properties on immediately adjacent side streets, including Watertown Street and Waltham Street. The village is the second-largest of Newton's commercial centers and is the best-preserved of its late 19th and early 20th century village centers. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Trinity-St. Pauls Episcopal Church (New Rochelle, New York) United States historic place

Trinity-St. Paul's Episcopal Church in New Rochelle in Westchester County, New York was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. It is located at the northwest corner of Huguenot Street and Division Street. This church represents the body of the majority group of New Rochelle's founding Huguenot French Calvinistic congregation that conformed to the liturgy of the established Church of England in June 1709. King George III gave Trinity its first charter in 1762. After the American Revolutionary War, Trinity became a parish of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America.

Capt. Edward Durant House United States historic place

The Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds is a historic late First Period house at 286 Waverly Avenue in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, that is now a historic house museum.

South Burying Ground United States historic place

The South Burying Ground, also known as Winchester Street Cemetery, or Evergreen Cemetery, is an historic cemetery located on Winchester Street in the village of Newton Highlands, in the city of Newton, Massachusetts. Established in 1802, it is Newton's third cemetery. It has 357 recorded burials, dating between 1803 and 1938. The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

Copps Hill Burying Ground United States historic place

Copp's Hill Burying Ground is a historic cemetery in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts. Established in 1659, it was originally named "North Burying Ground", and was the city's second cemetery.

East Main Street Cemetery United States historic place

The East Main Street Cemetery is a historic cemetery on East Main Street in Dalton, Massachusetts. The cemetery is one of the oldest in the town, with grave markers dating to the 1780s. It was founded on land owned by the Chamberlin family, whose identified graves make up about 20 percent of roughly 250 gravesites. The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

Northfield Center Cemetery United States historic place

The Northfield Center Cemetery is a historic cemetery located at the western terminus of Parker Avenue in Northfield, Massachusetts. Established in 1686, it is the town's first burying ground, with documented graves dating to 1714. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

Myles Standish Burial Ground

The Myles Standish Burial Ground in Duxbury, Massachusetts is, according to the American Cemetery Association, the oldest maintained cemetery in the United States.

Batavia Cemetery cemetery in Batavia, New York, United States

Batavia Cemetery is located on Harvester Avenue in Batavia, New York, United States. It opened in 1823 and contains over 8,000 graves, mostly from the 19th century. In 2002 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the first of two cemeteries in Genesee County to be so designated.

Reverend Ichabod Wiswall (1637–1700) was the third pastor of the church in Duxbury, Plymouth Colony, British America. Though he is thought to have given the first known funeral sermon in British America at the burial of Capt. Jonathan Alden in 1697, American funeral sermons predate this event by several decades.

St Michael on Greenhill, Lichfield Church in Staffordshire, England

St Michael on Greenhill is a parish church in Lichfield, Staffordshire in the United Kingdom, located on the high ground of Greenhill in the east of the city. A church has been on the present site since at least 1190 but the current building dates mainly from the restoration of 1842-43. The churchyard is one of five ancient burial grounds in England and is one of the largest churchyards in the country at 9 acres (36,000 m2).

Tyringham Cemetery United States historic place

Tyringham Cemetery is a historic cemetery section just outside the historic center of Tyringham, Massachusetts. The 3.67 acres (1.49 ha) property lies on the west side of Church Street, opposite the Union Church. The historically designated portion of the cemetery excludes a 4 acres (1.6 ha) parcel that was purchased in the 2000s.

The Old Scots Burying Ground is located in the Wickatunk section of Marlboro Township, in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. The cemetery rise is on Gordon's Corner Road, just west of Wyncrest Road. The cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Old Scots Burying Ground is about an acre in size, about 195 feet above sea level and dates back to 1685. The total number of burials at the cemetery is not precisely known, suggested by Symms, "There are a large number of graves in Old Scots yard without any inscribed stones". Some reports place the number as at least 100 known graves with most headstones of brown sandstone. However, more recent research using ground penetrating radar reported by the Old Tennent Church in 2001 has put the number of confirmed sites at about 122 graves with a possible 140 more unmarked; placing the number at about 262 total graves in the cemetery. In 1945, in an attempt to clean out the site of vegetation and over-growth, a bulldozer was used on the property and as a result some headstones were dislodged and broken stones removed. The defining structure in the cemetery is a tall monument to Rev. John Boyd, created by the J&R Lamb Company. Built to commemorate the first recorded Presbyterian ordination of Rev. John Boyd. The monument is currently owned by the Synod of the Northeast who holds the property deed but it is maintained by the Old Tennent Church. The last identified burial at Old Scots Burial Ground was in 1977.


  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
  2. Old East Parish Burying Ground - Middlesex County, Massachusetts
  3. "City of Newton: Jackson Homestead and Museum: Burial Treasures: Newton's first cemetery offers insight into the city's history". Archived from the original on 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2011-05-09.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help); Cite web requires |website= (help)
  4. Greek Evangelical Church of Boston: Church building history
  5. 1st Settlers Monument - Middlesex County, Massachusetts
  6. Newton's Historic Burying Grounds

Coordinates: 42°20′32.39″N71°11′29.93″W / 42.3423306°N 71.1916472°W / 42.3423306; -71.1916472