Points of Interest



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Earliest Artifact

This late-archaic era (3,000 BC to 1,000 BC) effigy or fetish of a harbor porpoise, possibly representing a clan symbol, was unearthed in Hingham Cemetery some time in the past. The exact location, date, or other details are not known, but it came into the possession of Dr. Henry F. Howe of Cohasset, who gave it to the Bronson Museum (now the Massachusetts Museum of Archaeology in Middleboro, MA).

The 5 1/8" long by 1 3/8" wide carving is made of fine-grained, slightly polished soapstone. 

Harbor porpoises were plentiful in Hingham Harbor even at the time of the first settlers’ arrival and were an important food, fuel, and utensil source for late-archaic era peoples who inhabited the area.

Tomb of the Three Ministers

The "Tomb of the Three Ministers" contains the remains of Hingham's first three ministers. 
 a. Rev. Peter Hobart (1604-1679) - First minister
 b. Rev. John Norton (1651-1716) - Second minister
 c. Rev. Ebenezer Gay (1696-1787) – Third minister

As was customary in England at the time, Hingham’s early settlers buried their dead around the meeting house. The original meeting house was located on a hill approximately where Old Derby Academy now stands, and the second meeting house (dating from 1680) is the current Old Ship Church, both on Main Street, Hingham. 

When the street was lowered in 1835 to accommodate horse-drawn trolley transportation, the remains of many early settlers were unearthed. It is surmised that when the remains of the first three ministers of Old Ship Church were uncovered, it was impossible to identify each specifically. Therefore, the remains were reburied together in one tomb located behind their church in Hingham Cemetery.

Circle of Colonial Headstones

This grouping of the earliest original and replicated slate headstones in the cemetery belonged to Hingham settlers buried around the original meetinghouses, both located where Main St. is today. The grave markers were collected when the street was lowered for horse-drawn trolleys in the 1830’s. They were placed on the site of an early Hingham fort and next to the Settlers’ Monument. The gravestone with the earliest date is located here: Wm. Hersey, b. 1592 in Reading, England, d. 1638 in Hingham (Replica)

Ames Chapel

Hingham Cemetery's Ames Chapel was designed in the Queen Anne style by architect J. Sumner Fowler and erected in 1886. Its purpose was to be a venue for funeral services for people who had moved out of town and were no longer affiliated with a house of worship in the area. As the years passed, descendants had stopped coming back to bury their parents or grandparents in the family plot, and the chapel went out of use, subsequently falling into disrepair.

In 2015, with the help of private donations and grants from the Hingham Community Preservation Committee, the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and the Hingham Historical Commission, the Ames underwent a magnificent $1 million restoration and is now available to rent - at cost - for private parties, including rehearsal dinners, small weddings, conferences, symposia, book signings, small chamber music concerts, art showings, board meetings, and so on. For more information, please contact info@hinghamcemetery.org.

Recording Angel

This small marble statue, the "Recording Angel", is by Larkin Meade (1835-1910) of Brattleboro, VT, and was given to Hingham Cemetery by Stuart and Margaret DeBard.

Larkin Mead (1835-1910) was brought up in Brattleboro VT and studied under Henry Kirke Brown. In 1856 he built in Brattleboro a colossal snow figure called 'The Recording Angel' which was later celebrated in a poem by James Russell Lowell. DeBard’s great grandfather helped pour water on the original snow statue to help it freeze. (The event was written up in the New York Times, DeBard was told.) His great grandfather traveled to Florence where Mead was working and bought this replica of "The Recording Angel" there.

Because of this statue, Meade was given the commission to carve the figure "Vermont" on the dome of the capitol at Montpelier. He also did the marble statue "Ethan Allen" for the Hall of Statues in the Capitol Building, Washington, D.C., the statues at the Lincoln Memorial in Springfield, IL, and innumerable other works of note.

Angel of Grief

The "Angel of Grief" (1894-5) was the last work of American sculptor William Wetmore Story in memory of his wife. He was an artist of some note (born in 1819 in Salem, MA and working in Italy) whose work may be seen in such places as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The original monument is located in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome over his and his wife’s graves.

An article written in the Sept. 1896, issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine stated:

“The loss of the wife of his youth whom he survived but a year, was a bitter blow; and with her passed his interest in affairs. It was only when his children suggested that he should make a monument to her memory that he consented to resume work; the design he chose was the “Angel of Grief", and it is wrought to exquisite finish, as are the statues modeled in his summer prime. When this was done he left the studio never to return."

Our monument is one of a number of copies that can be found across the country in the large “garden cemeteries" that sprang up in the last half of the 19th century. (There is also one at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, for example.) Our “Angel of Grief" was carved in Italy from Cararra marble probably by many artisans, each a craftsman of a particular specialty such as feet, wings, faces, etc. as was customary at the time.  Completion of this solid piece of marble sculpture took a great length of time, and when it finally arrived in Boston, we understand that the crate was dropped onto the pier as it was being unloaded, breaking the statue into numerous pieces. The work had to be started again. 

Through the generosity of the descendants of Maria Hooper in whose memory the “Angel of Grief" was placed in our cemetery, the statue was repaired and cleaned in 1998. The Museum of Fine Arts referred us to artisan Reno Pisano, of Nahant, Massachusetts to do this delicate hand work.  The angel’s left art is unsupported and hangs freely. Over the years not only had the arm broken off, but fingers had been smashed and lost. Pisano first found matching Carrara marble, then sculpted new fingers to add to the hand. A titanium pin was inserted from hand to arm, and another from lower arm to upper arm. All was attached with a strong epoxy glue. To the praises of many, the angel was once again complete.  

A note of interest: Three noted American sculptors of the 19th century have works presiding within the cemetery grounds. Along with William Wetmore Story’s  “Angel of Grief" mentioned above, Thomas Gould sculpted the impressive statue of Gov. John A. Andrew, and Larkin Meade contributed the “Recording Angel." All three men were New Englanders, all studied and worked in Florence, Italy, in the late 1800’s, and all must certainly have known one and other. Their works reside within 1/4 mile of each other within Hingham Cemetery.

Bronze Seal Monument

This charming monument depicting a playful seal commemorates “beloved adventurers" Edward Farnsworth and Suzanne Clark and their love of travel and sailing. It was cast sculpted by artist Bud Bottoms of San Diego, CA, c. 1988, and is decorated with starfish around the base. It is favorite of visiting children.

Governor John Andrew Monument

Gov. Andrew is one of the nation’s most honored statesmen, and his imposing statue fittingly occupies a place of prominence overlooking Hingham Harbor, across from the gravesite of Gov. John Long, and beneath the town’s Soldiers’ and Sailors’ (Civil War) Monument which graces the top of the hill.

The slightly larger-than-life-size statue, sculpted in Cararra marble in Florence, Italy, is attributed to noted American sculptor Thomas R. Gould, who was previously acquainted with Gov. Andrew. Leaden cases containing 25 documents (including the Hingham Journal of June 11, 1875) were deposited in the cavities of the marble pedestal (most likely of Vermont marble) on and over which the statue rests. 

The statue, one of Hingham’s most distinguished outdoor monuments, and is called by Save Our Statues! National Institution for the Conservation of Cultural Property (SOS) “one of the most impressive of those in Hingham which depicts an honored individual."; SOS is located in Washington, D.C.

Thomas Gould, who was previously acquainted with Gov. Andrew, carved the statue in 1875 after Andrew’s death. When Gould was asked specifically what kind of care the statue might need in the future, he wrote in 1873, “With regard to the danger from exposure to the weather, both experience and observation enables me to assure you that a little attention with a clean sponge and water during the fall of the last leaf would keep the marble pure for an indefinite period."

However, the harsh New England weather over the past 135 years has helped erode the stone’s exterior and aid the grown of moss and lichen, which attach to the porous surface.   Also, when the statue was cleaned in 1989, small cracks had appeared in the base due to water penetrating the stone and freezing. The cracks widened considerably over the next  21 years. It was cleaned and restored by the Cemetery with the help of Gov. Andrew descendants in the spring of 2010 in honor of the town’s 375th anniversary.
 
Gov. Andrew was originally buried in the prestigious Mt. Auburn Cemetery with great pomp and ceremony deserving of one of the Commonwealth’s most beloved governors.  Two years later, his remains were moved to the family plot in Hingham Cemetery and the commemorative statue erected on the adjoining lot. 

Peter Ourish Monument

This iconic Civil War Monument was made of Cararra marble and commemorates  Hingham’s youngest volunteer to the Civil War. He participated in 15 major battles, served 3 years and died at age 19 from his wounds. Those interested in the Civil War are particularly taken with this poignant memorial.

Bark Kadosh Memorial

(Taken from Hingham Cemetery Annual Meeting, June 2, 1873)

In January last, the bodies of six seamen belonging to the bark Kadosh, wrecked on Point Allerton, Dec. 26, 1872, and who were drowned in attempting to reach the shore, were brought to this town, tenderly cared for, and interred in a lot given for the purpose by the Directors. Appropriate and very impressive funeral services were performed in the “Old Meeting House," on the occasion of their burial. In those services, four of the clergymen of the town participated. A letter has been received written on behalf of the owners of the Kadosh, expressing their thanks for this act of the Directors in giving an appropriate burial-place to the unfortunate seamen—most of whom, if not all, were foreigners. 

(Taken from Hingham Cemetery Directors Meeting, May 15, 1873)

The following letter in behalf of the owners of the Bark Kadosh, wrecked on Pt. Allerton, and to the seamen who perished in attempting to reach the shore, is placed upon record in accordance with a vote of the Directors.

“Hull, Feb. 1, 1873

To the president and Directors of the Hingham Cemetery

Gentlemen:
Having had the care of burying the bodies of the men who perished in the attempt to land from the Bark Kadosh wrecked on the Southeast bar of Point Allerton, Dec. 26, 1872, I take occasion to express for myself, and also the owners of the bark (Messrs William Perkins & Co.) thanks for the liberality and public spirit manifested in giving to these seamen a lot in the Hingham Cemetery; and also for the personal attention bestowed in securing for them an appropriate Christian burial. I will add that in the event of an effort being made to erect a suitable monument on the spot—Mr. Perkins expressed to me his willingness to contribute for that object such an amount as Mr. Solomon Lincoln, or Mr. Albert Fearing should see fit to apportionate him.

Very Truly & Respsectfully Yours,
               Lewis P. Loring."

Recorded by George Lincoln, Secretary

Bark Kadosh:  (Known names): Peter Brown, George Guymer, Alden C..Richardson, Julius Schwensen, Christian G. Thomas

Memorial Garden

The Memorial Garden in Hingham Cemetery was opened in 2001 for the interment of cremated remains. The formal garden is located atop one of the Cemetery's highest points and is set among flowering dogwoods, azaleas, mountain laurel and rhododendrons. This peaceful site provides for simple, in-ground burial of ashes in the center garden and offers benches for quiet contemplation and remembrance.

Our Memorial Garden is intended to appeal to those who cherish the formal, traditional gardens of the past and who wish to choose a burial that will provide perpetual beauty for the living as well as the dead. It was designed for those who desire simplicity, using only a name and dates of birth and death on Cemetery-owned granite paving stones within the garden rather than on an individual monument.

 In the burial space provided, cremated ashes are placed directly into the earth in the center garden beneath a bed of myrtle. No containers are allowed. Over time the remains become part of the ecosystem of the Garden and are not recoverable.

A record of burials and location of memoralizations will be maintained by the Cemetery.
For further information and purchases, please go to Lot Sales, or Contact Us

Soldiers & Sailors Monument

The war was a devastating experience to the nation, with small Northern towns suffering greatly as many young men in the North rushed idealistically to defend the nation," says Winston Hall, Town Historian. Hingham, with a total population of less than 4,500, and males between 20 and 48 numbering only 679, counted her war dead at 97. The names of seventy-six are engraved around the base of the obelisk--names such as Hersey, Lincoln, Wilder, Fearing, and Cushing. Nearby stand monuments to some of Hingham's other patriots:  Peter Ourish, the town's youngest volunteer to the Civil War who fought in 15 major battles before succumbing at the age of 19; Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrew, who inspired the creation of the first regiment of Negro soldiers during the Civil War; and Massachusetts Governor John D. Long, who served both as a member of Congress and as U.S. Secretary of the Navy under McKinley.

The Hingham Cemetery location was chosen for the Civil War Monument (Hingham's second town monument in the cemetery) because of its historical roots as Hingham's oldest burial ground as well as its central location overlooking Hingham Harbor. The 30-ft. obelisk that was erected, at the time called the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, was made of Quincy granite.  

The following 76 names appear on the Hingham Soldiers' and Sailor's Monument, located in Hingham Cemetery: 

South Side (front)

ERECTED BY THE TOWN

1870

CAPT. EDWIN HUMPHREY.
LIEUT. NATHANIEL FRENCH, JR.
SERGT. HENRY C. FRENCH.
SERGT. PETER OURISH.
CORP. JACOB GILKEY CUSHING.
CORP. W. IRVING STODDAR.
CORP. NELSON F. CORTHELL.
CORP. WILLIAM BREEN.

PRIVATES

 

DANIEL L. BEAL.
WILLIAM H. H. BEAL.
WILLIAM B. CUSHING.
JAMES T. CHURCHILL.
CHARLES E. FRENCH.
JOHN W. GARDNER.
JOHN Q. HERSEY.
BENJAMIN LINCOLN.
WILLIAM J. STOCKWELL.
DEMERICK STODDER.
ALBERT WILDER.

HONOR TO THE BRAVE

 

West Side

FOR OUR COUNTRY

CORP. CHARLES W. BLOSSOM.
CORP. HIRAM W. HENDERSON.
CORP. CHARLES D. KILBURN.

PRIVATES

 

JAMES BALLENTINE.
JOHN B. GREASE.  (or Crease)
PEREZ F. FEARING.
DANIEL D. HERSEY.
CHARLES H. MARSH.
DANIEL MURPHY.
JOHN L. MANUEL.
CONRAD P. YAEGER.
HOSEA O. BARNES.
SAMUEL M. LINCOLN.
HOLLIS HERSEY.
HIRAM NEWCOMB
CALEB GILL.
ACT  MAS. COM. THOMAS ANDREWS.
ENSIGN EDWARD W. HALCRO.
SEAMAN GEORGE H. MERRITT.

 

North Side 

EVER FAITHFUL

LIEUT. GEORGE W. BIBBY.
SERGT. JAMES M. HASKELL.
SERGT. WILLIAM H. JONES, JR.
SERGT. CHARLES S. MEADE.
SERGT. MICHAEL THOMPSON.
CORP. JEREMIAH J. CORCORAN.
CORP. ALBERT S. HAYNES.
CORP. HENRY F. MILLER.

 

PRIVATES

GEORGE D. GARDNER.
WALLACE HUMPHREY.
WILLIAM H. JONES.
SEWALL PUGSLEY. (or Pucsley)
SAMUEL SPENCER.
HORACE L. STUDLEY.
THOMAS SPRAGUE.
ALVIN TOWER.
CHARLES E. WILDER.
HORATIO P. WILLARD.
DON PEDRO WILSON.

East Side

REST THROUGH LIBERTY

 

MAJOR BENJAMIN C. LINCOLN.
LIEUT. FRANCIS THOMAS.
LIEUT. ELIJAH B. GILL, JR.
SERGT. LEAVITT LINCOLN.

PRIVATES

 

HORACE D. BURR.
THOMAS CHURCHILL.
ANDREW J. DAMON.
WILLIAM DUNBAR, JR.
JAMES FITZGERALD.
MICHAEL FEE.
RICHARD J. FARRELL.
GARDNER JONES.
HENRY B. LIVINGSTONE.
JOHN S. NEAL.
EDWARD A. F. SPEAR.
DENNIS SCULLY.
JOSEPH SIMMONS.
THOMAS TINSLEY.
FRANK H. TILTON.

Veterans’ Area

This beautiful site is located on the second highest hill in the cemetery and overlooks Hingham Harbor. Gravesites sit directly under the shadow of the town’s 30-foot Soldiers’ and Sailors Monument, dedicated to its Civil War heroes in 1870. The area is reserved solely for veterans, their spouses, and dependent children, just as in all U.S. National Cemeteries. (Hingham’s Veterans Agent can supply particulars.)

In 1994 Hingham Cemetery recognized the lack of a burial ground specifically reserved for veterans who have given their lives for their country. The directors petitioned the town for permission to establish the Veterans Area under the town’s Civil War obelisk. Permission was quickly granted, with the understanding that the look of the area would remain as it was originally designed -- a flat landscape uninterrupted by upright monuments. Today, all monuments are restricted to flat government-issued markers for the veterans and similar markers of the same size and fabrication for spouses and dependent children.

On Memorial Day, the entire cemetery is graced with hundreds of American Flags, donated by the town of Hingham and erected by the Boy and Girl Scouts of Hingham. Special attention is given to the Veterans Area with the base of the central obelisk adorned with a floral wreath and geranium plantings.

For current prices and purchases, please contact us or at 781-749-1048.

Hingham Cemetery Trivia:

Top 10 Burials by
Family Surnames


243 -  Lincoln  
59 -  Humphrey  
141 -  Hersey  
57 -  Cushing  
89 -  Barnes  
56 -  Thaxter  
74 -  Hobart  
54 -  Marsh  
70 -  Whiton  
50 -  Andrews  

Hingham Cemetery Location:

Hingham_Cemetery_Road_map Click on Map for Directions

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