ancestryink fisherman

Thursday, March 22, 2012

From burial plot to park for the Dead

Mt. Hope, Bangor Maine.  Images from their website.
From family churchyard to family burial plot to park cemetery.  Travels of the dead are pretty interesting.  It seems that churchyards, the original resting places of the deceased, became very over-crowded and also....rife with rather gross elements of disease, and contamination.  Yuck.  This is when folks started burying their dead on their own properties.

As you can see all around Maine, there are small family plots everywhere:  back fields, woods, roadside (once dirt wagon roads) settings, sometimes in the middle of busy Route One shopping areas...
However, I have learned that some of these folks got moved to new cemeteries, later.  Why?

It turns out that Mt. Hope Cemetery of Bangor, Maine was one of the first three "park like" cemeteries in the United States.  (This was also around the time Public Gardens, such as Boston's Public Garden, were created.)  The idea of a restful, idyllic spot for the dead became popular.  Once these "parks" were created, many families moved their deceased from their own land to these new beautiful resting spots.

Here is a link to Mt. Hope's history:  Mt. Hope Cemetery, Bangor, Maine
And I can't wait to go...

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