Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Fort Jackson Cemetery

I'd just finished a photo tour of Wilber's Hardware store and was on my way back to the farm when I passed the Hopkinton Ft. Jackson Cemetery. It was a gloomy, overcast day and threatening to rain at any moment, so I thought it would be a good time for me to stop and take a closer look. Who knows? I may be buried there some day:

I became so enthralled with studying the headstones that I took sixty or more photos. Winnowing them down to twelve was not easy, let me tell you. But here's a sampling of what I saw, beginning with the grave site of Floyd and Maude Eakins. I was particularly moved by the adjoining small headstone for their baby who died way back in 1917:

Some of the marble was exquisitely colored and some of the engravings had been painted:

The Converse/Abel family's grave sites included a very touching headstone for a little girl who had lived for only two years. What drew my attention was what was probably supposed to be booties atop the headstone but which, from a slight distance, had the macabre look of hacked-off feet:

A sad angel perched atop a headstone:

This man died way back in 1929 but was so beloved that someone is still putting flowers on his grave:

There were many graves for babies and children from the 1800s and 1920s. Times were hard back then:

And women were given names such as Silence:

I found a section of the cemetery dating back to the 1800s and was particularly touched by this marker for an twelve year old boy who died in 1851:

And that same year, 1851, a woman died whose parents had named her Truth:

Archie Mulligan was buried with his first wife, who died very young, and their baby. His second wife was also buried there. It reminded me of a line from Longfellow's A Psalm Of Life: "Life real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal":

The cemetery was laid out in a long strip between the county road and a deep ravine through which a small river coursed. I had taken over sixty photos but narrowed it down to twelve. I hope I've presented you with a thoughtful look at the local cemetery and the area's settlers:


  1. The Converse/Abel graves are my grandparents and great-grandparents. Mary Jo (who would have been my aunt!) was hit by a car when she was two.

    The back of their graves are also interesting: my grandparents have the names of all their children engraved and Mary Jo's has "Squeaky", her nickname.

    1. Thank you. It adds texture and meaning to know more of the human stories which go along with the gravestones.