Formerly known as "Creepy-chusetts, Strange-chusetts".

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Quabbin Park Cemetery, Ware

More than a thousand structures were dismantled — homes, barns, churches, schools, stores. Workers painstakingly removed 7,613 graves and re-interred the dead in a new cemetery.*

Before the completion of the Quabbin Reservoir in 1938, towns of Dana, Greenwich, Prescott, and Enfiled as well as the numerous villages and communities prepared for the day their memories would sunken into the bottom of the reservoir.  More than seventy-five thousand graves in those communities were dug up and relocated to the Quabbin Park Cemetery in Ware.

You might be interested in my past post about the abandoned town of Dana: The Vaughn House, Dana

Locate Quabbin Park Cemetery: Map

*Mass Moments: Quabbin Reservoir:


  1. So what's the story with the little heads with wings on the top of tomb stones here in New England? Do you know?

  2. I thought of know but gotta research...

    Here we are: that's either death's head or cherub. The former is prevalent throughout the 18th century. The latter is around only a brief period during the late 18th century, eventually taken over by the ubiquitous "urn and willow" symbol (boring!)

    Puritans thought the cherub motif verging on idolatry because its imagery suggests one's attachment to "heavenly beings." Some see the cherub motif as the sign of liberal ideology. i.e the Great Awakening.

    You can take a look at this:

    Or go to the Umass archive for this: (Geez, Allan Ludwig is a big deal. Gotta see his collection while I'm around!)

  3. I love that it can be either a death head or a cherub. Such different meanings between the two!

    Speaking of willows. I once called in sick to my doctoral program (okay, more than once) and did a little exploring. I found this amazing cemetery in rural New Hampshire that had an iron fence that was designed to look like a willow. It was such amazing artistry in the iron work. Wish I had a camera that day (or remember where it was!).

  4. Oh, you gotta locate the cemetery, take photos, and show them to me!!

    Or it might have been a cemetery in another dimension...Or it was an illusion...

    Now I'm looking at my 4th picture. I think it's a modified death's head but also looks like a unibrowed gray. I know the flowers on the sides are called "rosette" and have something to do with the ancestral location. Can't remember more than that.

  5. Update: Rossette is a "vexing" motif to interpret because of its abstract quality and the total lack of written explanation. The whirled rosettes in the 4th picture have an association with soul effigy; in this case, the death's head. An interesting association, but nobody seems to know why.

    --From Allan Ludwig, "Graven Images," p.225-226