Tag Archives: cemetery

The Burying Point (Salem, MA)

Nestled behind the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, is the final resting place for some of Salem’s earlier residents; the Burying Point.  Located among the bustling downtown Salem area, the Burying Point is the oldest cemetery in Salem, MA,

DSC_0193 DSC_0198 DSC_0190  DSC_0187 DSC_0186Tour groups and visitors from all over the country walk over sacred graves.  In fact, the Burying Point is one of the most popular attractions in Salem.

DSC_0200

DSC_0256

The cemetery is well kept and the vast majority of the visitors are respectful of the tenants there.  The one thing I find to be a little weird, besides the obvious weirdness of walking around a cemetery as though it was an “attraction”, was the “haunted house” located feet away from the cemetery.  I’m generally not one to care either way, but it still felt odd hearing ghastly screams and people ordering hot apple cider while we stroll along the cemetery.

Although many headstones are difficult to read, it is worth observing that many of them show the female deceased as the “wife of…” Just another sign of the times.

While many of his relatives reside in the cemetery of the overly commercialized town of Salem, Nathaniel Hawthorne is not buried in Burying Point.  Instead he rests in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.

The storied feud of Nathaniel Hawthorne and his ancestors is of legend.  Just to recap, John Hathorne, a Salem magistrate, was appointed by the then Governor Sir William Phips to be a judge in the Salem Witch Trials.  However, during the trials, he acted more like a prosecutor than a judge.  He would often presume the guilt of an accused witch and demand they confess to witchcraft as well as pressuring accused witches to name other witches after they were inevitably found guilty or they confessed under pressure of Hathorne and his court.  He became known as a “hanging judge”.

In light of his ancestors misdeeds, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Judge Hathorne’s great grandson, would change his name by adding a “w” after the “Ha” in his last name and he would distance himself farther from Judge Hathorne by penning The Scarlet Letterand speaking out against the deeds of his ancestor.

Judge William Hathorne’s grave is on the left in this photo, next to his son’s much larger gravestone.  No one left anything on his gravestone.

DSC_0195

I wanted to thank everyone who reads, likes and leaves comments on my blogs.  It is appreciated.  I also wanted to mention that I have begun (resumed) blogging as Mr.Wayne after a fairly long hiatus.  I have always been a writer at heart and, after being inspired by so many wonderful blogs on wordpress, I have decided to resume my written blogs again, in addition to my photoblogs.  Please view my most recent post What Could Have Been.  Thank you.


Rebecca Nurse Homestead (Danvers, MA)

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, not all of the accused witches from the Salem witch hysteria came from Salem, Massachusetts.  In a quaint, unassuming town once known as Salem Village (now Danvers, Massachusetts), a number of people were accused of “consorting with the devil.”  One of the denizens of Danvers who was accused of such transgressions was Rebecca Nurse.  The Rebecca Nurse Homestead in Danvers keeps Rebecca’s memory and the memory of all the victim’s of the hysteria alive.

DSC_0746

The main living quarters has been renovated and maintained through the years but it still keeps the basic feel of what living in that era was like.

DSC_0748

The early settlers planted most of their crops in their yard.  The staff at the Homestead continue growing these crops such as mugwort, sage and chamomile.

DSC_0735

Pictured below is the front of the house.  The front part of the house is what we might consider “the back” because the settlers always wanted their houses to face the south.

DSC_0794

DSC_0796

DSC_0743

The accommodations are what a modern day realtor might call “cozy”.

DSC_0784 DSC_0783 DSC_0781

They were “spinning” before it was cool.

DSC_0780  DSC_0778

There is also a meeting house, shoemaker shed and wood shed that still have a very rustic feel to them.

DSC_0729

DSC_0733

DSC_0770

DSC_0714

DSC_0759

DSC_0739

DSC_0734

The Homestead also keeps their grounds well maintained.

DSC_0727 DSC_0702   DSC_0699          DSC_0832

DSC_0844

According to legend, after being hanged, Rebecca Nurse was buried in a shallow unmarked grave because people convicted of witchcraft were not considered worthy of a Christian burial.  Her family dug her up and buried her at the Nurse Homestead and they erected a memorial in her honor.

DSC_0817   DSC_0809  DSC_0819

George Jacobs, another victim of the witch hysteria, is also buried at the Nurse Homestead.

DSC_0802

Rebecca’s great grandson, Francis Nurse, resided st the homestead until he joined the Massachusetts Militia during the Revolutionary War.  He is know interred at the Rebecca Nurse Homestead.

DSC_0814

There are also a number of other monuments and graves in the Nurse gravesite

DSC_0812 DSC_0811 DSC_0813 DSC_0820

There is also a variety of wildlife on the Nurse Homestead grounds.  I ran into these turkeys during my visit.

DSC_0695

And I met a bear.  Well, sort of.  One of the workers was dog sitting and he brought his Golden Lab, Bear with him to the homestead.  Bear likes to play catch.

DSC_0853 DSC_0855 DSC_0861

Don’t forget to “like” me on Facebook

New England Nomad