"During the COVID-19 quarantine, I have been walking for exercise. It may seem strange, but my favorite places to walk are cemeteries. I find it interesting to walk through the cemeteries in Franklin.
The Union St. cemetery has grave stones from the 1700s. There are some very recognizable names:
- Oliver Dean, who founded Dean College
- Fletcher family, there’s a softball field named after the family
- Ray family, funded Franklin Library - the first library in the country
Cemeteries hold the history of civilization. These two cemeteries reflect the mindset of our Puritan ancestors who left England for freedom to practice their own religion and then in turn didn’t practice what they preached. In St. Mary’s cemetery we see the oldest gravestones engraved with Irish surnames, reflecting the Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine in the mid-1800s. Soon overwhelming the Irish names are Italian names. Names that only Franklinites could pronounce:
There’s one more cemetery that is perhaps the most interesting of all, albeit the smallest one. It is on Green St., Franklin. The official name is the City Mills Historical Cemetery. That area is part of the City Mills section of Norfolk/Franklin, hence the name. Some of the people buried there:
- Samuel Allen 15 Mar 1778 Franklin, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA - 14 Jan 1866
- Edward Gay Jr 2 Jul 1696 Wrentham, Suffolk, Province of Massachusetts Bay - 28 Feb 1758
- Timothy Hawes 21 Jul 1722 Wrentham, Suffolk, Province of Massachusetts Bay - 8 Mar 1772
- Rhoda (Mason) Allen abt 1795 Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA - 15 Apr 1862
- James Shepardson 24 Jul 1789 Wrentham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States - 8 Mar 1863
Soon many more graves and cremains will be added to our cemeteries, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A walk through the cemeteries will put your priorities in order. What will your legacy be?"
|Union St cemetery|