28 Green St.

Gardner, MA

Old Burying Grounds

Est. 1785

This quaint graveyard is located behind the First Congregational Church on Green Street/Woodland Ave. The majority of its graves are from the 18th and 19th centuries, many of which are Revolutionary War markers. A variety of gravestone styles are present, although the urn and willow motif appears most often. The terrain has changed over the years with many gravestones tilted, some even having trees uprooting their placement. One example of this is the stone of Lucretia Anne Wheeler, who died on November 6th, 1845 at the age of 12. Her gravestone is partially obstructed by a tree that grew around it.

There are many notable people buried in the graveyard. Captain Elisha Jackson was the first inhabitant of the land that form Gardner. Elisha was born in Westminster in 1737 and purchased four-hundred acres of land around the year 1764. He built a house in the area known as the Hubbard Kendall Place.

Mrs. Miriam Kneeland and Mrs. Sarah Phinney are both interred on the grounds. Known as the Kneeland Maids, these two elderly sisters were murdered on the evening of March 7th, 1855. The community was shocked by the crime and the selectman placed a $500 reward on the capture of the perpetrator. The headstone has been knocked over and no longer stands upright



Research and Photos Contributed by Finn B. of Troop 6, Gardner