Amherst West Cemetery - Amherst, MA
Posted by: neoc1
N 42° 22.800 W 072° 31.048
18T E 704375 N 4694953
Quick Description: Amherst West Cemetery is located in the center of Amherst north of the downtown area. The newer entrance is on Triangle Street.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 4/6/2012 4:39:16 AM
Waymark Code: WME5DT
In 1730, Hadley Town Meeting authorized a one acre burying ground for British colonial settlers of the Third (East) Precinct of Hadley - now the Town of Amherst. It was called the West Cemetery because it was situated along the west street of the town. Between 1730 and 1769 the cemetery was an open, unfenced meadow without roads or paths and used for pasturing of livestock. Most graves were unmarked and not plotted. Burials faced east and headstones faced west. African Americans, Native Americans, and other people of color were buried together in a separate section in the southeast corner of the cemetery.
Between 1833 and 1868 The cemetery was expanded to the east and west. Some family plots began to be fenced or marked with stone. The first cemetery road was begun in 1854. Soon thereafter the Town Tomb was erected, offering free use for temporary storage of bodies during winter when the ground was frozen. The prominent Dickinson family erected an ornamental iron fence around family plot in 1858.
Between 1870 and 1906 individuals and families, for the first time, were required to acquire deeds and pay for grave plots. As the cemetery expanded the new entrance (now the main entrance) was created on Triangle Street. In 1908 the The Gaylord Gate was built at the original entrance. The Burnham Gate on Triangle Street was erected in 1954.
The most notable persons interred in the cemetery are the world renown poet Emily Dickinson and the soldier and educator Colonel William Smith Clark. Clark was the founder and third President of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now the University of Massachusetts) and founder and first President of Sapporo University in Hokkaido, Japan. The cemetery has a single zinc headstone for the Harlow family. A spectacular 150' by 10' mural depicting the history of Amherst can only be viewed from the cemetery grounds.
Amherst , MA United States
County / Borough / Parish: Hampshire
Year listed: 2000
Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering
Periods of significance: 1925-1949, 1900-1924, 1875-1899, 1850-1874, 1825-1849, 1800-1824, 1750-1799, 1700-1749
Historic function: Funerary
Current function: Funerary
Privately owned?: no
Primary Web Site: [Web Link]
Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]
Season start / Season finish: Not listed
Hours of operation: Not listed
Secondary Website 2: Not listed
National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed
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