Other Cemetery Restoration Efforts In Massachusetts
There are 13 current or former state hospitals in Massachusetts: Boston State, Worcester State, Tewksbury State, Bridgewater State, Grafton State, Taunton State, Gardner State, Danvers State, Foxboro State, Northampton State, Westboro State, Medfield State, and Metropolitan State.
In this section you can read about the work of cemetery restoration groups at Boston, Tewksbury, Northhampton, Medfield and Metropolitan state hospitals. The status of the cemeteries at the remaining state hospitals is, to the best of our knowledge, as follows:
Bridgewater State Hospital: Now under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections. There are two cemeteries on the grounds of the Bridgewater Correctional Complex. The Morgue Cemetery is located behind the Chapel and morgue, and has 50 markers on a 1/4 acre site. There is no list of those buried but all are former DMH clients. The Prison cemetery has 325 marker on 3/4 acres. There is a list of 132 names associated with the cemetery however, it is not know how many, if any, were DMH clients.
Foxboro State Hospital: This is a closed facility. There are two cemeteries for Foxboro State Hospital and they are not on the grounds. The cemeteries are about an 1/8 of a mile from the hospital on Cross Street. One is close to the road and the other is about 125 yards up into the woods. The names and corresponding grave numbers have been lost. There may be 1,100 former DMH clients buried in the two cemeteries. When researching these cemeteries Pat Deegan noticed that each marker has two sets of numbers. The first list the order in which the burial took place. The second number, on the back of the stone, seems to be a DMH client identification number. It would be relatively easy to reconstruct a list of who is buried based on these numbers. A group would have to get special permission from Commissioner Sudders to match numbers with names but once that was done, a complete list could be reconstructed.
Gardner State Hospital: This is a former DMH facility that is now operated by the Department of Corrections. There is a confirmed list of 132 former DMH clients buried, however there may be as many as 600 unidentified former DMH clients buried there. The cemetery is approximately 3 acres in size. Since being used by DOC, 4 former inmates have also been buried there.
Grafton State Hospital: This is a closed facility. Cemetery associated with Grafton State Hospital is located on Green Street, across from the Federal Jobs Program building. It is called Hillcrest Cemetery and there are 1,041 former DMH clients buried there. There is a complete list of names and corresponding grave numbers for this cemetery. It is approximately 3 acres in size.
Taunton State Hospital: This facility is still in operation. No cemeteries have been found on the grounds of the state hospital. However, the early annual reports of the board of trustees of Taunton State do record that women patients sewed burial gowns for patients who died. As far as we know, former patients from Taunton State were buried in pauper graves at the Mayflower Hill Cemetery (operated by the city of Taunton) and the St. Joseph Cemetery (operated by the Catholic Diocese of Fall River). The total number of former DMH clients buried there has not been assessed.
Westboro State Hospital: This facility is still in operation. No cemeteries have been found on the grounds. However, there is a section of the Pine Grove cemetery in Westboro that is designated for "State Hospital Plots". Research needs to be done to determine how many former patients are buried here.
would like to get a group started at one of these state hospital cemeteries,
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