|An example of a cherub design. This stone from the |
Eliot Burial Ground dates to 1712
HBI’s Office Manager Gillian Lang follows a fascination with the next door Eliot Burying Ground and discovers more about early Roxbury society through the imagery carved on centuries-old slate gravemarkers there.
August first marks the one year anniversary of HBI’s move to the Eustis Street Fire House. In that time, we have gotten to know our neighbors in Dudley Square, and have frequented all the nearby businesses. We have had veritable tons of Haley House’s delicious ginger slaw, and way too many coconut cookies from Tropical Foods. However, we know comparatively little about our closest next door neighbors, the long time inhabitants of the Eliot Burial Ground. Although, the hundreds of ancient Roxbury residents buried there do not say a lot, their burial stones do. As a result we have had the opportunity, more recently, to learn a little more about who it was that lived in the area that is now Dudley Square.
In 1630 the early settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony created seven small villages, among them being Boston and Roxbury. That same year, the Eliot Burial Ground, then referred to as the First Burying Place, was established, making it the oldest burial ground in Roxbury, and one of the three oldest in Boston. It was in active use for over two hundred years, the last interments taking place in the mid 1800s. Since then the Burial Grounds have served as a valuable tool for understanding the lives of Roxbury’s early inhabitants.