Summer 2021 Cemetery Update

Summer, 2021, is here, and with it the continuing restoration of the Old Village Cemetery by the Town of Dedham DPW and the Dedham Village Preservation Association, Inc. resumes. This is our third year of implementing the Halvorson Design Master Plan, and much of the worst deterioration has been addressed or scheduled by Joe Flanagan, Director of the DDPW, and his crew. With that said, there is still much to be done. Kevin Duffy and David Ray will continue to repair and clean monuments. This work, which has been ongoing for the past three years, requires patience and expertise to assure that the stones suffer no further damage.

This Summer, thanks to your generous support, we will be able to begin restoring some of the individual plots that are especially at risk. The first on Joe’s schedule is the Howe plot abutting Village Avenue. Last year the two large Hemlocks which had overgrown the plot were removed in preparation for stonework, replicated and restored iron work, and landscaping. This Spring, we added a new line of trees along Village Avenue as part of creating a welcoming and peaceful experience for the hundreds of yearly visitors from all over the world who come in search of family history, as well as for local residents. At the bottom of the Cemetery, abutting Martin Bates St. is a naturally occurring vernal pool. If our budget permits, we are hoping to develop this area into a nature-fed “Rain Garden” that would add a reflective water feature to the serenity and verdancy that we are hoping to achieve as part of the Cemetery’s rebirth.

While the community has responded generously to our project, we still urgently need donations to repair severe erosive deterioration. It is our hope that in the not too distant future, we will be able to transcend into a program of maintenance as required, and to build on our small endowment fund to assure that future costs can be met in perpetuity.

Take a walk through the Cemetery and witness firsthand our work in progress. We think you will be as excited as we are to see this ancient and hallowed ground reawakening to continue to play its critical role in Dedham history.

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