In cooperation with the Town of Dedham DPW, and its Director, Joe Flanagan, the DVPA, Inc. has planted four Sugar Maple saplings adjacent to St. Paul’s new children’s play area and cleared a path to give the children safe access. Reverend Melanie McCarley, Rector of St. Paul’s, writes: “St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is grateful for the assistance of The Dedham Village Preservation Association in planning and constructing a walkway for the safety of our children to move from the church building to their new playground. Prior to the installation of the walkway children would make their way behind cars through the parking lot; a hazardous undertaking to a place of play. The Dedham Village Preservation Association and the Dedham DPW made this pathway possible by removing overgrown areas as well as a fence, gifting a small portion of land and constructing the walkway. We are deeply appreciative of their efforts.”
The Monday, November 20, 2019 edition of the Boston Globe featured an article by columnist Steve Annear about the wreck of the full-rigged cargo ship, Maritana, on Egg Rock in Boston Harbor on a stormy night in the winter of 1861, claiming the lives of 13 passengers and 11 crew, including its Captain, G.W. Williams, who is buried right here in Dedham in the Old Village Cemetery. According to Joan Pagliuca, historian and Board Member of the Dedham Historical Society and Museum, who was interviewed for the article and leads tours of the Cemetery, the OVC has many stories to tell that will continue to be revealed as the restoration continues.
Video: The Maritana Shipwreck
We are so grateful to the many generous donors who have made the restoration of the Old Village Cemetery possible, and for the enthusiastic support of the Dedham community, and to the many volunteers who have given their time and effort to the project. This season we are trying hard to make the Old Village Cemetery a source of pride and beauty for the Town of Dedham and its residents at a time when bright spots are sorely needed. We hope that you will continue to be able to support our efforts at this difficult time when the strength and resilience of our community is being tested as never before in memory. Until the crisis passes, please look after yourselves and support those who are providing for the comfort and care of the victims of COVID-19.
– Marie-Louise Kehoe
Old Village Cemetery neighbors Meg Duncan and her daughter Cookie recently created a scavenger hunt for kids, families, and individuals looking for a little outdoor time and entertainment while maintaining social distance. The “treasures” are some of the beautiful gravestone carvings in the Cemetery. Simply open the scavenger guide using this Google Slides link, start at the main gate on Village Avenue, and enjoy a little time exploring one of Dedham’s historic landmarks.
Meg and Cookie noticed that a lot more families with kids have been visiting the cemetery in the past few weeks.
“We thought we could provide a little entertainment in the form of a scavenger hunt with photos of some of our favorite stone carvings,” explains Meg. “It’s also been a nice project for both of us, with our extra time at home. Cookie is a senior at Dedham High School who is hoping to study history at college next year, so we couldn’t resist including some of our favorite stories as well.”
During this difficult and unprecedented time, we refer our members to the Town of Dedham website and to the neighborhood site, Nextdoor, and to this helpful information provided by The Boston Globe ( what to do if you believe you have symptoms of the virus, how to socially distance yourself, things you can do at home to occupy suddenly vast expanses of time, and how to help our community.)
Please stay safe and take advantage of the help your friends and neighbors give willingly.
The Dedham Village Preservation Assoc., Inc. (501(c)3) and the Town of Dedham gratefully thank all the generous donors who are helping us restore the Old Village Cemetery, one of America’s oldest and most significant Colonial burial grounds. With your help, we are making great progress!
Happy Holidays, and wishing you a healthy and productive 2020.
Marie Louise Kehoe, Chairman
Joseph Flanagan, Director, Dedham DPW
I’d like to personally thank you for your continued support of Dedham’s Old Village Cemetery. Renovation is well underway with the continued cleaning of headstones, removal of dead or overgrown trees, and the installation of handsome new gates at the entrance on Village Avenue. If you haven’t been by the cemetery recently, I’d encourage you to do so, though there is much work yet to be done.
We are bringing Dedham’s history back to life.
Today, on Giving Tuesday, a national day of giving that kicks off the charitable season, I’d like to ask that you make a gift of any size to the Old Village Cemetery.
You can donate here.
We have ambitious plans to return the cemetery to its former glory, ensuring that it will continue to be a treasured historic landmark in Dedham – today and in perpetuity. We can do this with your help!
Many thanks for your consideration.
Marie Louise Kehoe
I want to thank the more than 200 guests who attended the Gravedigger’s Gala on Friday night at the Endicott Estate to benefit the renovation of the Old Village cemetery. I had a wonderful time, and it looked as if everybody else did too, and that was our objective during the many months of planning that went into the event. I am so grateful to the gala Committee for the hard work and dedication that they unselfishly gave on behalf of a cause that has been close to my heart for many years. To Co-chairs Darcy Lane and Maureen Joyce, thank you for your inspired leadership, and to Jonathon Briggs, Anne Cadigan, Nancy Clement, Tracy Driscoll, Joe Flanagan, Michele Heffernan, Mary Louise Kehoe, Jeannine Lathum, Johanna McBrien, Glenn McGibbon, and Ted Russell, thank you for the many talents that you contributed to the planning of an evening of hair-raising good fun. A special thanks to Jim Bride for his tantalizing video promos at the Community Theater that brought the Gravedigger’s Ghost to life after death, and, of course, to Dedham DPW Director, Joe Flanagan, who has been charged with the daunting task of resurrecting the dead, and whose hard work has made this three-year project possible. Joe’s steady hand has guided the work from the beginning, and is everywhere in evidence throughout the Cemetery, from the handsome Village Avenue entrances, to the newly repaired monuments and headstones. And, I am so grateful to the Dedham Visionary Access Corporation, community TV at its best, Executive Director, Donna Greer, and her creative staff, Brian, Dennis, and George, for their coverage prior to, and during, the Gala.
A delightful surprise during the evening was the presentation by State Representative, Paul McMurtry, and State Senator, Mike Rush of a check for $150,000 from the State to the Dedham Village Preservation Association, Inc., the 501(c)3 that is funding this project. I also want to thank those who contributed in-kind to our success: the New England Patriots, the Calgary Flames, Bellestar Jewelry, Horizon Aviation, Bartlett Tree Experts, Jim Bride, Molly Jackson, Nancy Sargent Howell, the Dedham Community Theater, Murph’s Place, Big Bear, Ron’s Ice Cream, Café Tremezzo, King’s Dining & Entertainment, Boston’s Dreamland Wax Museum, Bostonia Public House, Total Wine, Dr. Anna Vishart, DDS, Horizon Beverage Co., M.S. Walker, Inc., Wegman’s, Photographer, Kerry Hawkins, and the artists who contributed their imaginative decorations to the Gravedigger’s shovels: Carol Haggerty, Peter Reynolds, Diane Gaikazova, Wiley Holton, Liz Boston, Sal D’Antona, and rali Weaver…and, finally to Madame Dar-see, whose imaginative flights of fancy into the future bode good things for Dedham and for the Old Village Cemetery Restoration Project. Thank you all, the work continues, and we look forward to seeing you, again, next year.
Marie Louise Kehoe, Project Chairman
Photo credit: Kerry Hawkins
Tickets are selling fast for the Gravedigger’s Gala! Hurry – guests will be limited to 200…Creative costumes are optional.
Our Halloween themed “Gravedigger’s Gala” will be held at the Endicott Estate on East Street, Friday, October 25th from 7-11PM to benefit the renovation of the Old Village Cemetery.
The evening will feature a live (dead) auction with celebrity auctioneer, Michael Grogan, music, catering by Creative Entertainment, an open bar, and a mortiferous signature punch appropriately called “Beyond the Grave.”
TICKETS – Please note: Advance Ticket Option has Expired
Guests will be limited to 200.
Tickets are $80 at the door.
We will accept cash, credit at the door. If you prefer, you can purchase Gala tickets with a check made out to:
Dedham Village Preservation Association,
P.O. Box 1037, Dedham, MA 02027
The Dedham Village Preservation Association is a registered 501(c)3 and allows tax-deductible donations to the extent provided by law.
Email us if you have any questions about the ticketing process.
Ever wonder what the carvings on early gravestones mean?
William Hosley, a leading historian, will speak on the meaning behind the “graven images” and other carvings on the headstones at the Old Village Cemetery; Hosley will also put the iconography in the context of early New England culture and society.
TWO TOURS will be offered in conjunction with October lecture at the Dedham Historical Society & Museum on Saturday, October 26, 2019.
$12 DHSM members; $15 nonmembers
Tour A: 12:15 (meet at the OVC entrance)
Tour B: 2:45 (leave from the DHSM lecture or meet at the OVC entrance)
Limited to 20 each; Don’t delay in signing up! Buy tickets today.