We are happy and relieved to welcome back celebrated Dedham cinematographer, Jim Bride, after a lengthy touch and go battle with Covid-19. Jim’s latest video is an informative tour of the progress and prospects for the Old Village Cemetery with Marie-Louise Kehoe, former State Representative and Dedham Selectman.
Marie-Louise and Jim visit the Cemetery and discuss her dream to resurrect it from years of deterioration, and the team she has assembled to help her accomplish the daunting effort of restoring a 17th century Colonial cemetery. You can view the video on You Tube, and on Dedham TV, Channel 40, and in its entirety below.
Look for future videos by Jim as he chronicles the ongoing restoration of one of Dedham’s most important historic landmarks.
I hope that you have had the opportunity to walk past the Old Village Cemetery over the Summer and Fall and have observed the wondrous transformation that Joe Flanagan and his crew have wrought in this ancient and historic place that features so prominently in Dedham history.
The bier path has a splendid new gravel surface (that still needs a few tweaks) extending from the beautifully restored main gate, the handiwork of Bob Gillette and Stephen Black of the Dedham DPW, past the replicated ironwork of the Richard’s plot, to the no. 10 crypt, containing the remains of Elihu Onion, one of 104 Revolutionary War Veterans buried or cenotaphed in the OVC. David Ray and Kevin Duffy continue to scrub away the dirt and grime of centuries from stones marking the remains of ancient Dedham families. Additionally, they have been able to recover lost stones from deep underground and return them to their original bases.
If you have visited St. Paul’s enticing new kid-centric playground, you will see that the children have safe passage via a path bordered by appropriate new trees and plantings, a cooperative effort by the Church, the DPW, and the DVPA, Inc.
Sadly, the second Halloween Gala Fundraiser, scheduled for this October, has been cancelled because we want to keep our revelers safe, and, it did not seem appropriate at a time when everyone is struggling. Last year’s gala was a fun evening and we look forward to putting another good scare into Dedham next Halloween. In the meantime, we are working on a matching grant fund raiser, made possible by generous benefactors, that we hope will appeal to end of the year donors.
This year has seen the Halvorsan Design Partnership Plan of 2018 for the OVC begin to come to life on schedule despite a very difficult year for everyone. We are grateful to the many workers and volunteers who have made this possible, and to our loyal supporters, and, as the season ends, we are already excited about plans for 2021.
Video: Old Village Cemetery – A Brief History – 2017-2020
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.
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.”