Renovation Plans Move Forward: Spring 2019 Update

Earlier this spring, Joe Flanagan, Director of the Dedham DPW, and Project Manager, began the remedial process of removing dead trees, and trimming vegetation. Two large Hemlocks that had overgrown the Howe gravesite along Village Avenue were removed so that the lot’s ironwork and masonry can be restored. Soon Joe will begin to implement a detailed landscape design by the Halvorson Design Partnership team, led by Ricardo Austrich, ASLA, and Associate Vesna Maneva. Halvorson has taken care to respect the crucial elements of an early New England burial ground, while understanding its role in the modern era. The priority, this year, will be “Improvement Zone One”(IZ1), the area along Village Avenue from St. Paul’s Church to the NE corner of the Cemetery.


Improvements and new features will include wall repair and repointing (Take note of the newly repaired and reinstalled iron gates at the main entrance), new ornamental and shade tree planting (If you would like to sponsor a mature tree, including a plaque with your name, please get in touch with us), continuing monument and obelisk repair, and interpretive signage to help direct visitors. IZ1 also calls for the installation of ornamental chain to connect the granite posts that separate the Cemetery and St. Paul’s, with special attention to the area abutting the Church’s new children’s playground.

photo above: Newly repaired and reinstalled iron gates at the main entrance of the Old Village Cemetery

Old Village Cemetery Burial List Cover

Newly Compiled List of Old Village Cemetery Burials Available

Peter Damon, a member of the OVC Committee, and an amateur genealogist, has compiled a consolidation of burials in the Old Village Cemetery into a bound “List of Burials”, with the assistance of the Dedham DPW, and the GIS Division of the Dedham Engineering Department. This will be a helpful resource for Cemetery visitors in combination with the Town Online Grave Locator .

Sourced from the Dedham Department of Public Works, listings may include age at death, year of death, or age of birth and death. In addition, there could be inscriptions and comments.  

Copies are available for $10 at the Dedham Historical Society at 612 High Street in Dedham Center. You may also download the Burial List (in pdf format).

Please don’t hesitate to email us your comments, corrections, and suggestions.

Old Village Cemetery Receives $250,000 from the State

On December 11, 2018, Senator Mike Rush and Representative Paul McMurtry presented a $250,000 check to Marie-Louise Kehoe, former State Representative and Dedham Selectman, and Chairman of the Old Village Cemetery Restoration Committee. “My sincere thanks to Senator Rush, Representative McMurty and Governor Baker for making this happen,” said Chairman Kehoe.

Video: Representative Paul McMurtry: Check Presentation

Video: Senator Mike Rush: Check Presentation

Citing the Old Village Cemetery’s significance and importance to the Town of Dedham, MA. and beyond, both legislators remarked on their enthusiasm for its renovation and improvement. “This Cemetery not only tells a story of Dedham but a story of the United States,” commented Senator Rush, a former U.S. History Teacher. Representative McMurtry added that “When we honor our past, we honor our future.”

Chairman Kehoe said that the much-needed funds are to be applied toward the $1Million goal.

“This puts us at $600,000 raised,” she explained. “The balance of $400,000, which will take additional effort to raise, will go into a perpetual care account to ensure that the Cemetery will never be neglected again.”

Video: Chairman Marie-Louise Kehoe: Check Presentation

The renovation effort will commence in the Spring of 2019 and will take about two years to complete.

Video: Host Jim Bride: Check Presentation

Pictured in above photo: Dedham Visionary Access Corporation Executive Director Donna Greer,  Dedham Town Manager Jim Kern, Representative Paul McMurtry, Chairman Marie-Louise Kehoe, Senator Mike Rush, and Old Village Cemetery Committee Member Ted Russell. 

Giving Tuesday

I’d like to personally thank you for your continued support of Dedham’s Old Village Cemetery. Renovation has begun with the cleaning of headstones, and tree work is planned in the next few weeks. If you haven’t been by the cemetery recently, I’d encourage you to do so.

Slowly, 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 be a treasured historic landmark in Dedham – today and in perpetuity. We can do this with your help.

Many thanks for your consideration.

Happy holidays!

Marie-Louise Kehoe


Through the efforts of Stanton Lyman, Chairman of the Dedham Historic District Commission, and Peter Damon, Old Village Cemetery Committee member, a handsome bronze plaque has been installed at the Village Avenue entrance of the Old Village Cemetery commemorating its 2006 listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The Cemetery is now officially recognized by the Federal Government as one of the Nation’s most significant historic sites.

Halvorson Design

The Old Village Cemetery Committee, in consultation with Joe Flanagan, Dedham DPW Director, has selected the prestigious Boston landscape architectural firm, Halvorson Design Partnership, to undertake a 3-year cemetery landscape improvement plan for the Old Village Cemetery. Halvorson has extensive experience in cemetery restoration, having designed the Master Plan for Mount Auburn Cemetery in the mid-90’s, and is currently working locally with the City of Quincy and the Town of Plymouth, and a national list of clients. Ricardo Austrich, ASLA, is the team leader for Halvorson, with the able assistance of Associate, Vesna Maneva.


Above: Pictured l-r: Ricardo Austrich, ASLA, team leader for Halvorson Design Partnership, Marie-Louise Kehoe, Chairman of the Renovation Committee, Vesna Maneva, Halvorson Associate; and Joseph Flanagan, Director of the Dedham DPW



Marie-Louise Kehoe, Chairman of the Old Village Cemetery Committee, has held three informative gatherings of potential supporters at her home, and Peter Reynolds sponsored a presentation at the Blue Bunny in Dedham Center. Attendees viewed Jim Bride’s moving film about the plight of the Cemetery and the plans to restore it. More fund raising gatherings will be held throughout 2018.

Funding Status

The Old Village Cemetery Committee has raised nearly $250,000 en route to its 3-year goal of $1-Million for the restoration and endowment of the Cemetery. It has been largely due to the generosity of private donors like Margot Pyle, a former Dedham resident and philanthropist, and long-time supporters of Dedham Community projects, like Dedham Savings and the Norfolk and Dedham Group. Funds raised thus far have made it possible to commence early this Spring with major landscaping, and continuing stone and site restoration. The OVC Committee is hoping to raise an additional $250,000 in 2018, which will allow work to continue on stone restoration, landscaping, and ironwork around the grave sites and the perimeter of the Cemetery.

Stone Restoration

The most visible improvement to the Old Village Cemetery, to date, has been the beautiful cleaning and restoration of the monuments by conservators Kevin Duffy and David Ray. The freshly whitened and repaired stones emerging from centuries of grime and erosion have dazzled passers-by. Work has begun anew with the Spring, and will continue until completion.