774 Tremont St, Duxbury, MA 02332, USA
Owned By: Town of Duxbury
Duxbury’s main cemetery. Located on Tremont Street (Route 3A), it’s a beautiful, centrally-located, tree-filled place with about 2 miles of paved roadways. A great spot for a walk! Also explore Knapp Town Forest and Green’s Harbor Path/Kettle Hole Loop, immediately adjacent, and Lapham Woods, across the street.
The cemetery is named for the ship that brought the Pilgrims to North America, but no actual Mayflower passengers or immediate family members are interred here. However some of their descendants are! The cemetery is also a resting place for local Revolutionary War Veterans. The oldest gravestones here date back to 1787. Some notables interred on the property include shipbuilder Ezra “King Caesar” Weston, Jr., Civil War nurse Charlotte Bradford, Master Mariner Capt. Samuel Delano Jr., suffragist Judith Winsor Smith, Anti-Slavery advocate Hon. Seth Sprague, and Ruth Wakefield, inventor of the chocolate chip cookie.
The property is also the location of the Third Meetinghouse and a Civil War monument commemorating the service of 212 veterans and 4 civilian nurses who served in that war. Next door is the historic First Parish Church, Unitarian, built in 1840. The cemetery was expanded in the 19th century in its current style, with winding avenues, landscaping, and park-like setting.
According to the Town of Duxbury’s website, “The main entrance to the cemetery grounds has two Quincy granite posts on either side, these beautiful columns and the spheres that rest atop the posts were a gift from Mr. & Mrs. Ernest H. Bailey both descendants of the passengers on the Mayflower and were erected in 1927. This same year also saw a gift from Lucy Hathaway in memory of her mother, father and sister, Ms. Hathaway donated the fencing of granite and iron that begins to the left of the entrance and runs down 3A to Mayflower Street.”
This land is within the region of the Patuxet Wampanoag tribe, who for centuries have inhabited the area around the Jones River now known as Duxbury, Kingston and Plymouth.
The cemetery’s 2 miles of roadways are paved and lined with shade trees. Each lane is named after a different tree, flower, or shrub.
Habitats and Wildlife
This grassy property is shaded by tall oak and maple trees, plus the occasional pine or cedar. There is a wetland in the northernmost section — a great spot to observe wildlife. Some of the acreage remains undeveloped.
The cemetery grounds drain to the Bluefish River, which originates in ponds and springs between Duxbury’s Station & Washington Streets and Partridge Road, and flows north, parallel to the coast, to the Cushman Preserve. From there, it turns east, passing the Reynolds-Maxwell Garden and flowing under Washington Street, where it opens up into a broad estuary. The Bluefish River merges with the Duxbury Back River in Duxbury Bay.
Historic Site: Yes
Boat Launch: No
Size: 75 acres
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Parking: Limited on-site parking.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Bench, shaded seating area, trash receptacles. Please note that dogs are not allowed on the property.
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: Yes
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Bluefish River (Duxbury Back River watershed)