NewEnglandTravelPlanner.com Logo   Old Hill Burying Ground, Concord MA
Site of America's first European settlement away from tidewater, Old Hill, looming above Concord's Monument Square, is now one of America's oldest cemeteries.
 
 

 

Concord's first meetinghouse (church building) was constructed on this hill in 1636. Beside the building was the hamlet's first burying ground (cemetery).

Today this hill beside the Holy Family Catholic church overlooks Monument Square and Main Street (map).

According to town lore, it was looked upon as bad luck to transport a corpse across flowing water, so Concord soon established a second burying ground on the other side of the Mill Brook that runs through the center of town. The Old Hill Burying Ground came to be called the North Burying Ground, and the newer one on the opposite side of the Mill Brook by Keyes Road was the South Burying Ground.

A new meetinghouse was later built at the base of the hill (where the First Parish meetinghouse now stands), and the Old Hill Burying Ground was then expanded to cover most of the hill.

John Jack


  John Jack's Gravestone, Concord MA
  Detail from John Jack's headstone

Most of Concord's oldest graves are in the Old Hill Burying Ground, including those of Revolutionary War heroes and other notables such as John Jack, the African American resident of Concord whose eloquent epitaph (by Daniel Bliss) rings with history:

"God wills us free, man wills us slaves.
I will as God wills Gods will be done.
Here lies the body of
John Jack.
A native of Africa who died
March 1773 aged about 60 years.
Tho' born in a land of slavery,
He was born free.
Tho' he lived in a land of liberty,
He lived a slave.
Till by his honest, tho' stolen labors,
He acquired the source of slavery.
Which gave him his freedom.
Tho' not long before,
Death the grand tyrant
Gave him his final emancipation,
And set him on a footing with kings,
Tho' a slave to vice,
He practiced those virtues
Without which kings are but slaves.

The Old Hill Burying Ground is open to visits all the time, for free. Just walk up on the hill and enjoy the peace, quiet, the eloquent old stones, and the view straight down Main Street and the center of Concord.


Monument Square

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Authors' Ridge

Emerson's Grave

Thoreau's Grave

Louisa May Alcott's Grave

Old North Bridge

Orchard House

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Old Hill Burying Ground, Concord MA

Old Hill Burying Ground, Concord MA.

 

Old Hill Burying Ground, Concord MA

 

 

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