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H I S T O R Y of the Revolutionary American Movement

It is part of the history of the revolutionary American movement of the rural cemetery.  Inspired by English gardens, the design weaves the beauty of the land with its rolling hills and the celebration of life to create a park like atmosphere, rather than the traditional churchyard cemetery.  The rural cemetery movement preserved the beauty of the landscape and symbolized an ethereal resting place. The American movement of the rural cemetery was lead by the Mount Auburn cemetery in 1831.

In 1846, Colonel Moses Edgell donated his Grove Street land to a Framingham committee seeking a new place for a cemetery.  The committee, so impressed by the revolutionary rural design of the new Mt. Auburn Cemetery, sought the services of its designer, General Henry A.S. Dearborn, founder of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and pioneer of the rural or garden cemetery.  He charged $5.50 to design the site.   Warren Nixon worked as surveyor and Nathaniel Swift Bennett supervised the workmen.

C O N S E C R A T I O N  of  Edgell Grove

The consecration of the Edgell Grove was held on Friday, October 13, 1848 and performed by the Reverend Tarbox.  The first interment was the wife of David Eames on October 22, 1848.  Town Meeting voted that the new cemetery be named the Edgell Grove Cemetery in November 13, 1848.

In 1875, the handsome gateway of granite was erected from the design of Alexander R. Esty and is just the beginning of the historical attractions. On either side of the entrance and exit drive is a large metal urn purchased in 1883 by the ladies of Edgell Grove Cemetery Association.

Today, Edgell Grove Cemetery, consisting of about 50 acres is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and still retains its gravel roads and its simplicity is its greatest asset.  It was designed to unite and shape the rolling landscapes into a country cemetery for the living and a reminder of the pastoral landscapes of Framingham Centre. 

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