Tombstone Tuesday – Indian Burying Ground, Grafton, MA

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This graveyard contains the remains of the “Praying Indians” of the Hassanamesit Praying Plantation established by English missionary John Eliot in 1664. In an attempt to civilize the Native population, plantations or towns were created in Nipmuc territory where Nipmucs could live in frame houses, attend church, and otherwise emulate the English surrounding them. In the mid-1800s, the road pictured above was created bisecting the original graveyard. Remains found over the years as the road was continually improved and widened were placed to the west of the roadway. Sometime in the 1920s, a structure of granite retaining walls and steps were placed to formalize the graveyard and create a resting place for any other remains found. The graveyard is kept and watched over to this day by both the Nipmuc tribe and the Town of Grafton.

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