The Oak Grove Cemetery on Washington Street has always intrigued me. Despite (so far) no ancestors being buried within, I’ve always thought it looked very peaceful and historic. It’s a large cemetery (10 or 11 acres depending on your source of information) featuring varied styles and materials for markers, headstones and monuments. The paths meander and it’s easy to lose your bearings momentarily.
The Guide to Cemeteries in Essex County, Massachusetts (Essex Society of Genealogists, 1991) states it is a private cemetery: ” Romantic cemetery with ornate statues” …who wouldn’t want to see a cemetery described in such a manner? It also states “Gothic Chapel with bell tower seats 50 adults but is no longer used.” I believe that is the stone building easily seen from Washington Street, which known as the Bradford Chapel in honor of businessman George Bradford. It was built shortly after his death in 1902.
There is a small guide published near this chapel describing some additional details as you can see if you look at the photo included here. There is a “reverent” vibe as you walk the paths. Contrary to most of the cemeteries in Gloucester that I have visited, this one seems to support a great deal of foot traffic. I noticed several people strolling, walking dogs or determinedly shortcutting to their destinations in the short time I was there recently.
Unfortunately, I was unable to fulfill any of the 30 or so Find-a-Grave requests for photos mostly because I got distracted by such things as the 4 iron stakes marking a sight that appeared to be designed to look like branches. As I was trying to study these more carefully, a dragonfly stopped by to observe. Anyone who might know more about these is welcome to share information regarding them!