entrance gates of ancient cemetery
close up of tombstone skull with wings
tombstones at sunset in ancient cemetery
entrance gates of ancient cemetery
Our Mission Statement
The Friends of Ancient Cemetery is a volunteer organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, and promoting the historical and cultural significance of Yarmouth Massachusetts' oldest burying ground.
News & Announcements
Cape Cod Man Honored for Taking Part in the Boston Tea Party
An exceptional event was held in Yarmouth’s Ancient Cemetery On Wednesday, June 29th, 2022 at 11:30am by the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum.
Staff of the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum and from Revolution 250,
met and spoke at Ancient Cemetery to recognize and celebrate Captain Joseph Bassett, a participant in the Boston Tea Party of 1773.
“…the single most important event leading up to the American Revolution.”
His death is recorded in Yarmouth church records, as, ‘CAPT. Joseph Bassett, died 1833.’
A reenactor in costume, Ryan Stack, portrayed Captain Bassett and placed a ceremonial medal at his gravesite.
Ryan Stack, Boston Tea Party reenactor. photo Judi Trainor
Ryan Stack, Evan O'Brien, Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, Creative Manager and Jonathan Lane, Revolution 250 Coordinator. photo Judi Trainor
Ryan Stack, Laurel K. Gabel, Melanie Barron, Kristen Harris, Research Coordinator, Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum and Bill Bullock Yarmouth Cemetery foreman. photo Judi Trainor
Free Self-Guided Tour at Ancient Cemetery
Visit the gravestones for those Lost at Sea, a new self-guided tour narrated by Judi Trainor. The tour begins at the main entrance on Center St. Bring your cell phone or ipad, capture the QR code and follow the audio instructions along with the video maps. The tour is free, but donations are welcome.
Bring your family and friends!
Click on the image here or there is also a metal sign at the entrance with the QR code.
Stone Carving Workshop
A group of Ancient Cemetery volunteers visited the Harwich workshop of stone carver Jesse Marsolais on May 15, 2022.
Jesse, a letterpress artist and skilled gravestone carver, shared his expertise as he explained and demonstrated the lost art of hand carved lettering. Each volunteer provided with mallet, chisel, and hands-on guidance, carved a letter in slate.
Volunteers came away with a new understanding and appreciation for the effort and artistry behind the lettered inscriptions that they so carefully clean.
Jesse's website: https://marsolaispress.com/
Soup & Salad Supper Meeting
The Friends of Ancient Cemetery held a lively, well-attended Soup and Salad Supper Meeting for all our volunteers on March 20th, 2022 at the Yarmouth Department of Public Works. Thanks to the energetic efforts of Lori Larsen, we enjoyed generous donations of soups, salads and bread from nine Yarmouth restaurants. Volunteers brought the desserts!
Bill Bullock generously opened the building for the afternoon. He discussed safety in the Cemetery and a future safety and refresher training clinic.
Upcoming events and discussion of recent additions to the website followed.
Check out the new website additions:
Laurel Gabel presented data analysis for 2021, and confirmed volunteer assignments for 2022. Volunteers are looking forward to the start of the 4th year of the Project.
Images of Ancient Cemetery Covered in Snow
Announcing a new addition to the SHOP!
A unique, quality jigsaw puzzle of Ancient Cemetery images is now available. Created specifically to provide hours of entertainment, it arrives in a sturdy black box with the guiding puzzle image on top. Final puzzle is approx 11x14 inches, 252 pieces of fun!
Your purchase will help us continue the work of preserving, protecting, and promoting the historical and cultural significance of Yarmouth Massachusetts' oldest burying ground. All products are sourced from high quality vendors.
Get ready to SHOP!
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at DPW
The Yarmouth Department of Public Works hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and Open House on Saturday November 20th for their band new building.
The Friends of Ancient Cemetery set up an exhibition of our Project with before and after cleaning stones photos, a map of Ancient Cemetery and beautiful museum quality prints of gravestone sculptures.
We now have a Friends of Ancient Cemetery Shop!
Your purchase will help us continue the work of preserving, protecting, and promoting the historical and cultural significance of Yarmouth Massachusetts' oldest burying ground. All images captured by a fine art photographer and products are sourced from hi quality vendors. Get ready to SHOP!
Stories behind the Stones videos were shown on November 17th, at 7 pm
Five brief stories were presented: Ruth W. The Wilder Stones, Judi T. Lost at Sea, Kelly M. The Howland Family, Laurel The Diaries of Lizzie Ryder Taylor and Melanie, A Ship, A Pirate and the Myth of Mary Hallet. Stories were generated from the gravestones we have cleaned. Next: Hollywood! If you missed it, go to the videos page of this website to see them all.
Aerial View of Ancient Cemetery
This fall we were fortunate to have a local photographer, Peter Greer, volunteer to take drone images of the entire old section of Ancient Cemetery. Maria Ferrari used computer magic to stitch the images together to create a hi resolution map. See the aerial view of Ancient Cemetery here.
A New Video - What's in My Bucket?
Our volunteers, Deb Bianchi and Sharon Thurston have produced a short video explaing how to clean gravestones. Check it out on the Download section under the Volunteers tab of this website.
Golden Scraper Awards
October 24th was daffodil planting, a cider and donuts thank you celebration at Ancient Cemetery, and the presentation of the golden scraper awards. Everyone was a winner!
Thank you for your time and dedication.
GPR and LiDar Survey Results
A presentation by Doria L. Kutrubes, President and Geophysicist, RSI (Radar Solutions International) Waltham, MA and Thomas Elmore, Founder of GeoNAV, Suffield, CT will be announced before end of year in Yarmouth to review the findings of their gpr and lidar surveys of the southeast corner of Ancient Cemetery.
Surveys were conducted on May 25th, 2021.
Please read more under the Projects tab
Friends of Ancient Cemetery
The Ancient Cemetery Project is a grass roots volunteer effort to Record, Interpret, and Protect the carved records in Yarmouth's oldest burying ground. We are grateful for donations, large or small, that will help us continue preserving our community's history for generations to come.
Thank you for your help.
You can use any credit or debit card,
you do not have to have a paypal account.
photo Angela Carbone