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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

Fannin-Lehner Preservation Consultants

Professional conservation is needed to assess and repair the most vulnerable gravestones in Ancient Cemetery. We propose to repair and preserve a limited number of identified/endangered gravestones over the next three to five years. J and M Fannin-Lehner Preservation Consultants, Concord, MA; began this work in September of 2022.
These are photos of before and after repair of the mehitabel taylor’s gravestone.

Mehitabel Taylor's gravestone before and after repair.

These photos show one gravestone before, during and after repair.

Daffodil Planting

Volunteers receive recognition awards at end-of-the-season celebrations at Ancient Cemetery, where for the past three years, participants planted hundreds of daffodils near cleaned stones, around trees and at the Cemetery entrance.

Sturgis Library Exhibit

Our exhibit in August 2022 at the Sturgis Library in Barnstable, Massachusetts included stone examples by a local professional carver, items used to safely clean gravestones, samples of slate, granite and marble, graphs depicting a selection of data collected from cleaned gravestones, illustrations of stones before and after cleaning, books on gravestone history, carving and genealogy, and an aerial map of the old section of Ancient Cemetery. Additionally displays featured fine art photographs of gravestones and foil impressions of gravestones.

Free Self-Guided Tour at Ancient Cemetery

Visit the gravestones for those Lost at Sea, a self-guided tour narrated by Judi Trainor and produced by Maria Ferrari. 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 can be viewed online. It’s a fun and educational activity for family and friends.  Thank you for support from the Mid-Cape Cultural Council.

Click on the image below to begin the tour or there is also a  metal sign at the cemetery entrance with a QR code.

self-guided-tour lost at sea

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.

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:

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!

News & Announcements Archives

To see archived events, please click here.

Contribute to
Friends of Ancient Cemetery

The Friends of Ancient Cemetery, Inc. is a non-profit, all volunteer effort to preserve, and document carved records in Yarmouth's oldest burying ground. Through your tax-deductible support, you can help us continue to preserve our community's history for generations to come.
We are grateful for donations, large or small.

Thank you for your help.

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patience eldridge

Patience Eldridge, d. 1832, age 92

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