Historic Cemeteries, Current Concerns

by | May 6, 2022

Did you know that the Town of East Greenwich has a Historic Cemetery Commission made up of town
residents and volunteers, or that our little town has over 90 historic cemeteries dating back over 250
years? The East Greenwich Historic Cemetery Commission was created in 2013, with the goal of building
awareness for and preserving the over 90 cemeteries located within East Greenwich. As a town rich in
history dating back to 1677, our cemeteries are the link between the present and the past residents of
town who helped build it into what it is today. We’ve conducted dozens of cleanups over the years
involving hundreds of volunteers from around Rhode Island and we continue to advocate for the care
and preservation of our cemeteries.

In conjunction with Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Awareness and Preservation Weeks, the East
Greenwich Historic Cemetery Commission is pleased to present a talk on the preservation of historic
cemeteries in the face of land development throughout the town and state. Development is increasingly
encroaching upon the town’s historic graveyards, which are protected under state law. This
presentation serves as a primer on The Rhode Island Cemeteries Act and will draw on local examples
summarizing state-supported strategies for establishing cemetery boundaries to avoid unmarked graves
and implementing cemetery protection and management strategies. While focusing on East Greenwich,
this program is open to anyone interested in the local graveyards in Rhode Island and their protection.
Please join us and our guest speaker Jay Waller, Senior Archeologist with The Public Archeology
Laboratory in Pawtucket, for this informative discussion on Tuesday, May 24, at 6:00 PM in the community
room at the East Greenwich Public Library.

For more information on East Greenwich Historic Cemeteries, the Historic Cemetery Commission, or
ways to get involved and help preserve these cemeteries for the future, please contact Deron Murphy,
Chair of the East Greenwich Historic Cemetery Commission HERE.

The East Greenwich Historic Cemetery Advisory Commission is charged with increasing awareness and
maintenance of its many burial grounds. Development is increasingly encroaching upon the town’s
historic graveyards, which are protected under state law. This presentation serves a primer on The Rhode
Island Cemeteries Act and will draw on local examples summarizing state-supported strategies for
establishing cemetery boundaries to avoid unmarked graves and implementing cemetery protection and
management strategies. While focusing on East Greenwich, this program is open to anyone interested in
the local graveyards in Rhode Island and their protection.

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1 Comment

  1. Renu Englehart

    If you have a historic cemetery on your property, please consider maintaining it. Many of EG’s cemeteries are on private property. Homes and neighborhoods were built with the agreement to preserve these cemeteries as part of the town’s history. Unfortunately in some cases this is not occurring. If you have questions regarding a cemetery, please contact or attend one of the EG Historic Cemetery Commission’s meetings.

    Reply

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