Calvary Cemetery of Holyoke

Cemeteries of Holyoke

tour points map of Calvary Cemetery
  • Private GROUP TOUR (COSTS) is one hour long for this Calvary Cemetery walking tour. Also a one hour indoor presentation can be given.
  • A free public tour comes up every five years.
  • A self-tour is available for anyone using the maps and text seen below.LOCATION

stop 1 – Priests’ Circle

This cemetery was started in 1882 by the Sacred Heart Church having been consecrated on March 20 of that year. The cemetery was laid out by the architect Ashley Tower.

Three churches in Holyoke are served by this cemetery. Read on this web page about the history of each of those churches. The churches are Sacred Heart Church, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church, and Blessed Sacrament Church. Four priest are buried in this circle. In the back is Michael Howard who was the first priest of Rosary Church. He was at first buried in the churchyard of the Rosary Church. In 1974 when the church and campus was taken down, he was disinterred and reinterred at this location.

stop 2 – William Davitt

William Davitt was a chaplain in the American military in World War One. He died on the last day of the battle – November 11, 1918. His memorial is on the front of the stone but check out the back of the stone since his family is buried here.

stop 3 – Chapel area

The building to the south is a chapel for the cemetery. On December 14 of 1944 it started as a chapel on the Sacred Heart for the first time. During November it has been blessed in front of a congregation from the church.

Across the way is the large gravestone for the Delaney family. James Delaney was a stone mason in Holyoke for many decades. He started his own business. He built many structures including the large dam for the Whiting Street Reservoir.

stop 4 – Thomas Browne gravestone

Simon Browne gravestone

Simon Browne died in 1877 in Holyoke. This cemetery started in 1881. Thus this might be a cenotaph for him since he is perhaps buried in Saint Jerome Cemetery. Other members of his family that died afterwards are buried here.

stop 5 – Andrew Jackson Dibble gravestone

A J Dibble gravestone

A J Dibble is buried in this cemetery. He lived with his family at the southernmost end of Ashley Pond for many years. He moved to Westfield at some point. One of his sons died very young and was buried here. Even though the family moved to Westfield, they area still all buried here. The reason might be the the Saint Jerome Society of Holyoke sponsored grave plots and stones. Thus there is no potters fields in the Catholic cemeteries of Holyoke. The Society funded all paupers graves.

stop 6 – Calvary Cemetery gate

Foley dedication at the gate

The parents of one of the priests of Sacred Heart Church are honored at the gate of his cemetery. William Foley in 1882 and Hanora Foley in 1904 were buried in Saint Thomas Cemetery in West Springfield. Their son paid for this gate as a memorial to them.

The exquisite statue gravestone of JJ McCarthy and his wife Catherine is near the gate. When Catherine died the amount of flowers sent to the home filled every room and the porch outside. When JJ died the obituary carefully stated to not send any flowers.