Forestdale Cemetery Tour

Cemeteries of Holyoke

  • This is part of the Holyoke Heritage Trail so after visiting here get back onto the trail.
  • Private GROUP TOUR (COSTS) is one hour long for this Forestdale Cemetery walking tour. Also a one hour indoor presentation can be given.
  • A free public tour comes up every five years.
  • Tour booklets of this cemetery can be found HERE.
  • A self-tour is available for anyone using the maps and text seen below.LOCATION

stop 1 – Davis family stone

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is wells_26-415x1024.jpg

The Davis stone and burials was originally in the Congregational Cemetery of Holyoke. When that cemetery was moved the Davis family was placed here.

stop 2 – James Burr burial

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is wells_25-1024x576.jpg

James William Burr is one of only two Holyoke residents that died due to the American Civil War. He died September 10 1861 in the District of Columbia. For ten years he was buried in East Wilbraham Cemetery in Wilbraham but in 1871 he was moved here.

stop 3 – Andrew Dunn burial

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is wells_27-1024x576.jpg

Andrew Dunn was the first person buried in the Forestdale Cemetery. His death was May 31 1861. At this time he does not have a gravestone and it is not know if he ever did have one. His father is James and his mother is Isabelle both of Ireland.

stop 4 – Tuttle family stone

The Tuttle stone and burials was originally in the Congregational Cemetery of Holyoke. When that cemetery was moved the Tuttle family was placed here.

stop 5 – Holding Tomb

There is a holding tomb in only two cemeteries of Holyoke. They are at this cemetery and at Calvary. This is no longer used since burials can be performed in the winter months too. The year that it was built is on the structure.

stop 6 – Thomas Holman

Thomas Holman is one of only two soldiers from Holyoke that died because of the Civil War that is buried in Holyoke. James Burr is also buried in this cemetery. Thomas was injured at the Second Battle of Bull Run and he was brought to Goshen. He died after a month and was buried here.

stop 7 – Whiting family

William Bailey Whiting and Elizabeth Murphy had 7 boys and 4 girls during their marriage. Their first child was a son and was born in 1841. His name was William Whiting. He was a paper manufacturer and a statesman. This William had two sons – William Fairfield Whiting and Samuel Raynor Whiting. They are buried in a mausoleum within this cemetery.

stop 8 – Congregation Cemetery reburials

The Congregational Cemetery of Holyoke was moved in 1883 and most burials were placed into Forestdale. This old cemetery started out named Churchyard of the Third Congregational Church of West Springfield. Then it became the Congregational Church of Holyoke.

The burials went to section C lots 1 to 14.

From the collection at the Holyoke History Room.

The largest three stones – Atkins, Davis, and Tuttle – were for sure moved to this cemetery. It is a good challenge to find these three stones. The Atkins one is here in this grouping.

stop 8A – Civil War Veterans

Andrew Butler is one of many GAR soldiers buried in Forestdale. The GAR was a fraternal group called the Grand Army of the Republic and any of its members could be buried in one of its plots.

stop 9 – Newton family

James Newton and Esther Hale had 7 boys and 4 girls. Four of their sons would become leaders of industry within Holyoke. Three are buried in this cemetery.

James Hale Newton

Moses Newton

John Carter Newton

The last is buried in Greenfield

Daniel Howe Newton

stop 10 – Kemmler tragedy

The three young Kemler girls were killed by their father in 1869.

The girls are Luetmilla 5 years old, Anna 3 years old, and Amie 1 year old. Their mother would live until 1920 and would be buried with them.

stop 11 – Carrie Pratt

Carrie Pratt was a prostitute in Holyoke from 1885 to 1917. She owned a house near Ashley’s Pond that was called a House of Pleasure.

stop 12 – Modern burials

John MacKenzie is one of the burials in the modern section of this cemetery. He is a Presidential Medal of Honor winner during World War 1.

EXTRA sections

City Pauper’s Field in marked City Lot on the cemetery map

This potter’s field for the cemetery is located in the southwest quadrant.

S/G means single grave

GAR circle in front of the cemetery is for the Grand Army of the Republic.

HMS means Holyoke Ministerial Society which is a local group that buries ministers and is located at the edge of the City Lot.

The circle or bowl to the front of the cemetery is a former water fountain.

Before the main entrance was placed onto Cabot and Pleasant Streets, it was on Forestdale Avenue.

Forestdale West Cemetery is the newest cemetery of Holyoke. It is located off of Rock Valley Road in Holyoke.

There are many more graves in this cemetery including the Skinner family so enjoy a walk around.


1889 map and 1884 has nothing

1895 map

1915 map

1949 map

1956 map