Maple Grove Cemetery


The Maple Grove Cemetery in Chicopee is the third oldest cemetery in the city. Take this walking tour to view this great cemetery.

Cemeteries of Chicopee

stop 1 – cemetery gates

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When this cemetery started in 1836 it was called the Cabotville Burial Ground. In 1878 it changed to Maple Grove Cemetery. The Grape Street Primary School is seen at the top of Auburn Street. It was built in 1861. FINDAGRAVE

The Mosman family lived at 119, 122, and 123 Grape Street.

To family historians, the town and city of Chicopee used MG to denote burials within this cemetery from the inception of Chicopee in 1848 onwards. MG means Maple Grove Cemetery. Thus Maple Grove Cemetery has had this name in an unofficial form for much longer than the timeframe that I have given above.

stop 2 – Elisha Bullens

Notice the very many family plots in this cemetery. Many have raised ground around the family plot. Also many have iron railings around the family plot. There is a good chance that the many iron railings are due to the Ames Mill being nearby. The Bullens family plot is a good example of the use of the iron railings. Note also the raised ground around many of the family plots. This might be a nice touch but after a century it will lead to many overturned gravestones due to increased solifluction in the soil. In 1978 about 60 thousand dollars was spent on fixing the cemetery but now it is getting back to its former state. FINDAGRAVE

stop 3 – Mosman family

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The Mosman family lived in the two homes on Grape Street directly behind the gravestone. They also lived in the house directly across Grape Street from there two houses. Silas was a blacksmith at the Ames Mill. His grandson Melzar Mosman made Civil War monuments around Massachusetts. FINDAGRAVE

stop 4 – James Ames

James Ames and his brother Nathan brought the Ames Company to Chicopee. FINDAGRAVE

The Valentine School and the Robinson School are directly behind the James Ames gravestone.

stop 5 – Mary Bates

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Mary Bates has her gravestone embedded into a tree. Fine example of what NOT to do to keep a cemetery looking good. This is however what happens to items left near trees for a long time. FINDAGRAVE Trees grow from its top tip and all end of branches and also grow outward in the trunk and branches, but they never grow up and out at the same time from any given area. Thus this stone will never be lifted.

stop 6 – Le Roy

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Not much is known about this plot. It seems to be for a single burial and at that for a person named Le Roy. The name Le Roy appears on the front bottom, the front middle, and the back middle. FINDAGRAVE

The iron fencing is very close to the burial. The fence being around a single burial is a sign that they were attempting to stop graves robbers. See this LINK for a wonderful story on grave robbing. I do not know of any medical schools that were nearby so it is not known why this is so closely guarded.

6A-B – Old Burials and the Town Cemetery

In the oldest section of the cemetery, there are burials from the 1830s.

This old section also has a large, empty-looking northern edge. This might be a potter’s field section. Thus these are pauper’s graves. In the town burial records, this section is denoted with a burial of Town Cemetery. In the 1840s to 1860s town burial records, the burials here are called either Cabotville, Maple Grove, or Town Cemetery.

stop 7 – John Chase

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John Chase was the agent in charge of the Cabotville Canal including getting the canal, dam, housing, and mills built. He was also the agent in charge of the Holyoke Canal System including getting the canal, dam, housing, and mills built. His large obelisk is still in place and in great shape but his small tombstone is fallen. FINDAGRAVE

stop 8 – Alton Phillips

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Alton Phillips was a Civil War soldier from the North who died during the course of the war from his injuries. He died the 4th of May 1863 in Culpeper, Virginia. FINDAGRAVE

Nearby is George Croshier who also died during the course of the war from his injuries. FINDAGRAVE

stop 9 – Chapin

Look at the burial location of the Chapin stone. Thus this is a cenotaph. FINDAGRAVE

stop 10 – John Spier

John Spier is buried in the SE section of the cemetery. There are three repaired stones in this fashion in this cemetery. FINDAGRAVE

stop 11 – Nathan Ames

The brothers Nathan and James Ames came to Chicopee to start their factory. The Ames Mill produced cannons and swords. FINDAGRAVE

Some of the other families that have fence around their lots are Wardwell, Streeter, Smith, Howard and Ball, Cutler and Brown and Meade, Miller, Burnett, Charter, Merrick, Brigham, Taylor, Babcock and Jacobs, Phillips, and Denison.

stop 12 – neighborhood

This cemetery is near Springfield Street which is a very historic street in Chicopee. Follow my other tours in this area of Chicopee.

Chicopee Canal

Holy Name Church and other churches

stop X – Angelina Worswick

FINDAGRAVE – Angelina started the temperance movement in Holyoke

Sanborn map analysis:

Sanborn 1896 map

Sanborn 1902 map

Sanborn 1910 map shows the Grape Street School along with the Robinson School and Valentine School

Sanborn 1915 map

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