- Private GROUP TOUR (COSTS) is one hour long for this Rock Valley Cemetery and Neighborhood tour.
- Tour booklets of this cemetery can be found HERE.
- A free public tour comes up every five years.
- A self-tour is available for anyone using the maps and text seen below. – LOCATION
Enter the cemetery gate and proceed to the right along the fence. Go toward the back. The old section can now be walked from east to west. Wood is near the start. Perkins is the first wide row. Then toward the midsection of the cemetery find rows of Ludington. Toward the back is the German family. The last stop is in the more recent south section.
Stop 1 – David Wood
Notice all the items that surround David’s headstone. First of all that headstone is a late date one – the original one is long gone with its base behind this new one. There is a SAR plaque – Sons of the American Revolution. There is a Eunice Day DAR plaque to the other side – Daughters of the American Revolution.
Stop 2 – Perkins Family
- Justin Perkins (Findagrave link) wrote many books about his life in Persia and many were written about him. He also did watercolor paintings.
- A Residence of Eight Years in Persia, Among the Nestorian Christians
- Nestorian biography
- Historical Sketch of the Mission to the Nestorians
- Missionary Life in Persia
- Life of Justin Perkins (by his son)
- The Persian Flower: A Memoir of Judith Grant Perkins
- American Biblical Repository (journal)
Stop 3 – Jude Ludington and family
Three brothers in the Ludington family came up from Connecticut in the 1760s – Daniel, Jude, and John. Jude only lived here in the Rock Valley for a short time. Six of his children are at your feet. They died very young. He moved his family to the center of West Springfield and he is buried there.
Stop 4 – John Ludington and family
John Ludington was the first settler in the Rock Valley. He settled here in 1760 when it was still Springfield. His family is buried with him alongside the monument for the family. 10 children of his area buried in this cemetery including his son James. James died in 1776 and it the first burial in this cemetery. The first adult buried here is his wife Sarah Palmer who died in 1792. The John Ludington house is easy to find from here. Drive south on Rock Valley Road and it is the 6th house on the right. It is a pale blue color.
A Martha Day Smith Ludington Cemetery Fund existed in 1959 in Holyoke. She is not buried in the city but many of her ancestors are.
Children of John Ludington:
- James (1776 to 1777)
- John (1773 to 1821)
- Jacob (1775 to 1857)
- Sally (1778 to 1865)
- Hannah (1782 to 1863)
- Enoch (1786 to 1823)
- Isaac (1789 to 1871)
- Robert (1796 to 1821)
- Jane (1797 to 1859)
Stop 5 – Daniel Ludington and family
Daniel Ludington came to Rock Valley around the same time as his brother John. This is his family plot which he shares with his wife and three children. Notice the enormous family memorial. Daniel was in the American Revolutionary War and in Shays Rebellion. He had an additional gravestone placed here by a descendent.
This cemetery has three names that are used. Rock Valley Cemetery describes it via neighborhood. West Holyoke Cemetery describes it via location. Ludington Family Cemetery describes it via the origins.
- Augustine Ludington (1785 to 1851)
- Jason Parmenter Ludington (1787 to 1865)
- Harry Ludington (1791 to 1847) to Vilitty Winchell (1797 to 1881)
Stop 6 – German family
The Hoffmeyer family moved from Prussia to Holyoke in about 1870. They then moved to the Rock Valley in about the mid-1880s. Frederick the father worked at the Germania Wool Mill but also worked a farm here. His mother is buried to his left.
Stop 7 – Mystery Plot and the Neighborhood
Walk to the south edge of the cemetery. Look south along Rock Valley Road. The front gabled house on the left side of the road is the Hoffmeyer house. Now look at your feet. This is a mystery plot since the family grave site was taken out from here. This is no indication where it has gone.
Continue north up Rock Valley Road from the cemetery. In about 100 yards on your right you will meet a park. Enter the park and go to its back. This is the entrance to Gloutak Woods. It was recently bought by the CPA of Holyoke. Read about the work at the link.