Methodist Society Burying Ground – Restoration
Location: 740 Main Street, Falmouth MA 02540
Applicant: John Wesley United Methodist Church
Year/Article: November 2006, A44
The Methodist Society Burying Ground was established in 1809 and served as the repository for the graves of many residents of the Falmouth Poor House, now the restored Edward Marks, Jr. Building at 744 Main Street in Falmouth.
In 2006 the John Wesley United Methodist Church, owner and maintainer of the burying ground, requested $22,800 and received $16,300 from the CPFund for a $29,900 project to clean, repair, and restore the eighty-nine gravestones, additional monuments discovered by radar, and the cemetery grounds. The project included efforts to identify the names of paupers buried there and of other unmarked burials. Cemetery Conservator Donna Walcovy spent years of research identifying by name as many of the graves of former Poor House residents as she could, and those names are now displayed on a bronze plaque on a marble monument in the burying ground (see photograph). The ground was disturbed in 1956 when the Methodists moved graves from the Main street side of the cemetery deeper into the lot, leaving what is now a park area bordering Main Street. During the restoration, the area was replanted with native plants, invasive species were eliminated, and the fencing was repaired.
Additional project support came from individual contributions, the church, Donna Walcovy, Baker Monuments, and the Woods Hole Foundation. The church advertised widely for volunteers, some of whom came from families whose members are buried there, the church, the Falmouth Historical Society, the Falmouth Genealogical Society, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Boy Scouts, and other Falmouth service organizations. The Department of Public Works maintains the site. Both the former Poor House and the burying ground are on the National Register of Historic Places.