Often guests and folks thinking of visiting “off season” on Cape Cod ask, “What is there to do?” Unlike years past, the Cape is becoming a year-round destination with many venues remaining open throughout the year. Art, Music, Theater, and natural attractions are available if you know where to look. Writing a weekly blog, we often research websites looking for interesting tidbits to share. This post was taken from capecodonline.com and discusses just one of the interesting, probably not thought of often, things to do on the Cape year-round. Specifically, there are many folks who are interested in the history of the Sea Meadow Inn and it is possible to visit many of the Clark Family graves in our local Brewster cemeteries.
One of the time-honored pastimes on Cape Cod is graveyard walking. It may sound disquieting but discovering a little-known cemetery and viewing its old tombstones is a way to connect to the past and also enjoy a meditative hour in a quiet, secluded spot. There are treasures to be found: family plots with the graves of long-ago mothers, fathers and children. Sometimes the deceased were newborns so their stones simply read “infant.”
Many Cape graveyards are known for their ancient cemeteries with gravestones dating back to before the 1860’s. There are also small burying grounds scattered from town to town. These often held smallpox victims. Each town has unique ties to the past. For example, in Mashpee, in the place where Richard Bourne established the first Indian church in 1658, there is the old Indian burial ground. Another beautiful example of a traditional Cape Cod cemetery is Mosswood Cemetery in Cotuit, one of eighteen cemeteries in Barnstable.The cemetery is divided in two parts with one side for gravesites with headstones and another side for a headstone-free area. Here there are simple plaques to mark where someone is buried. Mosswood also has its own ancient cemetery tucked away in the back of the graveyard and many old Cape names can be found within its boundaries.
Graveyards are often thought to be haunted. The Cape and Islands Paranormal Research Society (CAIPRS) has a link on its website to cemeteries of Cape Cod. There is a guide here for going ghosthunting in a cemetery which includes tips like: never go at night, take out what you bring in (trash), respect the deceased, and respect property. Other pastimes in a graveyard might include graverubbing or doing historical research. As the weather warms up, consider taking a detour to your local graveyard.
Sources: www.caiprs.com, www.capecodgravestones.com
(this posting originally appeared on April 15, 2011)