MISSION STATEMENT WYOMING CEMETERY
The mission of the Wyoming Cemetery is to serve the citizens of Melrose by meeting their final needs with compassion and dignity. We will deliver services in a fair and impartial manner, will listen to requests and questions in a manner reflecting understanding and comfort and will provide clear, easily understood explanations of eligibility. We will record and provide accurate gravesite locator information and maintain the Cemetery grounds in a pleasing manner by a trained and knowledgeable staff.
|RULES & REGULATIONS|
The Village Burying Ground "GOD'S ACRE", I like that Ancient Saxon phrase, which calls the burial ground GOD'S ACRE. It is just. 'I Consecrate each grave within it's walls and breathes a benison o'er the sleeping dust. This is the Field and Acre of Our God, this is the place where Human harvest grow.' - LONGFELLOW
Until the year 1828, the people of North Malden, as Melrose was then known, buried their dead in Bell Rock burying ground at Malden Center. In the year of 1828, these people bought from William Dix an acre and one half of land for the sum of $150. Deacon Jonathan Cochran made a plan of the village burying ground. Within a short time, this cemetery became to small for the increasing population and an additional tract of land - about 21 acres - was purchased from a Mr. Joseph Lynde on or about 1856.
In 1857 this parcel of land, geographically located South of Boston Rock and Northeast of Pine Banks was officially dedicated as the Wyoming Cemetery. Later, on April 9, 1887, the City voted to purchase an adjoining twenty-eight acres from the working farm of Charles Pratt for the sum of $10,000. As a result of that purchase, Wyoming Cemetery now encompassed a total of forty-nine acres.
One special consideration resulting from the purchase of land included a house and three acres of land, both of which were reserved for the use of Mr. Pratt for the remainder of his lifetime. Upon Mr. Pratt's death, the farmhouse and land was employed for the support of the town indigent. Change occurred again in 1918 when the farm overseers realized the expensive boarding costs and chose to close the farm while relocating it's people to private homes.
In 1889, the Town voted to consider the removal of bodies from the old burying ground located near its main street town hall to the new Wyoming Cemetery. No action was taken, however, until June 22, 1891 when the town voted to exchange lots for those who desired them within the new Cemetery. Of the four hundred thirty two bodies within the old burying ground, seventy-nine were without known relatives and their remains were removed at town cost.
Once the disinterments were completed, the old burial ground was set aside for public use and is now the site of the present-day Coolidge Apartments. Shortly after the removals, twelve additional acres were purchased, making the total cemetery area sixty-one acres, of which all but a few are unimproved as of this writing.
Total internment's effective Jan 1949 numbered fourteen thousand six hundred ninety five. Perpetual care services at the time included one thousand seven hundred thirty four lots (two or more graves) and two thousand five hundred sixty five single graves.
In 1900 the Wyoming Cemetery came under the control of it's first Superintendent R. A. Leavett who served in this capacity until his death in April 1937. His son, Linwood, became superintendent and so served in this capacity until his retirement in 1942.
Also of note was the construction of the stone wall surrounding the Cemetery which was, built by the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration) in 1937. Major improvements within the Cemetery occurred again in 1947 with the filling-in of the small pond near the old office building (Cemetery center). Stagnant water and poor drainage were the cause of this nuisance, which became particularly bothersome in late summer.
The Cemetery now houses a main administration building completed in 1950 and one maintenance garage. Physically, the Cemetery boundaries have remained unchanged since the final land acquisition of 1891, however the most notable change occurring within its grounds is the maturing of the diverse tree inventory and the natural seasonal beauty and tranquility resulting from the planning and foresight of its managers.
At a Town meeting held on Nov. 30, 1860, the vote was passed allowing Beth Eil of Israelites to purchase a lot of land on Linwood Ave. from William Farnsworth for burial purposes. On March 30, 1875 it was incorporated. The headstones and monuments contained in this burial ground inscribed with Hebrew characters, indicate that it has been extensively used by that Nation, most if not all being non-residents of Melrose.
In the extreme Southeastern Corner of the City, adjoining the Newbury Turnpike are five Jewish Cemeteries owned by the Agun Daas Achim of Malden. The Israel Hadrath of Boston, The Cemetery Association of Omikchty, the Independent Wilkomin and Working Men's Circle. The Netherlands Association of Roxbury, MA owns a small Cemetery on Linwood Ave. Melrose.