It was gorgeous out today and well worth wandering. I left the house to explore some odd corners of Leominster. I had heard a rumor there’s a stone in one of their cemeteries that belongs to a man who had it inscribed with, “Was persecuted for the beard.” Apparently he had a luscious beard. And people didn’t like that. The story gets so bizarre I really wanted to see his stone but the directions I had to the unnamed cemetery were atrocious. I turned around in many a good fellow’s driveway. And just as I was about to give up I found myself parked directly across from a cemetery that seemed somewhat hidden behind a big stone wall adjoining a park. Off I went!
It turns out the park and cemetery are adjoined. The park was once a military training ground for soldiers as far back as 1812. The cemetery was older. It was filled with absolutely pristine and ornately carved slate stones from the 1700’s. According to the plaque this was Pine Grove Cemetery and buried there were no less than ninety-four minute men. This is a Revolutionary War buff’s dream. And I will be damned! In yet another clusterfuck I forgot the camera and the pennies I like to leave as a sign of respect. So I took these photos with my broken phone and they probably aren’t great but they do show the exquisite attention to detail… even the poems are still clearly legible.
We didn’t find our bearded man here so after a nice walk I drove off and bumped into another cemetery not far away – the Saint Leo Cemetery. This was a much larger cemetery that reminded me a lot of the moneyed cemeteries you find in Lowell MA and Rochester NY. Big beautiful monuments, angels weeping, cherubs lurking behind every dark corner, Greek styled women in mourning towering over the stones, and even a huge mausoleum. I can think of no better way to while away an afternoon.
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