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West Cemetery – Amherst’s Founding Families
April 8, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
As you enter Amherst’s West Cemetery, via the Gaylord Gate, you will see before you row after row of eighteenth and nineteenth-century gravestones. Among them are gravestones for members of Amherst’s founding families. During this brief virtual tour, we will visit with some of them with Bob Drinkwater. They are a relatively small sample of the families who lived in Amherst prior to the Revolution. What became of the others, whose names appear on lists of early Amherst residents, published in Judd’s History of Hadley? Some of them are known to have moved to neighboring towns, but what about the others? How many of them lie forgotten, in unmarked graves at the West Cemetery?
This lecture will take place at noon, in the Woodbury Room of the Jones Library.
Bob Drinkwater is a charter member and past president of The Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS). He has served several terms on the AGS Board of Trustees, and was the recipient of the 2016 Harriette Merrifield Forbes Award, in recognition of exceptional service to the field of gravestone studies. Recently, Bob has done research on gravestones for African Americans buried at the West Cemetery, and elsewhere in western Massachusetts. His book, In Memory of Susan Freedom: Searching for the Gravestones of African Americans in Western Massachusetts, was published by Levellers Press in 2020