Historian Navigates Many ‘Grave’ Turns during Tour

November 21, 2014

by Jon Tripp

Historian Eleanor Gavazzi of Groton, Mass., gave a walking tour of the Old Graveyard at Salem Center on Saturday, Nov. 8.  Sponsored by the Kelley Library, Gavazzi dressed as Revolutionary War heroine Prudence Wright and told stories about notable residents, gravestone manufacturers, and historical burial practices.  Salem’s Old Graveyard is the home of Revolutionary War soldier James Hastings who was present at the surrender of British General Burgoyne in 1777.  The oldest known grave is for Trustram Currier who died in 1753.  The Old Graveyard boasts examples of gravestones from the three major manufacturers of the time:  Benjamin Day, the Park Family, and Joseph Mullicken.