Fairfield in Fairfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
History Comes Alive in a Graveyard
The word cemetery is derived from the Greek word for "sleeping place." Care and preservation helps old burial grounds like this one survive. By "reading" gravestones, we can learn fascinating stories about the town and its residents.
When the town of Fairfield was first laid out in 1639, this land was set aside as a burying ground. Many of its earliest graves are no longer marked. Some headstones are broken, covered by earth or were used as masonry. The oldest surviving markers are simple undecorated stones, with very little information.
Can you find the oldest marked gravestone? It is inscribed "1687 S.M." and is believed to mark the grave of Samuel Morehouse, who served as county marshal and lieutenant from 1675 to 1687.
During the late 1700s and throughout the 1800s, gravestones became more sculptural and biographical. Designs reflected thoughts about death and the value placed on an individual's life.
Look for elaborate gravestones carved from bluestone and sandstone with weeping willows, urns, winged skulls and cherub-like faces. These are symbols of death, mourning and eternal life.
( photo caption )
— This silhouette portrait of Lt. Colonel Abraham Gould was made seventeen days before his death on April 27, 1777 at the Battle of Ridgefield. Gould's body was laid across his horse and carried home to Fairfield, where he was buried in the Old Burying Ground. Can you find his gravestone?
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Cemeteries & Burial Sites. A significant historical date for this entry is April 27, 1777.
Location. 41° 8.487′ N, 73° 14.81′ W. Marker is in Fairfield, Connecticut, in Fairfield County. Marker is at the intersection of Beach Road and Sunnieholm Drive, on the right when traveling south on Beach Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fairfield CT 06824, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fairfield Revolutionary War Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Up This Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Sherwood Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Andrew Ward Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Reverend John Jones Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Wolves Swamp (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Nathan Bulkley HouseMoorlands (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fairfield.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 20, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 20, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 88 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 20, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.