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West Parish Garden Cemetery Andover MA

West Parish Garden Cemetery Andover MA

The Chapel at West Parish Garden Cemetery Andover MA

The Chapel at West Parish is an elegant feature of this nondenominational garden cemetery. Its governing board is comprised of five members who are elected by the residents of the town of Andover. It is located at 129 Reservation Rd, Andover, MA 01810. The Governing board of West Parish Garden Cemetery Andover MA is made up of members of various communities. You will find this information useful if you plan to visit the cemetery or are planning a memorial service. Here are some things to know about this beautiful burial ground.

Chapel at West Parish

The Chapel at West Parish Garden Cemetery Andover MA is the crown jewel of this historic burial ground. Its marble facade was designed by noted landscape architect Paul Revere. The church vestry, and the house of Charles & Frank Hardy were moved off the green in front of the church, allowing for the grand entrance and an additional 24 horse sheds. The chapel was completed in May 1910. The chapel is named for William Wood, a textile mill owner who died in 1909. more on that 

If you’re planning a funeral or a christening, the chapel is a beautiful venue for the ceremony. The chapel is located adjacent to the finest reception facilities in the area. It is also a perfect setting for concerts and other community events. The chapel is open to weddings of any denomination or style, as well as music recitals and private ceremonies. In addition to hosting weddings, the chapel can also be used for other occasions, such as a memorial service.

Conversion of cemetery to a non-denominational garden cemetery

The trustees of the Anglican Church were given a portion of the cemetery in April 1842. This portion was allocated to family vaults and brick graves, while the eastern two-thirds were unused, with all burials taking place in the soil. This included burials of all Christian denominations and other religions. In 1882, an additional section of the cemetery was allocated to each faith.

The non-denominational garden cemetery also became the final resting place of many notable individuals, including Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the United States and chief of staff to General George Washington. Other notable burial plots included the wealthy John Jacob Astor, the naturalist James Audubon, the Revolutionary War hero Major General Richard Montgomery, and the veteran Broadway star Jerry Orbach. One grave in the cemetery is over 400 years old, marking the burial of a five-year-old child. Despite its age, the gravestone is still unique and a rare two-sided memorial.

Governing board of West Parish Garden Cemetery

The Governing board of West Parish Garden Cemetery, Inc. oversees the cemetery’s operations. The board is comprised of four individuals: two members of West Parish Church, two lot owners, and one member of the Andover Historical Society. Members of the church’s governing board are appointed by the mayor of Andover, MA. They serve three-year terms and are required to be members of the Andover Historical Society.

In 1909, the chapel at West Parish was constructed as part of the master plan to convert the four-acre burial ground into a 50-acre garden cemetery. It was funded by William M. Wood, President of the American Woolen Company. It was designed in a Romanesque style, similar to English Kirks. It was designed by Andover native George C. Shattuck, who was employed by the Boston architectural firm of Shepley, Rutan, and Cooldge.