Howland Cemetery, Hanson, MA

Every summer I explore this cemetery, as it is on my aunt’s property, and never ceases ceases to captivate. I also try to photograph it each summer, keeping records over time of the state of the stones.

Per the advice and sharp eye of my Aunt Maria, we uncovered a broken headstone in the small Howland plot so that I could photograph it. Fending off the swarms of mosquitoes, I took several good photographs of it before reburying it, in attempts to longer preserve the stone from thieving hands. Several stones have disappeared over the years, with visitors to the campground nearby most likely the culprits, which is a shame.

The stone is of Pamelia Thomas (DRAKE) Howland, wife of Lewis Howland. She died 9 NOV 1869 in Abington at the age of 64 of consumption.

Her footstone reads PTH, it is pictured here resting on top of the base of another grave:

Here is a photo of Lewis Howland’s stone, the only full gravestone left:

Lewis Howland, it seems, was the first interred in this small plot. Dying of small pox, he was buried here on his land, and his wife and some of his family chose later to be buried here as well.

Here is another headstone base with no stone attached to it, along with a small chunk of marble gravestone with no visible writing on it:

More deed and will research is needed, but it appears that the land passed into our family via Lewis Howland’s brother Warren, who married Deborah Bates. When he died of consumption, ownership of the land passed to Deborah and her second husband Barnabas Everson.


The kids today went on a grand adventure, courtesy of

The basic concept is that people take a waterproof container and place in it a logbook and a “treasure”, then post its coordinates on the website. Those with GPS technology can then search for the “caches”, sign the logbook, and take the treasure – so long as they leave behind a new treasure for the next explorers!

The site has opportunities for great creativity – some of my favorites so far have been sites near cemeteries. They leave clues to find specific gravestones throughout the cemetery, then have equations based off of dates on the stones to solve the cache coordinates. For instance, here is one from Union Cemetery, Carver, MA.

Find one near you – and happy hunting!!

New England Historic Genealogical Society, Newbury Street, Boston, MA

Ooh exciting! Just got an email from NEHGS today with the fall lineup of lectures. Since I will be in Boston this fall, my interest is peaked! Here’s one I am especially looking forward to:

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War
November 8, 2006, 7 p.m. presentation

Just in time for Thanksgiving, bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick will speak on the subject of his latest book, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War. Publisher’s Weekly’s starred review praised Philbrick’s “remarkable effort” in bringing the founders of Plymouth Colony “vividly to life.” Winner of the National Book Award for In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, Nathaniel Philbrick is one of America’s leading popular historians, and his lecture on the subject of the Mayflower will surely be a fascinating one.

Philbrick is a great writer. I ended up reading In the Heart of the Sea after borrowing it from my friend Jojo, but leftovers were spilled over it.. so I bought her a new one and kept the slightly soggy version for myself! I am soon to purchase Mayflower.. but I always hesitate to buy books in hardcover. On the other hand, it should be an excellent addition to my library of colonial history books! Has anyone else read Mayflower yet?