Town Cemetery Information
There are 4 Town-Owned cemeteries in Provincetown. The oldest is the Winthrop Street Cemetery which is located between Winthrop and Court Street. The Alden Street Cemetery was established in 1800 and is sub-divided into several sections - Old, New and Upper (Alden A & Alden B). Across Cemetery Road is the Gifford Cemetery which was established in 1818. Hamilton Cemetery, established in 1833, sits next to the Gifford Cemetery and is the smallest with only 92 plots. These were once a private cemetery, but have been town owned since 1963.
The Cemetery Commission with the Town is in the process of providing additional information regarding burial lots and the location of graves.
Small Pox Cemetery
Just to the north of Route 6E in Provincetown sits the town’s smallpox cemetery, known also as “Pest House Cemetery” and “No Names Cemetery.” This was established in the mid-1800s in response to the spreading epidemic. The historic hallowed site is now being lost to the wilderness.
The Smallpox Cemetery consists of 14 small numbered markers and the depression left from the demolished “Pest House.” Back in the 1800s, pestilence houses, or Pest Houses, were known as small treatment buildings for those plagued with smallpox. At this particular Pest House site, 14 people perished from the disease. The grave markers display no names, but the records are kept in the town’s “Book of the Dead.”
Their Names and Date of Death are:
|#1 Adam Dyer - May 9, 1855||#6 Antone Domingo - Nov 1, 1872||#11 Manuel Terceira - Dec 24, 1872|
|#2 John Roberts - May 15, 1855||#7 Mary Rogers - Nov 8, 1872||#12 William H. Butler - Jan 7, 1873|
|#3 Monson W. Barnard - May 19, 1855||#8 George G. Hallett - Nov 26, 1872||#13 John McDonald - Jan 8, 1873|
|#4 Elizabeth Hill - May 20, 1860||#9 Tamsin Manuel - Nov 27, 1872||#14 Thomas Basell - May 28, 1873|
|#5 Kennis Fergerson - May 20, 1864||#10 Frank Sofrine - Dec 24, 1872|
Built near Clapps Pond and at the bottom of a steep ravine in the scrub forest, the picturesque location tempers the terrible fate of the doomed occupants of the Pest House. Today the cemetery is being taken over by a grove of American Beech trees, and the shifting sands of Cape Cod.
Smallpox may have been wiped out nearly four decades ago but its connection to Cape Cod history is lasting. Whether it’s a stop at the new granite marker, a hike out to the hidden grave of Thomas Ridley, or traversing the hills and brush to visit the tiny smallpox cemetery, it is important to remember those who perished in the past of a terrible, and thankfully eradicated, illness.
In 2015 a simple granite marker was unveiled at the Winthrop Street Cemetery in Provincetown commemorating those who rest in the small cemetery off of Route 6.