On April 17, 1822, it was voted during the Annual Town Meeting that a portion of the Russell Farm, recently purchased for the establishment of the new “house of industry. The construction of the building was paid for by James D’Wolf.
The property would also be sometimes called the “poor farm” or the “Town asylum.” Town Meeting stipulated that “a part of said Town land be set apart for a burying ground, the same to be well enclosed.” The ancient stone wall along the eastern edge gleams with a traditional annual whitewash to this day.
A section fronting along the west side of Hope Street was chosen as the initial location, and the oldest burials dating to 1824 may be found in this spot. As time passed and the original section became filled, adjoining areas were added; first from south to north and back in a westerly direction.
The Receiving Tomb, complete with an Egyptian Revival granite portal was added in 1872 and the Colonial Revival chapel, fronting on Hope Street was built in 1908. One of the most impressive monuments is the Civil War “Soldier’s Home Monument” column, fashioned of blue Westerly granite in the design of the noted sculptor Edward Ludwig Albert Pausch (1856-1931). This monument was dedicated in 1902.
In 1852, when an ordinance was issued by the Town to remove all of the headstones from the Town Common, some of the stones were placed at North Burial Ground on the lots belonging to the descendents of the earliest settlers. It is not at all unusual to find eighteenth century headstones in this cemetery. During the days before the invention of the lawnmower, the Town would put the cemetery lands out to bid for the privilege of grazing one’s livestock spring through fall.