Discovering Peace at Vine Lake Cemetery
A “final resting place” should not be reserved for the deceased but also enjoyed by the living – this is especially true of the Vine Lake Cemetery.
Is there any place more peaceful than a cemetery? I don’t think so.
And I don’t think a “final resting place” should be reserved for the deceased, it should be enjoyed by the living – this is especially true of the Vine Lake Cemetery.
According to its website, Vine Lake Cemetery was established in 1651 and is the town’s only active cemetery except for a small burial site reserved for former patients at the Medfield State Hospital. It has served as a burial place for Medfield’s early settlers, war veterans, industrialists, farmers, laborers, and ordinary citizens for more than three centuries.
Over the last several months, I have made a few trips to the cemetery – the first, in the fall to enjoy the foliage and a crisp, cool stroll through the historic “old” section; then a mid-winter stop to take photographs of the grounds and lake so beautifully covered in snow; and most recently, I took a long, quiet walk through the “new” section to enjoy the rebirth and rejuvenation of Spring with the flowers and leaves so rich in color from the recent rains.
Vine Lake Cemetery is rich in history, rich in heritage, and rich in information. What better place to learn about the social and cultural practices of the past. I found myself sitting on a set of granite steps, looking over the lake with the centuries-old grave markers surrounding me, and conjuring up an image of what Medfield must have been like “way back when.” I was lost in thought for quite some time before a passerby broke my concentration.
Today, there are many ways to enjoy the cemetery. You can enjoy it passively with a stroll any day from dawn til dusk, or you can take a more active role and volunteer your time with the Vine Lake Preservation Trust to learn how to make simple repairs to damaged headstones. Those workshops are going on this month and the public will also have a chance to view some of the more extensive repairs being conducted by a professional preservationist. Visit www.vinelakepreservationtrust.org for dates and times as they become available.
So, the next time you need a reprieve from today’s busy world, consider taking a stroll through the Vine Lake Cemetery – a peaceful meander through time could be just want you need to rejuvenate yourself for today.
For more information or to sign up for the Trust’s monthly newsletter, visit http://www.vinelakepreservationtrust.org/
Who are some of your favorite peaceful or restful places to visit in Medfield? Tell us in the comments.