Edwards Cemetery


City’s GIS data says the address is “Edwards Street”.

Location coordinates 42.3284333,-71.3997583

The Edwards Cemetery was constructed in 1838. The Edwards Church is across the street from the cemetery on Edwards Street, which runs parallel to Elm Street, near the Stapleton School. Even though they share a name, the cemetery has always been owned by Framingham and has not been owned by the Edwards Church.

To get to Edwards Cemetery, turn on Maplewood St. from Elm Street in Saxonville. Once on Maplewood St. take the first left onto Edwards Street. The church is at the top of the hill and the cemetery is to the right. 

The Massachusetts Historical Commission refers to this cemetery in their database, called MACRIS, as FRM.802 Edwards Cemetery, which has the following text to describe Edwards Cemetery:

“Edwards Cemetery [#73], was purchased by the Town in 1836, laid out as a burying ground in 1838, and enlarged in 1865 and again ca. 1922. Now approximately 10.6 acres, it extends to the Sudbury River, where it slopes steeply to the bank. The cemetery is divided into sections, with the oldest stones closest to the road, later burials located down the hill near the Sudbury River, -and contemporary internments in a new section. There are about 1,500 to 2,000 burials. Slate, granite, and marble gravestone markers are typical of the region in design. One stone is dated 1810, and most date from 1836 to the present. The stones are in family plots aligned in a loose grid pattern. A dark, rock-faced granite Receiving Tomb [#73.1] erected ca. 1880, close to Edwards Street, is rectangular in plan with a barrel-vaulted roof. “

The Edwards Cemetery (FRM.802) is part of the Saxonville Historic District (FRM.S) which was added to the National Register of Historic Districts in the 1990s. 

See https://mhc-macris.net/#!/details?mhcid=FRM.802

The Edwards Cemetery Receiving Tomb building is listed as FRM.912 and is part of the Saxonville Historic District as well. This small structure was built in 1850 and was used to store caskets during the winter when the ground was too frozen to dig a grave.

The list of interred includes many founders of Framingham, such as Dansforths and Hemingways. Further review of the interred reveals a soldier killed at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. Private Henry Barker was wounded during the battle and died several days later. This is somewhat rare to have an enlisted man who actually died at the battle site return to Massachusetts. Most enlisted dead were buried in military cemeteries near the battle. Having the family retrieve the body and make arrangements to ship it home, was usually done only for officers.

And then there is Color Sargent Conrad Homan, a Medal of Honor soldier buried in Edwards as well. Upon his death in 1922, he was buried in Edwards. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his part in the battle of The Crater, on July 30, 1864, which took place in Petersburg, Virginia.