Nearly four centuries have elapsed since the first English settlers arrived in Hartford, CT. The Ancient Burying Ground, located adjacent to Center Church at the intersection of Main and Gold Streets, is the final resting place for about 6,000 souls who called Hartford home between 1640 and the early 1800s. Only a few of Hartford's early inhabitants could afford burial markers, so the cemetery's 400 gravestones represent only a fraction of those interred here. But each chiseled stone tells a story.
My favorite headstone is located in the right front corner as you enter through the Main Street gate. It's for teenager Richard Bernham, who was "Killed by ye Bloing up of ye School house." Fireworks were being stored at the school for a celebration of the Stamp Act's repeal, and we can only speculate, generations later, that perhaps teens were just as mischievous in 1766 as they are today!
The Ancient Burying Ground is final resting place for Hartford's founders and early settlers. The city's oldest historic attraction is open free to visitors.