- City: Unknown
- State: Unknown
- Country: United States
- Source: Bodin Collection
- Approx. Date: 1890s
- Photographer: Unknown
A small cemetery is nestled in the quiet gardens of an isolated gothic-style church in what we think is New England. The graveyard is full of tombstones of various shapes and appearances: most of them are made of white marble and feature the Christian cross in their design. On the left side is a large tree and shrub that camouflage even more tombstones between their branches. The deep color of their leaves and their overarching branches accent the pristine appearance of the church that lies to their left: a plain, single-story wooden building painted a light color with a gabled roof. The church also features a variety of gothic elements, such as long, arched windows along its side and a pointed belfry atop the roof of the building. While churches are usually a place of worship and rejoice, the detached appearance of the building and the surrounding tombstones create a haunting atmosphere of melancholy and uneasiness.
Prior to the year 1831, collective cemeteries in the United States did not exist. That's not to say that Americans didn't bury their dead; rather, they did so in separate, smaller sections of land such as a church or backyard. However, these locations grew to be inconvenient for a variety of reasons. Formal cemeteries offered a practical solution. In modern times cemeteries are referred to as "memorial parks", which emphasizes the hope for the dead and their ability to find peace, rather than on the grief and sadness that results from their inevitable demise.
From the collection of Fred Bodin of Gloucester, MA. Fred was a long time resident and well-known photographer of Gloucester and had one of the best private collections of New England nautical photographs in private hands. Fred was a photojournalist having graduated with this degree from Syracuse University and worked for Yankee Magazine. Fred passed away in 2016 and HIP purchased his collection from his estate.