Meet your Ancestors: Life, death and literacy in Westborough

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One of the Westborough cemeteries.

Westborough – Most early communities established burial places within villages, near their civic and religious institutions, reflecting the expected and natural experience of death. Westborough’s Midland Cemetery (1810) and Pine Grove Cemetery (1844), both on the National Register of Historic Places, are two such cemeteries, and parallel the rapid growth of Westborough’s manufacturing district.

Join Guide R. Christopher Noonan on a tour of these graveyards Saturday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m.  to learn about typical historic American cemetery landscapes and spatial organization, along with architectural features of cemeteries. The tour is a part of a series celebrating the town of Westborough’s 300th anniversary.

The tour will also focus on gravestone- marker material assessments, conservation treatments and landscape stabilization options. Gravestone markers are a great primary resource for both the artistic motif and inscription language that each historically represents. Learn about stonecutting and regional geology. What is the relationship between gravestone-markers and historical archeology? What are the best methods for preserving and maintaining Westborough’s historical cemeteries? Come participate in an open discussion on how we personally memorialize our inevitable leaving.

The sound track for the tour will be provided by Luanne Crosby on ukulele, singing her 300th Anniversary Song, a tribute to the town’s evolution, and other relevant compositions adding some musical fun to the festivities. Also participating will be Andy Koenigsberg, a practicing geologist who has worked throughout southern New England. He often lends his knowledge to the Westborough Community Land Trust through walks and lectures about geology of the town and the larger region.

Participants will meet at Pine Grove Cemetery Baxter Street (off South Street) at 1 p.m. If heavy rain is forecast, the event will be held Sunday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m.

Visit www.westborough300.com for weather updates and more information.