North Adams, MA - Local Historian Paul W. Marino has announced the last in his series of historical Walks for 2009, a walking tour of Hillside Cemetery. It will be held on Saturday, October 3.
At 211 years old, Hillside is North Adams' oldest municipal burial ground, its second oldest existing cemetery, and the third oldest overall. It is significant for a variety of reasons in addition to its age, including a famous writer who visited it in 1838, and another writer who visited in 1994. Among its permanent residents are an internationally famous archaeologist, a person friend of two US Presidents, a member of the US House of Representatives and another of the US Senate. An eye witness to President Lincoln's delivery of the Gettysburg Address is in Hillside, along with an attorney who invented a railroad brake, an industrialist who focused national attention on North Adams and helped set national trends in both labor and race relations, and the first (and only) female educator in the city to have a school named for her.
Hillside Cemetery is also significant as a repository of several stunning examples of the stone cutter92s art, including two monuments that are registered with the Smithsonian Institute, through the Save Outdoor Sculpture program. One of these is likely the only one of its kind in the world. Other gems are the Isbell tree, the Rice bed, the Blackinton and Wilkinson monuments, and three statues. Whether your taste is local history or fine stonework, the Hillside Walk is not to be missed.
Marino leads his tours with an eye toward historical accuracy and a refined sense of showmanship, backing up what he says with photos, drawings, maps, and a sense of humor. The Walk starts at the top of the hill off Brown Street at 2:30 pm. Interested persons are advised to dress for the weather, wear sunblock, a good pair of walking shoes and a hat with a wide brim; they should carry a canteen or bottle of water and be prepared to have their ears talked off. They are also encouraged to bring children. "Local history," Marino says. "Is interesting to adults, but it's essential for kids. They need to hear these stories!." Rain or high wind cancels.
Paul W. Marino