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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Old Burying Ground: 1906

The Old Burying Ground: 1906

Salem, Massachusetts, circa 1906. "Old Charter Street burying ground." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Grave situation.

There are a number of such structures in the older sections of the cemetery where our family plot is; some of them are crumbling. One day I stopped in the office and asked shouldn't they be repaired, and was told that they didn't contain the body, they were put there because in the days before vaults it was common for the ground to sink after the wooden coffin decayed. He didn't say so, but I also thought it might be to deter grave robbers.

The star-shaped flag holder looks like the bronze ones from the American Legion I remember as a child in the late 50s and early 60s. There was one on my grandfather's grave. There were hundreds, if not thousands, in the cemetery, on graves of veterans. On Memorial Day, volunteers would place the small flags like the tattered one in the photo.


Are the five structures in the foreground some kind of burial vault as I'm assuming the taller ones in the background are? Don't seem quite long enough unless they are for children.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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