Archiver > MA-CEMETERIES > 2004-10 > 1097579745

From: "Betty" <>
Subject: Tewksbury State Hospital - and ALL State Hospitals
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 07:15:45 -0400


I have just joined this List. I'd like to bring up the subject of the
cemeteries on the grounds of all the "State Hospitals" in MA.

Because of my grandmother's research, I found out where her Adoptive father
had disappeared to in the 1900 to 1903 timeframe. After his wife's death
in Melrose, he sold the house and moved to a boarding house in Boston.
He also placed my grandmother, then Age 10, back into an orphanage in
Boston. Then I couldn't find him. It turns out he went to the
Tewksbury State Hospital in 1904 and died there in 1905. One of the MANY
mysteries regarding John and Mary DEXTER is why Mrs. DEXTER's body was
returned to their life-long home in Killingly, CT, and Mr. DEXTER's body was
buried on the grounds of the State Hospital (only 6 years apart).

Because of this finding, I joined the Tewksbury Hospital List. This month
the people on the List are scheduling a "clean-up" of the cemetery on the
grounds of the Hospital. It is going to be held on October 30th, I
believe !

Most of the gravesites on the grounds of this Hospital are only marked by a
small, round, metal sign with a number on it. From reading postings on
other MA Lists,
I believe this situation is similar to all State Hospitals in MA.

There are several people trying to "spread the word" about the conditions of
the State Hospitals in MA, or the former State Hospitals. One web site
you might like to look at is

If you want to learn more about the Tewksbury State Hospital, you can look
through the archives of that List (found under Middlesex County in
INDEX). Or, you can go to the web site for the "Tewksbury Hospital

Or, a member of the Tewksbury Hospital List has just started a brand-new web
site on the subject - where she is trying to post as many "records" as
That List provided me with the "record" on my John DEXTER, and showed he had
a visitor, named "Marnie," a daughter, whom I believe to have been his
Adoptive daughter, "Mamie." (At adoption in 1892 in Boston, named Mary
Anna Clark DEXTER, after her adoptive mother.)

On the Gen MA List recently, I posted a message asking if anyone was
interested in .. starting up .. a brand-new List, devoted to ..all.. the
State Hospitals in MA.
(Or, all State Hospitals in New England !) I have found this is a
subject .. not discussed enough .. on the Lists !

Just now, while looking for the web site for the Tewksbury Hospital Museum,
I came across this web page, which might be worth your read.

The web site for the Tewksbury Hospital Museum seems to be un-available this

Here is a page from the web site for the Tewksbury Historical Society:

Here is another web site on the Tewksbury State Hospital:

FYI: Don't forget that the Almshouses, State Hospitals, Asylums, etc.,
were established in the mid-1800's to help accommodate .. the great influx
of immigrants into the country at that time. However, don't forget that
it was in the 1860's and into the 1870's when "soldiers" were returning from
fighting in the Civil War ! And, many went to the State Hospitals for a
condition which we now know as "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder."

Here is another web page about the Tewksbury Hospital, which mentions the
most famous patient, Anne SULLIVAN, who would go on to become the well-known
tutor of .. Helen KELLER.

..I just checked the archives of this List, and I saw that "Tewksbury" has
only been mentioned a few times in past years. So, I hope people don't
mind my long posting.

..By the way, a reminder is that this is a great time of year .. to be
traveling to .. New England .. and walking through cemeteries! Just in
Lowell and the surrounding towns, there must be two dozen large cemeteries,
and many small "historical cemeteries."

Enjoy your week !

Betty (near Lowell, MA)
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