Falmouth Graveyard Restoration Project Started with Sleuthing

gravestoneFALMOUTH – A graveyard mystery has been solved in Falmouth.

Graveyard restoration expert Donna Walcovy has uncovered the names of 33 people who were buried in unmarked graves in the Old Methodist Burying Ground on Main Street in Falmouth.

The graveyard is next to the town’s old Poor House, a building in front of the police station that now houses town offices.

People who lived in the Poor House were buried leaving no records but Walcovy found one clue and then kept digging.

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“Anybody that died in the Poor House was buried in this Methodist Society burying ground and there’s no map, there’s no record, there’s no nothing. And I’m a curious kind of person and I was wondering about these poor souls. So I started doing research,” she said.

A friend of hers who worked in Falmouth Town Hall found some old records from the Poor House and her detective work proceeded from there.

What she came up with after five years was 33 names, from infants to senior citizens, some who lived their whole lives in the Poor House. The people lived in Falmouth’s Poor House from 1810 to 1920.

A pink marble gravestone with the names of the people has been erected to honor them.

The project received a grant of funds for historic preservation from the Community Preservation Act. The act’s funds come from a three percent surtax on local property tax bills. Community Preservation Act funds are reserved for historic preservation, affordable housing, open space and recreation.