Hidden in plain sight, right next to a Market Basket, is Somerville’s oldest cemetary, the Milk Row Cemetary. It was originally a private cemetery, built in 1804 when Samuel Tufts sold farmland to Timothy Tufts, Nathaniel Hawkins, and a few others for use as a burying place. It was annexed by the city late in 1892; it’s a tiny lot that somehow manages to hold 1,800 bodies.
Today, I took a docent led tour of the cemetery, to learn more of my city’s history. The centerpiece is a Civil War soldiers monument, erected in 1863 to honor the city’s cotizens who fought in the war. The names of 68 soldiers who lost their lives are inscribed on it. Historic Somerville runs tours about twice a month during the summer. At other times, the cemetery is behind locked gates.