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Market Street Burying Ground

The origins of the Market Street Burying Ground are closely linked to the founding of the town of Brighton.

The Allston/Brighton area was first assigned to Watertown's (1630) and later, Cambridge's ownership (1634) to meet the colonists needs for grazing land. "Little Cambridge," as this area became known, was sparsely populated and the only church its residents could attend was located on the other side of the river in Cambridge. In 1744, a local meetinghouse was built near the present-day site of Market Street Burying Ground although it was only considered to be an extension of the First Parish Church in Cambridge.

The local population repeatedly petitioned the General Court to gain independent status for their church, but it was not until 1779 that this proposal was approved. At the time of the establishment of this meeting house, no burial grounds existed in Little Cambridge and all interments took place at the original church in Harvard Square. In 1764, early settler Nathaniel Sparhawke gave a small portion of his land to serve as a burial site.

The Market Street Burying Ground was used by the Third Church of Cambridge until 1807 when Brighton became a separate town. It was the town's primary burying ground until the 1850s when Evergreen Cemetery was established. Burials ceased at Market Street in 1872.

This site contains the graves of many of the original settlers of Little Cambridge and is noted for gravestones carved by the eighteenth-century stone cutter Daniel Hastings.

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