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South End Burying Ground

When the South End Burying Ground was opened in 1810, it was located on the narrow strip of marshland, Roxbury Neck, which connected the peninsula of Boston to the mainland.

The gallows stood at the east edge of the burying ground, near the tidewaters of South Boston Bay, leading to the persistent myth that primarily hanged pirates and other criminal were buried here. In fact, it is difficult to know exactly who is buried here.

In the nineteenth century, people of modest means had recorded, but unmarked graves. They could not afford elaborate headstones or other types of monumentation. While there are only 20 grave markers, records indicate that over 11,000 are buried at this site. Successive filling of the marshy site permitted burials in several tiers.

It has been reported that South End Burying Ground contains the graves of paupers from the Alms House and inmates from the House of Industry. Mostly, though, this site is known as a working man's burying ground, where families paid a small fee to the City for burials. Interments ceased in this graveyard in 1866.

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