Dodge Row Cemetery, Beverly, Massachusetts
The trees surrounding the cemetery seem to be acting as sentinels, hiding it from view. As I stand gazing at the old stones that mark the graves and reading the inscriptions, I have the feeling that I have gone back in time.
Some of the stones bear the names and ages of several young children in one family. Other stones bear the names of Dodges who lived well into their eighties and nineties. What, I wonder, caused the deaths of so many of the children in one family, and why were others able to live to such a ripe old age?
How strong our forbears must have been to put up with the many adversities of living with the day to day hardships of a young country. The loss of child after child would be enough to shatter the faith of any one, and yet on tombstone after tombstone, the words say, "waiting in heaven", "resting in the arms of Jesus", "an angel in heaven". How strong the faith of our ancestors to persevere through such shattering experiences, and continue with their life from day to day, so that today, we, their descendants, might live free from oppression.
Richard Dodge, who followed his brother, William, to America in 1638 gave this land for a cemetery for Dodges and those related to Dodges.
The cemetery is now situated at the end of a gravel road behind several homes. If you would like to visit this cemetery, contact The Dodge Family Association for directions.