Who Were They?
Burials in the Paupers’ Section/City Home Lot
Seaside Cemetery, Gloucester, Massachusetts
February 13, 2023
A note, a caveat, and a request:
As far as we know, the names of the approximately 118 bodies that rest in the City Home Lot
exist only on three hand-written maps that are not entirely legible and don’t entirely
agree with one another. We have done our best to decipher handwriting and locate documents
that support our best guesses. The only thing we can guarantee is that best efforts have
supported this information.
If you have alternate or additional information about those listed in this document, please
contact us -- Gloucester Cemeteries Advisory Committee.
Between 1905 and 1930, the City Home Lot in Lanesville’s Seaside Cemetery was the burial site
for paupers and those otherwise unable to afford a burial plot, those who were unidentified or
unclaimed by family, and those who died at the City Home (the Almshouse). Fourteen of those
buried in the City Lot are unnamed. Three maps of the City Home Lot exist. One shows graves
between Avenues A and F. The other two show graves in the extended section of the City Home
Lot — between Avenues E and H. There is a map of earlier graves that overlaps one row
(between Avenues E and F) with the maps of the extended section, and a different numbering
system is used, creating two grave numbers for everyone buried between Avenues E and F.
With only one exception (Oscar Tuikka), the graves remain in the same place - only the
plot/grave numbers differ.
The meager information we’ve been able to assemble paints a remarkably vivid picture of life in
Gloucester in the first quarter of the 20th century. Those who lie in the City Home Lot were
overwhelmingly immigrants, most from Finland and Nova Scotia, who worked in the fishing
and quarrying industries. While many immigrants succeeded in creating better lives and giving
their children more advantages than they had had, some fell victim to
tuberculosis and the influenza epidemic, early widowhood, drug and alcohol addictions, or
simply fateful mishaps. They have been largely overlooked and forgotten. This project is an
attempt to give them the dignity of remembrance.
Research conducted by and recorded by Sharron Cohen
The Cemeteries Advisory Committee thanks Sharron Cohen for her meticulous research and
interest in this history.
Pauper grave maps
- Link to Seaside Paupers Lot
- Link to Seaside Paupers Map 1
- Link to Seaside Paupers Extension Map 2b
- Link to Seaside Paupers Map 3
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