Last month my dad was in and out of the hospital several times, and I ended up spending quite a bit of time in my hometown of Wallingford, Connecticut. Though I visit often throughout the year, I don’t usually visit my old stomping grounds from when I was a kid. While I was there last month I ended up having some time to kill, so I took the opportunity to stop by a very old cemetery I used to frequent when I was growing up, Center Street Cemetery.
It isn’t the cemetery where my mother is buried, in fact, I’m not sure I know any of this cemetery’s inhabitants…
But, as a teenager I would often stop by Center Street Cemetery in between school and work. I would head over from where I lived a few blocks away, stopping on the way at the New York Bakery (as it was called) for a pastry, and then through the entranceway on the corner of Orchard and Center Streets. I would find a place to sit for a few, underneath one of the many big old beautiful trees. After, I would head off to work feeling relaxed and recharged. It was a very quiet place, despite being located on two of our town’s busiest streets.
This was the first cemetery I ever took photos in, for a high school photography class; I still have the negatives and contact sheets. It started a since life-long love of mine, combining my reverence for cemeteries with my love of photography.
Center Street Cemetery started serving the area as early as 1670, was formally established in 1683, and has a pretty intriguing history. I wasn’t the first or only person to enjoy sitting and having a bite to eat amongst the gravestones… the cemetery has twelve full size stone tables, where visitors in the 18th century would lunch while paying their respects. The last woman tried for witchcraft in New England – and eventually acquitted, Winifred King Benham, is reportedly buried there. The paths are well worn from genealogists and historians frequenting the place now; while I was there, at least two others were there taking close-ups of stones.
I have the most fun with graveyard photos when I get to work altering them; these are just a few basic pics from the hour or so I spent there… It was a beautiful, very bright sunny day. It was nice to be back there, and it again offered a bit of peace during a difficult time.
Center Street Cemetery, Wallingford, Connecticut
4 thoughts on “Center Street Cemetery”
Great pictures! … which camera do you have? … congrats! … greetings from México …
hey Mauricio! Thanks for your comment and kind words 🙂 How are you doing? I hope you have been okay through the pandemic!
I’m fine, thanks! … how about you? … have got many new tarot decks? … I usted to collect them, but now I’m more into reading … have you even come to México? … the closer I’ve been to you is NH, long long ago 🙂
A lot has happened with my family, but overall things are good, thanks 🙂 About tarot – I donated many of the decks I had a few years ago, but I still have some. I haven’t been to Mexico, haven’t been anywhere but to visit family or the Massachusetts shore in recent years. Btw, it is funny you got in touch when you did – I had just been remembering you because I had been putting aside books of my daughter’s after she moved, and among them were some that you had sent me many years ago! (how long ago was that?? haha, seems like a very long time ago)