Old North Cemetery

by Kaylah Stroup

Throwing it back to August’s New England road trip again today!

As I mentioned in previous posts from this trip*, we had no real destinations or purpose. Jeff wanted to eat lobster roll and I was interested in the many, many old cemeteries that cover the area. Even with those things in mind, we were really just driving around hoping fun things would fall into our laps. Not our brightest idea. Works in the desert because of the lack of other people but aimlessly driving through areas with high traffic is the worst.

Old North Cemetery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire really was something that just fell into our laps though! While driving down the highway Jeff saw a sign for Portsmouth and asked if I’d like to take go there. I said, “why not?” I’d never been there before and I’ll always take any opportunity to explore a new area, even if only for a brief moment.

I think we both spotted the cemetery at the same time. I basically couldn’t get out of the car fast enough!

Old North Cemetery was established in 1753 and is the second old cemetery in the city of Portsmouth. Gosh darn it! See, if I had done my research beforehand like a normal person I could have visited the oldest one too. Looking on Google Streetview, it looks pretty awesome. Guess we should go back! It’s only an acre and a half of land but it’s jam-packed full of history, incredible headstones, and my favorite things – like skulls and chubby cherub faces. The cemetery is surrounded by a pond, a railyard and… wait for it… another cemetery. Basically, it’s perfect.

I spent so much time wandering around in the oppressive heat trying to see every single headstone. Every few steps I was motioning to Jeff, who was sitting in the air-conditioned car, how excited I was.

One of my favorites. Although not an old stone, what a title! ‘Sea captain of this town’!?! I also really appreciate that it says ‘husband of’. That’s not common at all.

Until next time, Portsmouth! We’ll be back with more time to wander, and maybe a better idea of what to get into so we don’t miss out again.

More from this trip –
Three days in New England
The Burying Point
the Atlantic Ocean
Old Burial Hill Cemetery


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