Monday, 4 October 2010

Cape Cod's Creepy Crematorium

Not the kind of place you want to find on a family walk in the woods: the Crosby crematorium in Nickerson State Park, Brewster MA

Finding follies, obelisks and strange shrines in hidden places is for me always an experience that sticks in my mind and my visit a few weeks ago to the Bronze Age excavation site at Jacob's Well just outside Budleigh was no exception. Click on to see what I mean.

The grave of John Crosby 1775-1843

So I was intrigued when Jonathan Mayo, a fellow-blogger and artist, writer and inventor from Cape Cod, pointed out that Budleigh's sister-town of Brewster also has its secret places. The one that he mentions below may not be Bronze Age, but it must have been an odd experience all the same to find it on a random wander through the woods.

This is what Jonathan found:

"Deep in the woods of Brewster lies an ancient cemetery, holding a few Crosby gravestones from the mid-1800s. We have visited the site many times over the years, never having explored the area just downhill from the gravestones.

What lies there is slightly strange, an old family crematorium. I showed these photos to a friend who happens to be a mortician in the Midwest. I asked if it was indeed what I thought.

His response, "It sure looks like one. The different doors are for moving things around and scraping out the ashes afterwards. that's hella cool and ambient."

I lol'd at the response, since apparently morticians find coolness in places most would consider creepy.

In any event, it's a bit of deep woods history from Old Cape Cod."

The Crosby gravestones that he mentions are those of a well-known Brewster family. For some interesting background on them and their Crosby Mansion, described as "one of the Cape's hidden jewels", click on

I am grateful to Jonathan Mayo for permission to reproduce both the above text and photos from his blog at

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