Salem's second oldest burial ground.
Broad Street Cemetery, laid out in 1655, is Salem's second oldest burying ground. On May 17, 1655 the Town Report disclosed an order that " there shall be a burial place on the hill above Francis Lawes' House." The cemetery was first known as "Lawes' Hill Burial Place," then "Ye Old Common Burying Hill " in 1780, and finally, Broad Street Cemetery. The high southeastern section of Broad Street Cemetery is the oldest. The cemetery was enclosed for the first time in 1732 and starting with wood fences, slowly evolved into the combination of granite block wall, iron picket, and wooden picket fence topped granite wall one sees surrounding the cemetery today.
The Friends of Broad Street Cemetery (FBSC) is comprised of local friends, neighbors, and history buffs working together to restore and preserve the historic Broad Street Cemetery (1655). Friends hopes to preserve existing headstones, repair those in need, and locate head and foot stones that lie just beneath the surface. In June 2018, a new sign was dedicated which lists the names and date of notable internees.
Some ideas for preservation initiatives include:
- Orientation map and locator map for some of the most prominent headstones
Full inventory of all stones and their history and preservation needs
Re-setting of tipped and fallen stones
Planting of new native trees
Broad Street is open to the public from dawn to dusk. We ask visitors to treat the graves with respect and appreciation for their age and solemnity.
Broad Street Cemetery lies on Salem's west end, along the south side of Broad Street, east edge of Winthrop Street and west edge of Summer Street. A senior center, senior housing, and several small parking areas line the cemetery's northern boundary, while 19th century residences surround the east, south and west sides.
5 Broad Street, Salem, MA 01970
The cemetery features slate tablet markers, family tombs, stone retaining walls and iron fencing. These elements, combined with varied topography and a mix of shade, evergreen and flowering trees, contribute to Broad Street cemetery's beauty and historical appeal.
Visitors to Broad Street Cemetery may park conveniently at the western edge along Winthrop Street, the eastern end along Summer Street, or in the Senior Center parking area. They may enter the grounds via a drop in the street curb and through an iron pedestrian gate at Winthrop Street only.
The Broad Street Cemetery in Salem, Massachusetts is one of Salem’s oldest and most historic cemeteries. Settled in 1655, it is Salem’s second oldest burying ground. It is rivaled in age only by Charter Street Cemetery (1637). First known as “Lawes’ Hill Burial Place”, then “Ye Old Common Burying Hill”, and finally “Broad Street Cemetery”. The cemetery is located within Salem’s McIntire Historic District and the Chestnut Street Historic District and is bordered on all sides by colonial sites including Salem’s oldest First Period residence, the Pickering House (1651).