Tour of Lewis Street Cemetery next weekend

Lewis Street Cemetery

Lewis Street Cemetery

The Bristol Cemetery Commission will be hosting guided tours of the LewisStreetCemetery on Sunday, Oct. 20 beginning at 1 p.m.

Also feel free to take a stroll on you own through the cemetery. The commission will be handing out an aerial photograph of the cemetery with some points of interest indicated. On the reverse side of the photo will be a partial listing of places of interests with a brief description. LewisStreetCemetery is one of four colonial cemeteries located in Bristol. It’s the third oldest one. It’s also known as the NorthCemetery. It was officially made a burying lot on Dec. 9, 1777 and was a little south of the Lewis house. It consists of Lewis family property and the never used land for the thirty yard highway (part of the 1721 survey).

Since this area of the United States was being settled 300 years ago, burials were starting to be done in burying lots (cemeteries) and not in one’s back yard. At this time, land was already scarce in Europe thus burials were done outside the cities. Like cemeteries in America, they were already around churches and some were under the churches. Unlike Paris where land is limited, they have the catacombs, some of which are miles long and descend 60-plus feet under the city. Americans are often shocked to find that, unlike in American where burial is permanent; burial in much of Europe is often a temporary affair.

Lewis Street is a perfect cemetery for an easy stroll and has many well-known personalities at almost every turn. Read what’s on the stone, shape of the stone, learn about some of the people buried there, and check out the gravestone iconography along with their meaning.

The rain date for this event is Sunday, Oct. 27.

For specific information, e-mail Mike Saman at