A Brief History of the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery
In 1889 local fisheries merchant Amos Story conveyed a parcel of land at the eastern end of Mt. Pleasant Avenue to The Mt. Pleasant Annex Association for the purpose of creating a cemetery. This entity became The Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Association, Inc. in 1941.
The purposes of The Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Association are to administer and operate the cemetery, receive and acquire additions, sell lots and burial rights, and improve and maintain the cemetery. In addition the association endeavors to make the cemetery a peaceful, dignified, and beautiful place, as well as a reverent symbol for the dead and a valuable link to the heritage of our community.
The Mt. Pleasant Cemetery was laid out in the Victorian or Park style. This type of cemetery became popular with the opening, in 1831, of the Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge Massachusetts. Mt. Auburn was America’s first cemetery of this type, incorporating trees, and landscape elements and featuring many sculptural and obelisk type of gravestones, in marked contrast to the flat slabs seen in colonial era burial grounds. Several fine examples of obelisk stones can be seen at Mt. Pleasant.
The cemetery became the final resting place for a number of the notable Cape Ann painters who lived and worked in East Gloucester, including Frederick Mulhaupt, Oscar Anderson, and Emile Gruppe.
Only three Medal of Honor veterans are buried in Gloucester, one of whom is buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. Captain of the Top John F. Bickford was awarded the Medal of Honor for carrying out his duties as the first loader of the pivot gun courageously throughout the action, and for marked coolness and good conduct while under enemy fire on the U.S.S. Kearsarge during the Civil War.
Also buried in the cemetery is the well known character actress Jessie Ralph, who appeared in over fifty Hollywood films playing opposite many stars including Greta Garbo, Errol Flynn, Henry Fonda, and W. C. Fields. Jessie Ralph’s original last name was Chambers, and when she died in Gloucester in 1944, she was buried in the Chambers family lot at Mt.Pleasant.
Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Assoc., Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(13)
Make your tax deductible donation here: