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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Center Cemetery
Reference Number 13000170
State Massachusetts
County Hampshire
Town Southampton
Street Address 178 College Highway (Route 10), Southampton, MA
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 04/16/2013
Link to full file
Center Cemetery is eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places under Criteria A and C. The cemetery meets Criterion A in the area of Exploration/Settlement because its location has remained the same since its first marked burial in 1738, seven years after the town became a Precinct in 1741, and because of its association with many of Southampton's pioneer families. In the area of Social History, the cemetery reflects the entire continuum of the town's history and activities, as the final resting place of ministers, doctors, shopkeepers, mill owners, farmers, writers, and 19th -century arrivals such as the Polish families who settled in town. The Center Cemetery has always been the principal place of burial in town and represents a continuum of cemetery styles and usage, from the mid 18th -century burial ground to the evolution of mid and late 19th -century tastes, in which a grid-like arrangement of family burial plots accommodated the maximum number of graves on the available land. It meets National Register Criterion C in the areas of Art and Landscape Architecture. From its start as a simple burying ground it evolved in the 19th and early 20th centuries into a well-landscaped and well-maintained modern cemetery, with ample drives dividing the space into twelve sections easily accessible to all the graves. Its wide variety of monuments, from short early red sandstone markers to imposing obelisks, reflects a broad range of cemetery art from the mid 18th to the mid 20th century. It contains a collection of more than 55 signed stones from three western Massachusetts stone cutters. The cemetery reflects a progression of monument styles and remains virtually intact, retaining integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association. Because the cemetery derives its significance from its design features and its association with events in Southampton history, it fulfills National Register Criteria Consideration D.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria