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Photograph of Myles Standish’s field stone grave marker

Image of field with bare spot, house in background. Site of Myles Standish's grave, Duxbury.Photograph of Myles Standish’s field stone grave marker, 1892
J. Bryson Studio
Mounted albumen print
Gift of the Duxbury Free Library, PDAL.2019.057.15

This early photograph of the Myles Standish grave marker was taken before the construction of the more elaborate grave decoration featuring cannons at the Old Burial Ground.

Oral tradition in the Hall family of Duxbury, descendants of Standish, recalled that the Captain’s grave was marked with two pyramid shaped stones. When Melzar Brewster, hired by the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society, discovered these stones while clearing the old burial ground of brush and debris, they served as possible proof that the grave of Myles Standish was discovered.

The Myles Standish Burial Ground (also known as Old Burying Ground or Standish Cemetery) in Duxbury, is considered one of the oldest maintained cemeteries in the United States. Several well-known Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620, including Captain Myles Standish, John and Priscilla Alden, and George Soule, are buried here. It was also the site of Duxbury’s first and second meeting houses, in use from approximately 1638 until 1789. The burial ground was abandoned until it was reclaimed in 1887 by the Duxbury Rural Society, at which time Standish’s grave marker was discovered. After two exhumations in 1889 and 1891, it was generally agreed that Standish’s remains had been located and a memorial was built over his gravesite. The Standish gravesite memorial is today the most prominent feature in the burying ground. For more information on the artifacts discovered at the exhumations, see Digging Duxbury.


Graveyard in foreground; monument in background, on a hill. Related Object: Graveyard with Monument, Photograph of the Old Burying Ground and Myles Standish Monument, circa 1900, Silver Gelatin Print, DRHS Collection.

This photograph shows the Old Burying Ground along Chestnut Street in Duxbury. The Standish Monument atop Captain’s Hill can be seen in the distance. The Myles Standish memorial with cannons at his gravesite, installed in 1893, is not visible from this angle.


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Digging Duxbury

The quest for archaeological evidence of the Pilgrim past began with an 1833 dig, one of the earliest in U.S. history.

Coming to a Pilgrim Town

Coming to a Pilgrim Town

Duxbury’s Pilgrim history, combined with the town’s natural beauty, initiated a tourist boom.

Collecting in a Pilgrim Town

Collecting in a Pilgrim Town

The tourism boom brought another enterprise, the creation and sale of Pilgrim-themed souvenirs.

Lasting Legacy

Duxbury's Lasting Legacy

Duxbury never forgot its Pilgrim origins. How could it? The names continue to generate interest today.
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