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Your Final Resting Place May not be Your Final Resting Place: The Day, Smith, Winslow Relocations

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

This area of the Old Parish Cemetery may appear empty but it did not always look this way. Plots 49, 59, and 60 (front to back) belonged to the interrelated Day, Smith, and Winslow families respectively.

Joseph Day (1807-1876), born in Walpole, was an entrepreneur, leather currier, and state representative; he became one of the most influential and wealthy

men in South Dedham. Joseph and his wife Hannah (Rhoads) Day (1808-1863), and their infant son, Joseph, were buried in plot 49 along with Hannah’s parents, Lewis Rhoads (1784-1872) and Hannah (Ellis) Rhoads (1784-1854). Joseph and Hannah Day were the parents of Lewis Day, who, with his wife Anna Smith Day, built the Day house at 93 Day Street.

Plot 59, situated directly behind the Day/Rhoads lot 49, was the burial site of Lyman Smith (1808-1883) and his wife Melinda Guild Smith (1810-1845). Lyman and his wife Melinda were the parents of Anna Smith Day.

Lastly, plot 60 was owned by Lyman Smith’s sister, Olive Smith Winslow (1807-1867) and her husband, George Winslow (1800-1877). That couple was interred here as were two of their children: Joseph, who died as an infant in 1831, and Mary, who was a year old when she died of cholera in 1840. Also buried here were Olive (and Lyman) Smith’s parents, John Smith (1784-1864) and Anna (Rhoads) Smith (1789-1868).

It was John Smith who, as a child, was apprenticed in the tannery of Abner Guild of South Dedham. Having taken over the tannery, Smith divided the business between his son, Lyman Smith, and his daughter Olive’s husband, George Winslow. Thus began what later became two booming tanneries: Winslow Brothers at Endicott Street and Lyman Smith’s Sons at Railroad Avenue, adjacent to the Old Parish Cemetery.

Why are these plots empty today? Some twenty years after Highland Cemetery was founded, the Day, Smith, and Winslow families removed the remains and grave markers from Old Parish. Their loved ones were reinterred at Highland where their original gravestones were reset and now stand. The Winslow graves were transported on October 18, 1901. We can only assume the others were moved at about the same time. All are now located within the area at the crest of the hill at the main entrance to Highland Cemetery.

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