The Dead Rise…and Fall: Hillside Cemetery

October 20, 2020 — It wasn’t on our itinerary, the magnificent Hillside Cemetery in North Adams, Massachusetts. We were just passing through on our way to other sights. But Route 2 bisects the cemetery, so we inadvertently drove through it…and almost sent more people to the cemetery as a result of our violent and sudden U-turn.

North Adams is achingly quaint. A college town. And the kind of college town that every movie set at a New England college tries to create from scratch. Old architecture surrounded by forested hills that are afire in autumn and sugared in winter.

The cemetery was established in 1798, and while it boasts no famous or historic interments or overly interesting funerary art, its layout covers multiple hills and valleys, creating an amazing landscape of the dead that a living person could really get lost in.

And then you have to Frogger across Route 2 at some point to see the rest of it.

By the time we returned to the car, I was out of breath and sweaty despite the coolness of the afternoon and because I put on my Halloween 15 back in August and was already starting on my Christmas 20. But in my time, I’ve left very few cemeteries feeling like I hadn’t quite completely “done” it. This was one. Some cemeteries you can sum up with one photo, others half a dozen. Here are ten pictures that don’t do Hillside Cemetery full justice.