Coles Hill Burial Ground, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Latitude: 41.95733, Longitude: -70.66240
Coles Hill Burial Ground

Our Pilgrim ancestors' first winter in Plymouth proved deadly, with half of the colony dying of sickness. They were afraid of burying the dead openly, as it would alert the Indians to how weak the colony was and possibly provoke an attack. In order to prevent this, they buried their dead in secrecy at Cole's Hill in Plymouth.

After rain storms had washed many of the remains out of the hill, it was decided in 1921 that the remains should be excavated and placed into a stone sarcophagus that now sits at the top of the hill overlooking the harbor.

The inscription on the Sarcophagus reads:

Here under cover of darkness the fast dwindling company laid their dead, leveling the earth above them lest the Indians should learn how many were their graves. Reader, history records no nobler venture for faith and freedom than that of this pilgrim band. In weariness and painfulness in watchings often in hunger and cold, they laid the foundations of a state wherein every man through countless ages should have liberty to worship God in his own way. May their example inspire thee to do thy part in perpetuating and spreading the lofty ideals of our Republic throughout the world.

Cemetery Photos

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Barker, Elizabeth Cole's Hill Pilgrim Memorial Tomb
Barker, Elizabeth Cole's Hill Pilgrim Memorial Tomb