Our History: Crypt & Churchyard

An archaeological investigation from 1975 to 1980 confirmed the existence and history of the rare colonial crypt beneath the church. The remains of nearly twenty-five people, the position of burial plots, and associated artifacts were found and documented. A major discovery was identifying the original location of the crypt door in the southeast corner of the church foundation. Four small redwood coffins were constructed to contain the remains, which were interred in a new vault-like enclosure.

St. Michael’s and its crypt provided the inspiration for the macabre writer H.P. Lovecraft in his short story, “The Festival,” published in Weird Tales in 1925. The oldest church crypt in New England is also open by appointment to the interested visitor.

A handsome churchyard adjoins the east side of the church where some seventy-five parishioners and former rectors have been interred since the early 1700s. The headstones have been restored. In recent years, several cremains have also been added, and a hand-made wrought iron fence was installed in 2005.

Learn more about St. Michael’s history:

Surrounding Buildings
A Revere Bell
St. Michael’s Church Architecture and Chronology
Stained Glass Windows
Archives and Preservation
St. Michael’s Crypt & Churchyard
Women at St. Michael’s
Partial List of Treasures
St. Michael’s Rectors
Histories of St. Michael’s Available Online

back to Our History page

last update 02/15/2014