History of the Northwest Cemetery
By: Leah Brodsky, Social Media Editor
Dating back to before the 1800s, the old Northwest Cemetery is a hidden gem in the Apple Valley near Ashfield, MA. Nestled within a border of protective pine trees and surrounded by ancient stone walls, ghostly tombstones rest on the green land. The cemetery is owned by the Ashfield Burial Association. The first burial was Thomas Howes in 1793 and the last burial was Ruth Taylor in 1867. In the middle of the cemetery stands a monument with all the names of those buried there. Besides Howes, sadly, the mystery of those who are buried there before the 1900s remains unsolved.
To reach this fabulous place, you’ll need to hike on the Ashfield trails, following either the Outlook to Stroheker Road trail or the Stonebridge trail. The rugged footpaths leading to the cemetery are absolutely beautiful.
These trails don’t maintain themselves! Named after the Ashfield trees that were planted along Main Street in the town, Ashfield Trails is a volunteer-based organization that is “committed to building and maintaining a community network of sustainable, non-motorized footpaths in and around the Town of Ashfield, MA.” Ashfield Trails volunteers within the organization take care of approximately 20 miles of trails. While AMC is known for its volunteer-led trail stewardship, Ashfield and surrounding communities also have passionate people that help keep the outdoors accessible to all. Thanks to their efforts, the trails leading to the Northwest Cemetery are well-marked and safe. Go see this hidden gem today. It’s a wonderful, quiet place that’s not widely known. Learn more at this site [http://ashfieldtrails.org/].