The North and East Burial Grounds shall hereafter be under the care and control of an administrative body consisting of five persons, to be called Commissioners of the Cemeteries, and appointed by the Town Council for staggered terms of five years with an appointment expiring each January. The Town Council may appoint an auxiliary Commissioner to serve for a five-year term. This individual shall sit as an active member in the event of a temporary vacancy, and at the discretion of the Chairman of the Commission.
The Town of Bristol, Rhode Island is the quintessential New England seaport town: lovely, charming, beautiful, active. Founded in 1680, Bristol is also the final resting place for many of our nation’s first citizens.
The legacy of Bristol includes many wonderful cemeteries, two of which are owned and managed by the Town of Bristol: the East Burial Ground, situated at the corner of Wood Street and Mount Hope Avenue, and the North Burial Ground on Hope Street. The other cemeteries in Bristol are owned and operated either by churches, private groups, or families.
The East Burial Ground, surrounded by an iron fence donated by the Daughters of the American Revolution at the time of the 250th Anniversary of the Town in 1930, memorializes many of our early ancestors and a few of the many sons and daughters of the American Revolution. East Burial Ground holds an excellent collection of 18th and 19th century headstones.
The North Burial Ground, situated on Hope Street, functions as the unofficial welcome to Downtown Bristol. This is Bristol’s largest continuously active cemetery since 1822. Here are enshrined the remains of veterans from the American Civil War, the Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, and many veterans who lived and died at the RI Home for Soldiers and Sailors. Additionally, North Burial Ground is entrusted with the remains of a Congressional Medal of Honor winner. In total, the town of Bristol holds the cherished remains of over 3,200 military veterans.
Each Memorial Day, the Boy Scouts of Bristol continue the tradition of placing American Flags on the grave of each of our veterans. All veterans are welcome to be buried at North Burial Ground. As a note, the U.S. Government manages the Military Cemetery in Exeter, Rhode Island for veterans and their partners. In addition to our military veterans, North Burial Ground holds the remains of ordinary people who made Bristol their home; men and women who were farmers, factory workers, fishermen and women, teachers, merchants and shop owners, family members, sailors, sea captains, and more.
Our cemetery is not only a historic place but also the sacred resting place for our community’s recently deceased, regardless of faith or denomination. We continue to this present day to receive the remains of those who at one time lived in Bristol or who have ties to our community. The North Burial Ground is open every day of the year as a safe and available location for family and friends grieving the loss of their loved ones. Our cemetery is a place of healing and rest. With a rolling hill and wonderful views of Bristol Harbor, North Burial Ground conveys a wonderful sense of rest and serenity.
A few years ago, in response to a spectrum of concerns including land stewardship, family economics, and ecological sensitivity, in addition to a national trend toward cremations, the Commissioners of the Cemeteries had the vision to create The Cremation Garden at North Burial Ground. The Cremation Garden, surrounding Peters Pond, is an outstanding example of where the historic meets the present day.
We invite you to visit our cemeteries and to enjoy their tranquil and relaxing atmosphere. As the Commissioners of the Cemeteries, we are here to serve you and your family at any time, but especially during the difficult time of death and grieving. We invite you to consider North Burial Ground and The Cremation Garden as the final resting place for you and for members of your family. Please contact us by our link through the Town of Bristol’s website, or directly through the website for The Cremation Garden or phone our Superintendent of Cemeteries, Enzly Ramsey, who will gladly discuss your immediate or future cemetery needs. He can be reached at 401-253-6426. We are here to offer our services you and your family and to answer your questions.
On behalf of the men and woman of this Commission,
I am sincerely yours,
Charles C. Cavalconte, M.Div. Chair
Peters Pond at the Cremation Garden
Meeting agendas are made available to the public through the RI Secretary of State website before a scheduled meeting. Once posted, meeting times will appear below.
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The North and East Burial Grounds Commission agendas and meeting minutes are available on the Rhode Island Secretary of State website. A link to the Commission’s information page is provided below.
The Cremation Garden
Bristol’s Onboard System allows residents view the roles and responsibilities of this board, view the current members, appointment terms, and apply to available openings.
Are you interested in volunteering for one of the Town’s boards or commissions? Apply at the link below, or email the Town Clerk here.
Address: 1081 Hope Street, Bristol, RI 02809
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday | 8:00AM – 4:00PM or by appointment
Phone: 401-253-7000 ext.130
Superintendent of Cemeteries