Those laid to rest in one of Boston’s oldest burial grounds will be more respectfully surrounded by next year.
Thanks to the Freedom Trial Foundation, that awarded $100,000 to Old North Church and Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, the historic site on Hull Street in the North End now has $25,000 for ornamental ironwork restoration to fences and a water fountain.
The burial ground, that attracts thousands of tourists every year, was first founded in 1659 as Windmill Hill. The area was named after William Copp, a shoemaker, who once owned the land.
Thousands of artisans, craftspeople, and merchants are buried on the Hill. Just as many African Americans who lived in the "New Guinea" community at the base of Copp's Hill are buried in unmarked graves on the Snowhill Street side.
Others who have been put to rest at Copp's Hill are the Mather family of ministers; shipyard owner Edmund Hartt; Robert Newman who placed the signal lanterns in the steeple of the Old North Church on the eve of the Battle of Lexington and Concord; Shem Drowne, the weathervane maker who crafted the grasshopper on top of Faneuil Hall; and Prince Hall, the anti-slavery activist and founder of the Black Masonic Order.