I recently came across a Seaver Rice account of
why the Oak Ridge Cemetary is so narrow and it is copied
In Ruth Wells' book, she stated that Channing Wells was responsible, while Seaver (and historian Steve Brady) stated it was "Bill Edwards".
Both accounts are provided here; you decide!
Post card image from Paul Coiteux's Collection.
Here is Ruth Wells' Account:
“Just how far Channing (Wells) would go to avoid a "scene" Is part of a legend about him.Next door to the home of which he was so proud was the Oak Ridge Cemetery. On Sunday mornings, when he enjoyed taking his ease, there were often funerals. One hardly thinks of a cemetery as a source of disturbance, but In his case, It was. Someone else might have complained about the funeral processions, but not Channing. Instead, he consulted with the local authorities that controlled the cemetery and asked If they would not be happy to have a stone gate with a wrought Iron archway at the entrance from Main Street. They were enthusiastic and accepted his proposal. The stone posts and the archway were erected. It just so happened, however, that the gateway was slightly too narrow to accommodate a hearse. However, the Imposing entrance remained. But from then on funeral processions entered by way of Everett Street and Channing could take his ease undisturbed on Sundays.” - Page 101
To read more about the Wells Family and OSV, this book is still
sale at the
Old Sturbridge Village Book Store or visit www.osvgifts.org
Seaver Rice Version
Printable File of Above Article (PDF)
With regard to Ruths version from her1979 book title "The
- Founders of The American Optical Company and Old Sturbridge
a descrepancy was observed calling it into question.. The
is doubtful that Channing Wells did this, as it was pointed
out that he
arch is dated 1878, and yet the book records Channing Wells
was born in
1870! This was noticed after studying the posting on this
this can be attributed to Channing Wells or not, it is
that the Wells Family had this type of influence on the town.
Post card images from Paul Coiteux's Collection.
William Beecher Gravesite (Southbridge Cemetery) visited by Diane Matuck (MA Opticans Assocation)
Read her Fall 2009 Article on AO History in the MA Opticans Association Newsletter
Recollection of Southbridge
Last update Jan 8, 2010