This work is a private enterprise, not undertaken for gain or remuneration, but because it is work such as would not probably be done if I did not do it; and because it is a preservation of facts which may otherwise be lost.
It has grown, by slow degrees, from a pamphlet of fifty pages, with five hundred epitaphs, to a book of 250 pages, with some 2500 epitaphs; and instead of a history of one grave yard, as originally contemplated, we have the history and epitaphs, with plans, of ten graveyards, and of one grave-yard entire, without a plan, and additions from private yards.
We now present a complete list of all, epitaphs in all old public grave-yards commenced before 1800, with plans and with some account of the old grave yards of the three towns of West Bridgewater, Bridgewater and East Bridgewater, including all monuments in those yards, down to the present time, and also, most of the epitaphs in private and small-pox yards.
The labor has been much greater than was anticipated. Several persons have been employed to copy inscriptions, and to locate and number monuments on the plans. Mr. Joshua E. Crane, Jr., has done most of this work in Bridgewater, and Walter M. Swift and Henry Harlow have done the most of it in West Bridgewater and East Bridgewater.
We are much indebted to Mitchell's History of Bridgewater for the notes within parenthesis added to Epitaphs; to Walter L. Keith, for the use of his plate of the Keith coat of arms; and to Bradford Kingman, Esq., for original sketches drawn by him especially for this work, of the Edson & Keith Tombs at page 18, and also for views of the houses of Rev. James Keith, opposite page 238.
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