Oaklawn Cemetery began operating in 1889 when Stockbridge's population was under 500. So, since Stockbridge was founded in the 1830's, where were the deceased being buried? That is, other than in backyards and fields?

Early Stockbridge burials had been made in Unadilla, but the first cemetery in Stockbridge was Wood Cemetery, on Wood Street between Rice & Spring streets. The cemetery and street were named after Ira Wood, who owned that particular chunk of land, and the first person to be buried in Wood Cemetery was one of Ira's young children. From then on, Ira began selling pieces of the land to others who wanted to use it for burials. Ira is considered to be one of the founders of Stockbridge, along with Silas Beebe – even though the town had been previously platted by Elias Smith (Beebe bought the land from Smith). An old atlas photo below shows the Wood Cemetery location.

When Oaklawn opened in 1889, the Wood Cemetery bodies were all dug up and moved to the new graveyard. Identities of some of the bodies remain unknown.

There was also another little-known graveyard in the area, Cooper Cemetery, about a mile west of town at the corner of Adams & Morton roads, as you'll see in the atlases below. A 1907 edition of the Stockbridge Brief-Sun announced the planned removal of those bodies and transference to Oaklawn.

Today, Wood Cemetery is just a faint historic footnote, with the land now privately owned and used as residences. Did they get all the bodies outta there? I guess you'd have to ask someone who currently lives on those properties if they've experienced any sort of unexplainable, restless, paranormal phenomenon.

Other Stockbridge cemeteries within five miles of town are Derby Cemetery, North Stockbridge Cemetery, and North Waterloo Cemetery.



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