Native American Burial Grounds

One known Native American Burial Ground, also known as the Miacomet Indian Burial Ground, lies on Surfside Road. Indian remains were found when ground was broken for construction of a housing development by the Nantucket Housing Authority in 1987. The burial ground was dedicated in September 1993 in a ceremony featuring blessings and speeches by representatives of Native American groups and town and state officials. Augie Ramos and Joanne Holdgate received an award from the Massachusetts Historical Commission for their efforts.

Miacomet Indian Burial Ground is one of the largest in the state and contains the graves of probably more than 200 Native Americans, according to Brona Simon, Massachusetts State Archeologist. It was used as the graveyard of the Native American Christian meeting house that once stood nearby. Many of those buried at the site died during the epidemic of 1763 and 1762 that took the lives of 222 Native Americans.

Massachusetts state law has established procedures for what to do when human remains are found. Private citizens are required to contact state or local police and the regional medical examiner about the discovery and location.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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