Holding Tombs

Long before the backhoe, the six-foot deep hole for the coffin had to be dug by hand with pickaxe and shovel.  In the nineteenth century, during the iron cold winters in New England, sometimes it was necessary to store the coffin until the January thaw or Spring when the frost was out of the ground.  There are several of these Egyptian Revival style holding tombs which were built into hills or mounds, each containing shelving on either side of the interior to hold 6-8 coffins.  Today this particular tomb houses lawn mowing equipment.  This holding tomb, which is at the west side of the cemetery near the main entrance, housed the two coffins of Abby and Andrew Borden for a week while city medical examiner, Dr. Dolan, arranged for a complete autopsy on the bodies to be held at Oak Grove in the Ladies Comfort Station.  It was there that the two skulls were removed and held for trial evidence on August 11, 1892.

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