The Town of Westford acquired this rectangular, 0.939-acre parcel from brothers Ebenezer and Thomas Wright, both farmers, in 1753. Ebenezer was one of Westford’s original 89 taxpayers; Thomas is buried within the cemetery. At the time it was known as North Burying Ground, locally called Nutting Cemetery for its location at the corner of Depot Street and Nutting Road. For many decades the quiet corner was cared for by loved ones and thoughtful neighbors. North Burying Ground was given the name Hillside in 1903.
The most famous person buried here is Captain Oliver Bates (1721-1775), who with his compatriot Colonel John Robinson (buried at Westlawn), was a town selectman and one of three officers who led the Westford Minutemen to confront British soldiers at the North Bridge in Concord on April 19, 1775, the famous “shot heard ‘round the world” skirmish that started the American Revolution. Three months later Bates also fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill, where he sustained the wounds that killed him. He joins five other Revolutionary War veterans buried here, including William Chandler (1755-1826), who served with him in Concord and Boston. Other veterans include Roswell Reed and Imla Keyes, who fought in the War of 1812, four veterans of the Civil War, and three who served during WWII.
Another deceased citizen of note is Anne Underwood Spaulding (1717-1770) whose prominent family owned land that was sold to the town, including what became Westford Common.
Hillside is Westford’s second established public cemetery, and like the other town cemeteries has many styles of monuments from the Colonial, Federal, and Victorian eras, ranging from flat slate to granite obelisks. Two zinc or “white gold” markers date from the 19th century. The somewhat elevated cemetery is bordered by granite slab and fieldstone walls, mined from Westford quarries, topped by split coping stones. A stone etched with the name “Hillside” for its front wall was gifted by the family of Claire Westwood in 1991. Hillside Cemetery was listed with the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
Hillside still holds occasional burials for deed owners but only a few lots remain available for purchase. Please see our price schedule or contact the Cemetery Department for more information. Also please read and observe our rules and regulations when visiting Westford cemeteries.
[Note: Because of fast-moving traffic it is difficult to park on the street alongside the cemetery; we recommend entering the cemetery at Depot Rd. and using the short, dead-end road inside the cemetery to park and turn around.]
Google Map/Directions: From 495N or 495S take Exit 32/Westford to Boston Road, toward Westford Common. Take a right at the Common and pass Town Hall, bearing left to continue down Depot Street. Go over the railroad tracks and bear left again. Hillside Cemetery will be on your left at the corner of Nutting Road.
From Rte 3 or Rte. 40 (Groton Road) coming from Chelmsford or Groton: Take Rte 3 to Rte 40 (Groton Road) into Westford. Take a left onto Depot Street; the entrance to Hillside will be on your right, before the corner of Nutting Road.