WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2012

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/78488

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Page 100 of 211

this according to a 1928 study. Fourteen per- cent more were jailed for fornication. Almost all were poor. It angered Miriam Van Waters, the progressive superintendent from 1932 to 1957, that women who acknowledged an ille- gitimate birth by seeking parental support could then be charged for lewdness or for- nication, often by their partners. But Van Waters drew comfort from the fact the insti- tute could provide medical and social services for them, including some burials. During some of those years, inmate's children could live at a separate nursery on the institute's campus: hence the children's graves. Only three stones still stand in the refor- matory burial ground. One is engraved back and front with names and dates of women. The other two, which also have multiple names and dates, are graves of young chil- dren or babies. The cemetery may have another burial: a circle of small rocks sur- rounds a mound of earth with a large rock in the center marked with traces of paint. It looks both deliberate and hand-done, like an early mass grave. But no one either at the prison, or at the local historical societies, knows anything about it. Whatever that mound represents is thus far lost to history. Both graveyards belong to the state, although only the more recent one is labeled. Its dark wooden portal, which blends with nearby tree trunks, reads: Clara Barton Cemetery, Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Barton's name honors her service to the 99 fall 2012 | WellesleyWeston Magazine

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