Somewhere on Spring Street, behind a modern house, are grave markers for ancestors in the Prince family. In childhood, with my mother, I walked by those stones, not understanding their significance. I've written previously about my surprised reaction when Mommy pointed to the name John Prince on a gravestone and casually commented that if I'd been a boy, I might have been named John Prince Nichols. Someday I'd like to find that stone again. Older cousins have given me clues and instructions of where to walk, but I haven't yet succeeded in finding it. I need a guide.
Meanwhile, I guided my friend Heather Massey to another old cemetery, one on Preston Street that is very easy to find. She and I had been indoors at a conference all day, and were eager for fresh air and exercise in the waning light of late afternoon. She kicked off her shoes and walked barefoot as I gave her a quick tour around historic graves of my relatives and of other Danvers families.
I was quite surprised to see that an old badly damaged tree is STILL standing, still alive. I remember family gatherings around that tree we said goodbye to another family member some years ago. The tree looked terribly broken and unbalanced then; today it looks about the same.
The Nichols family gravestone also looks the same as I remember it. Names are carved on both sides, starting with my great grandparents Andrew Nichols (1837-1921) and Elizabeth Perkins Stanley (a.k.a. Lizzie Nichols) and their eight children. They lived nearby at 98 Preston Street. Their daughter Mary Eliot Nichols, born in that house, became a beloved Danvers school teacher. She lived into her 90's, dying in the same bedroom where she had been born! I attended her funeral, in the parlor of that house, in 1966. Her sister Margaret, the last survivor of that generation, lived until 1968. Her funeral, too, was held at home in that parlor.