Many who visit Lowell Cemetery come to pay their respects to deceased relatives. Others come to enjoy the beautiful, natural setting or the wonderful sculptures that mark some of the graves. A few come in search of a witch.
People who believe in those things say that the bronze figure that marks the grave of Clara Bonney has supernatural powers and that one day, the figure’s dress will drop down to her waist and she will come to life and haunt the community. Those who believe the legend leave tokens like coins or jewelry or even baseballs to gain the favor of the figure but no one has ever seen her move.
This statue marks the burial place of Clara Bonney who died in Lowell in 1894 of tuberculosis at the age of 39. She was married to Judge Charles S. Lilley and was the only child of Judge Arthur Bonney and his wife Emma. After she died her family hired the famous artist Frank Elwell to create this monument for Clara. Elwell called the sculpture “New Life.”
No one knows how this statue became connected with the legend of the witch. It seems unfair to Clara Bonney who lived a good life that was cut short by a deadly disease. But throughout the year and especially on Halloween, many people visit this monument and wonder about its special powers.
Lowell Cemetery is located at 77 Knapp Avenue in Lowell, right next to Shedd Park. It was founded in 1841 and is still an active cemetery that is open to anyone regardless of religion, race or national origin. For more information, go to www.lowellcemetery.com.