In 1915 Mrs. Parke bequeathed $4000 to Oak Grove for
the erection of a memorial chapel. Mrs. Parke's husband, George W. Parke, owned
the Spring Cove Wharf Company located on what is now the town dock in West
Falmouth harbor. During the late 1800s, schooners used the wharf to discharge
coal for Falmouth and West Falmouth residents. According to Mrs. Parke's will,
the memorial chapel was to be made of concrete, hold at least 50 people, and be
built near the Parke burial lot.
Designed by Gunnar Peterson, the chapel was finally
erected in 1935. It is the cornerstone of Oak Grove, being a simple brick
structure with white trim, tall entrance columns, and high window and door
arches - all in keeping with traditional New England architecture.
The chapel underwent a complete restoration and
modernization in 2008. Part of this restoration was the creation of a Memorial
Courtyard and pathway connecting the chapel to the administrative/service
building. The courtyard includes memorial benches and is bordered with engraved
That chapel is heated, seats 50 in padded
church-style pews, has a lectern, two separate bathrooms and an area in which
to hang coats.
Parke Chapel is a beautiful and convenient location
for memorial ceremonies. It is available year-around to cemetery members (lot
owners). A donation for use of the Chapel is welcomed, but no fee is
Our deep thanks to Mrs. Parke for her vision and
inspiration in bequeathing Parke Chapel to Oak Grove Cemetery.