Almost everyone living here in Halifax today knows of the Sturtevant Cemetery on Plymouth Street (once known as the “Cemetery at Monponsett Pond”). This site was established in 1728. The Central Cemetery behind the Town Hall on Hemlock Lane in 1830, and The Tomson Cemetery on Thompson Street in 1734. But did you know that we also have three smaller ones as well?
These lots are known as “Family Lots.” In the early 1700 and 1800, numerous families owned quite a bit more property than we do today. Some owned 100 acres or more. When a family member passed away, they would be buried in a carefully selected section of the land.
On the west side of Thompson Street, across from the Thompson Cemetery, you can find the Drew Lot established in 1807. There is a small monument here listing the names of the members of Colonel Thomas Drew’s family who are laid to rest there.
On Wood Street is the Perkins Family Lot (1811). (Pictured Left) This lot had been very overgrown so the Halifax Historical Commission contacted the MA Historical Commission to inquire about the rules regarding the care of old burial grounds. It seems that if more than 100 years had passed, and the property has been neglected, the care and upkeep of the property could be taken over by the town. A letter to that effect was sent to Cumberland Farms headquarters and a small group from the Commission proceeded to look into the care of the lot. In 1994 members of the Silver Lake Regional High School Agricultural class came over and assisted in cleaning up the site. Some care was needed as the fence was falling down; trees growing around and through the small stones the underbrush had taken over.
The little forgotten lot had been cleaned and repaired and looked good for a number of years but by 2011 it was in disrepair yet again as someone had gone in and knocked over stones, breaking them and the fence. The town continues to try and keep the small lot clear so it doesn’t “disappear” into the cornfield. The trees that have grown in the lot don’t help, but they are allowed to stay. I like to think of them as sentimental. As they have been there for so many years they will stay, reminding us that a family was laid to rest there.
The third one is the Hudson Tomb (1819). At one time you could see it on the northeast corner of the intersection of Pond Street and Hudson Street, just east of the East Bridgewater town line. Unfortunately, over time, all signs of this lot are all but lost. Years ago all that could be found was a small mound of earth.
There are other single graves on private properties and I’m sure others have been lost to time and development. All these souls have earned the right to rest in peace and I hope everyone respects this.
Respectfully Submitted, Sue Basile
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