Cemetery Committee Report 1840
to Town Meeting

Brookline Town Records 1838-1857, pp 27-30. (Brookline Public Library: [Brookline Room] 974.45 B81)

1840, APRIL 6. At a meeting of the Inhabitants of Brookline legally warned and assembled...

Deacon Thomas Griggs was then chosen Moderator, when it appeared there were no vacancies in town offices.

Voted, That Dr. S. Shurtleff, Ebenezer Heath, Samuel Philbrick, Thomas Tilden, Thomas Griggs, Charles Stearns, Junr., and Daniel Sanderson be a committee to examine the state of the Burial Ground and the land adjacent suitable to enlarge it, and report to an adjourned meeting on the first Monday in May at four o'clock in the afternoon.

MAY 4. At an adjournment from the 6 April the town met on the 4th day of May to hear the report of their committee on the Burial Ground, &c., when it was

Voted, That the Report of the Committee be rejected.

O. WHITE, Town Clk.

MAY 18. At a meeting of the Inhabitants of Brookline legally warned and assembled on Monday, 18th day of May, to see what the town will do relative to enlarging and improving the Cemetary of said Town. Deacon Thomas Griggs was chosen Moderator, when the following Report was made and accepted by the Town:--

WHEREAS, a committee of seven freeholders was chosen by the Town of Brookline at a legal meeting in April last to examine the land adjoining our public burial ground and report if any and how much land could be purchased to enlarge the same and on what terms said purchase could be made, &c. And, whereas, said committee did make report at an adjournment of said meeting held on the first Monday of May instant, which adjournment being attended by very few of our Inhabitants, said Report was Rejected. Therefore,

Voted, That the men comprizing said committee be now requested to report to this meeting the result of their labours and deliberations on that subject, together with such recommendation or suggestions as may deem expedient.

Whereupon they presented the following:--

The committee appointed by the town of Brookline at a meeting in April last to examine the land adjacent to the public burial ground and ascertain whether any suitable addition can be made by a purchase of some of the adjoining land and on what conditions such purchase can be made, having attended thereto and made report at a former adjourned meeting, would now submit the result of their labours, together with the following suggestion for the considerations of this meeting. After a full examination of the grounds above named, we have run out the lines and set up boards for an enlargment of our public burial accommodations in the following manner, viz.: Beginning on an angle on the eastern side of the Public Cemetary seven rods & 3 feet back from the highway and extending about eighty-six feet southward in a straight and direct line and parrellel with the line from the highway above named to a stake and stone, thence extending in a southwestern direction about one hundred and forty-two feet to the northeastern corner of the pond lying south of our cemetary, thence on the northern border of said pond extending in a western direction thirteen rods to a stake and stone thence extending northward fourteen rods to the Highway about one hundred and four feet west from the northwest corner of our cemetary, comprizing about three-fourths of an acre of land more or less. The consideration required for this land is five hundred dollars a price in our opinion very high considering the quality and location of the land. Yet inasmuch as an enlargement of our burial accommodations will shortly become indispensible, and it seems desirable that they should be in one enclosure rather than seperate and it is doubtful whether any place so suitable for this purpose can be obtained, we have tho' not without some hesitation and reluctance concluded to recommend the purchase of the land above described at the price required provided satisfactory bonds can be obtained to insure the perpetual protection of all the Burial ground including the proposed addition and the Fences surrounding the same against the removal of the gravel banks adjoining so as to undermine the ground or fences in any manner whatever.

And as the purchase money will not be wanted immediately a note can be given by our Town treasurer payable in the Autumn of 1841 with interest annually which will give the Town an opportunity to provide for payment in assessing the Taxes for that year. This land If purchased will need fencing which will probably cost but little short of two hundred dollars, and some levelling and grading for a cart-way around the western and southern borders with other improvements will be useful. We would therefore recommend the appointment of a Cemetary Committee to be authorized and empowered to compleat the purchase of the land above described receive a title on behalf of the Town, to erect a suitable fence around the grounds and make such other improvements and embellishments as they in connexion & with the advice of the Board of Health may deem expedient not exceeding an expenditure of four hundred dollars, and that an appropriation of that sum be now made for those purposes. And we would further recommend that said committee be authorized by and with the advice of the Board of Health to locate and sell at their discretion at such prices as they may judge reasonable and proper suitable lots for the erection of Tombs or for enclosures of family interments to any persons applying therefor, to whom a Deed or title should be given by the Board of Health or Selectmen, to be entered on the Records of the town. And we would further recommend that said committee be empowered to effect a sale of the lot of land owned by the town adjoining the Town House on the eastern side whenever the price of live hundred dollars can be obtained, and apply the proceeds towards the payment of the purchase herein recommended or otherwise as the town may direct--all which is submitted.


Voted, That in accordance with the report from the Committee on the Burial Ground this day presented--Samuel Philbrick, Charles Wild, S. A. Shurtleff, Isaac Cooke and Thomas Griggs be now appointed a Cemetary Committee who shall continue in office until dismissed or another committee shall be appointed in their place and who with the advice and assistance of the Board of Health,, are hereby authorized and empowered to execute and carry into effect each and all the provisions and recommendations contained in said report, and that the sum of four hundred dollars be hereby appropriated and placed at their disposal for the purposes specified in said report, which sum shall be supplied from any money in our Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and that our Treasurer be hereby authorized to give his note in behalf of the Town for Five hundred dollars to purchase said land in accordance with the recommendation of said report whenever a title can be obtained satisfactory to said Committee and Board of Health.

O. WHITE, Town Clk.