Cemetery Committee Report 1841
to Town Meeting

Brookline Town Records 1838-1857, pp 33-35. (Brookline Public Library: [Brookline Room] 974.45 B81)

At a meeting of the Inhabitants of Brookline legally warned and assembled February 15, 1841,--

Deacon Thomas Griggs, Moderator.

Voted, That the Report on the Cemetary be accepted.

Voted, That the Cemetary committee have liberty to expend all money received & all that may be hereafter received by them from sales of Family Lots in the Public Burial ground in defraying the expenses of Fencing said grounds and in making other improvements thereon, and said monies or proceeds of sale are hereby appropriated for that purpose.

Voted, That the sum of Two hundred and fifty dollars be appropriated from the monies which may be raized by the Town the ensuing year, for defraying the expence of covering the front wall of the Public Burial ground with a Hammered stone capping, under the direction of the Cemetary committee.


The committee appointed by the Town of Brookline in May, 1840, with authority to enlarge the Public burial ground by purchase of adjoining land, &c., and also to dispose of the Town's land adjoining the Town house, would now Report: That in accordance with the Authority above named, they have purchased of Caleb Clark a parcel of land situated on the Western, Southern, and Southeastern borders of the old burial ground in said Brookline, containing three-fourths of an acre & six rods of land as may appear by a plan drawn by E. F. Woodward of Newton, and also by a deed of Conveyance from Caleb Clark recorded in Norfolk Registry of Deeds, in consideration of five hundred dollars which has been duly paid him from the proceeds of the town's lot of land adjoining the town house, which has been sold by your committee to Silas Pierce for the same consideration. In the deed of sale your committee have prohibited the erection of any building within Ten feet of the Town house, and have reserved the right to enter upon the ground and erect stagings for tile repairs of the town house when needed. After procuring a survey of the Burial ground and grading the principle avenue, your committee offered at public auction on 15th June last a choice of Family lots as laid down upon the plan, fixing the minimum price at twenty-five dollars. Seven lots were then sold at an aggregate advance of seventy-nine dollars & 50 cents. For six of these lots deeds have been given and the consideration received, amounting to Two hundred twenty-four dollars & 50 Cents. No further sales have since been made, but your committee confidently hope that after having compleated their contemplated improvements more lots will be taken for Family interments.

A permanent stone wall has been laid in mortar in front of the newly purchased ground and extending by a part of the old ground. The gates have been enlarged and removed to the northwestern corner, and the residue of the premisses, including the old burial ground, has been surrounded by a substantial Cedar post and picket fence--except a few rods at the southeastern side, where a deep cut through the gravel ridge is contemplated and already commenced to connect the southern broad avenue with that which crosses.

The Valley of the old burial ground making an entire circuit of the avenue around the hill, the removal of the gravel from this deep cut will incur but little expence, most of it being suitable for repairing road, and will soon be wanted for that purpose. About seventy ornamental trees have been planted, and your committee contemplate planting as many more in the spring. In the fencing and improvements already compleated the expenditures have been as follows:--

For grading the western and southern broad avenues$101 83
For Lumber & Cedar posts for fence91 19
 "  Carpenter work in building fence36 25
 "  Sawing and planing pickets at mill31 10
 "  Painting, including stock40 77
 "  Labour in setting posts, leveling and turfing banks,
    planting trees, grading Central avenue, &c.
74 07
 "  surveying and drawing plan4 00
 "  Sundry small Items attending sale of Lots, &c.5 33
 "  Nails, &c., per Mr. Jones' bill7 62
 "  building front wall & finding materials93 27
 "  enlarging Iron gates, per Safford & Co.'s bill19 61
112 88
Making a total expense of$505 04

exclusive of the cost of trees, which will probably be about forty dollars more.

When the appropriation of four hundred dollars was granted by the town in May last for fencing and improvements, it was not contemplated to build the front wall at present, nor was the expence of building this wall included in the estimates made by your committee when they recommended this appropriation, as the removal of the front gravel bank was then considered a preliminary measure. But on further consultation after your committee had matured their other plans for improvement, it was their unanimous opinion that the natural beauty of the grounds would be greatly impaired by the removal of the front gravel Bank, and by retaining it the front wall could be built without delay, which being very desirable was accordingly done. The expence of this wall, with the removal and enlargement of the gates, exclusive of levelling and turfing the banks on both sides, amounts to $112.88, which taken from the total expenditure reduces the sum to $392.16 below the estimate and below the grant made by the Town. This extra expenditure in building the front wall and gates has been paid from the sale of Family lots, and as your committee are desirous of making some further improvements after compleating those already commenced, They would now respectfully request the Town to grant them by vote whatever monies have been received from sales of Family lots, and which may hereafter be received from such sales, to be expended in compleating the fence and improving the grounds and avenues. The front wall would be more permanently durable and present a much better appearance if covered with a hammired stone capping. Your committee would therefore recommend an appropriation for that purpose of a sum not exceeding two hundred & fifty dollars.

When it is considered that the fencing and improvements already made have cost the Town only 400 dollars, and that the expence of all other contemplated Improvements will be paid from sales of family lots, Your committee cannot doubt the liberality of the Town in promptly meeting their views by a grant of this sum. All which is submitted--on behalf of the Committee,

S. PHILBRICK, Chairman.
BROOKLINE, Feby. 8, 1841.