by Raymond Bentley
text within the quotation marks are written exactly
as they appear in the Town Records)
At a town meeting
held on December 22, 1740, it was "Voted that the
Selectmen and Thomas Bull be a committee to make surch
for a place for a burying place that may a Comodat the
holl town of Harwington."
At another town
meeting held on January 20, 1741, it was "Voted
on that the town Excepts the return that the committee
hath made concerning the exchange of sum land in order
to furnish the town with a Sofisant burying place."
At that same meeting it was also "Voted that Mr.
Daniel Messenger and Mr. Jacob Hinsdell and Mr. Jonathan
Hopkins Be a Commity in order to Give and Receive Deeds
in Behalf of the town Respecting Exchanging sum Land
in order for a Buring place for the town."
As a result of
this action the following deed was drawn. It is recorded
in Volume 1, on page 81 of the Harwinton Land Records:
men by these presents that we Daniel Messenger, Jonathan
Hopkins and Jacob Hinsdell being a committee appointed
and fully impowered by the Town of Harwinton to mak
sum Exchang of land with the Reverent Mr Andrew Bartholomew
in order to accomodate ye said Town with a sutable peace
of Land for a Buring place for ye Dead do therefor in
ye behalf of the said Town on ye one party and Andrew
Bartholomew on ye other party agree as followeth: viz:
That ye town shal have seventy & two Rods of Land
on the Northwest corner of Mr Bartholomews Land which
is near the meeting house in said Harwinton it Being
part of ye lot East of said meeting house which land
is set off from said Bartholomew land in ye form: viz:
Twelve rods eight from said Corner and five rods South
from said Corner which land is to Continue forever to
be said Towns for ye use abov said and for ye Consideration
of ye same we do agree and Covenant that ye said Mr
Bartholomew shall have an equivalent seventy & two
rods out of ye highway Beginning at ye North East Corner
of ye Land Which Abijah Catlin Bought of Mr Bartholomew....To
him and to his heirs and assigns forever in Confirmation
Hereof We place our hands and seasl ye 25th day of january
in ye 15th year of his Majesties Reighn George ye Second
A D 1741/2. Signed Sealed & Delivered in presents
of Andrew Bartholomew, Jonathan Hopkins and Jacob Hinsdell."
Here are buried
many of the early settlers of the town. Reverend Andrew
Bartholomew, who as first minister served the town for
thirty-six year, was buried here in 1776. Hannah Wadsworth
Cook, daughter of Captain Joseph Wadsworth, who his
the Connecticut charter in the Charter Oak, was buried
here in 1786. In 1913, Frank D. andrews, a friend of
Newman Hungerford, together with Reverend Charles B.
Strong, made a list of all the gravestones inscriptions
which could be read at that time. The old stones are
crumbling and many of them can no longer be read.
cemetery hadn't been well taken care of over the years
because, at a town meeting on October 4, 1886, it was
voted to direct the selectmen to make such improvements
in the Old Cemetery as they may think best by trimming
up the shade trees, removing those which are dead, setting
up and placing in proper order all the monuments that
are down and also to erect a fence on the line dividing
said lot from land of Mrs. Julia Burwell." That
was the fence on the south side.
Every year the
old stones show more and more wear. It will be only
a few years before ther inscrptions will no longer be
The above is written
from excerpts from
"THIS AND THAT OF EARLY HARWINTON"
by Raymond G. Bentley
Published in 1999