"East Cemetery"
by Raymond Bentley

On page 26 of the Harwinton Town Records titled East & West Harwinton is the following:
".....then We laid out a burying place 30 rods square butting East on Daniel Messengers 20 acres West on the Highway North on ye Country Road the above written work finished & Completed by us May 17 as Witness our hands. Zach Seymour Danl Messinger Samuel Catling, Committee

Recorded June 28, 1733 George Wyllys, Clerk"

This was apparently a committee appointed to lay out the last of the home lots in East Harwinton and this was the last lot to be established. It was on the south side of Burlington Road and the east side of Terryville Road.

We hear nothing more on this land for seventy-five years, and then in 1808 the following deed was recorded:

"To all men to whom these Presents shall come: Greeting
Know ye that we Timothy Clark & Daniel Holt & Jonathan Rossetter Selectmen of the Town of Harwinton in Litchfield County for the consideration of Forty Dollars received to our full satisfaction of Frederick Phelps of said Harwinton Do give, grant, bargain, sell and confirm unto the said Frederick Phelps his heirs and assigns forever one certain piece of Land lying in Harwinton laid out for a burying ground and a strip for a Highway on the North Side of said Phelps land of two rods in width Bounding North on the turnpike road and running West from the West end of Josiah Phelps Cowhouse to the said Burying Ground butted as follows. North on the Turnpike Road the South by the highway to said Phelps land and South of the brook for a burying ground when wanted in the most convenient Place for that use......
In witness whereof we have set our hands and seals the 3rd day of October 1808.
Daniel Holt
Jonathan Rossetter
Selectmen"

By what authority they sold this land I am unable to find. They were elected Selectmen on March 18, 1807 but I was unable to find any record of a vote to sell the land.

Thirty six years later, at a Town Meeting on April 1, 1844, it was "Voted to appoint a Committee to take the subject of a new burying ground into consideration & report their doings to the annual Town meeting next. Sheldon Osborn, Augustus L. Johnson & Gardner Preston are appointed said Committee."

Then at another Town Meeting held on October 7, 1844, it was "Voted to inspect the ground used for a burying ground near Mrs. Fredrick Phelps & if it is found suitable for a burying ground & the Town has title to the land, to enclose it with a suitable fence."

Then at still another Town Meeting held on October 6, 1845, it was "Voted that the present Committee of Burying grounds keep the subject under consideration & report their doings to the adjourned town meeting on the first Monday of April next."

It appears, however, that they did not wait until the meeting the following April, three weeks later this appeared in the Town Clerk's record:

"Report of the Selectmen on Burying ground on the Phelps farm-"

"The under signed Selectmen of the town of Harwinton pursuant to a vote of said Harwinton at the annual meeting held at town hall on the 7th day of October 1844 & also on the 6th day of October 1845 have proceeded to examine the records of the town for a reserve of land made for a burying ground: and we do find that by referring to the records of 1733 a burying ground of 30 rods square was then laid out - and on the 3rd of October 1808 it appears further from records that the Selectmen of the town sold the above mentioned ground except one acre and one half which they reserved for a Burying ground & for a more aprticular description we would refer to the above mentioned records - On the 27th day of October 1845 we repaired to the above mentioned grounds & laid out & made the following survey for a Burying ground."

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