I have lived in the central Massachusetts town of Northborough for almost 18 years. Now I grew up learning about New England and early colonial history in school, but it wasn't until I became a New Englander myself that I found the stories behind the books and movies was more interesting.
Before becoming a genealogist, I was just another town resident living and raising a family. Having driven down Brigham Street many, many times over the years, I had never had the opportunity to see the street for the country road it is (and very old one at that). That is, until I decided to take up jogging and headed out to enjoy nice spring day.
At the end of Brigham Street, not far from the intersection with South Street/Route 135, I approached a conspicuously empty square lot in the middle of an otherwise residential neighborhood. The genealogist in me must have had good radar that day because I could make out the shapes of a few gravestones poking up from the grass at the back part of the lot. Curiosity got the better of me and I just HAD to go see who was buried there. What I found were three gravesites laid out close together and one set a short distance away. The stones dated back to the mid 1700's, placing them in a time smack in a time of history when the land was first being settled. I didn't know who they were, or what parts they played in our town's history, but I did feel sad that whoever they were, they seemed lost and forgetten.
The Northborough Historical Commission, as part of our local government, is committed to the preservation and proper documentation of historically important structures and landmarks in our town. One visit to their web pages can illustrate the depth of history found in places we pass by daily but with barely a notice. There is also plenty of opportunity for volunteer assistance on projects deemed valuable, including an inventory of those graves I found on Brigham Street. As I have already admitted, my curiousity and love of puzzle solving got the better of me and I have decided to research Who Is Buried in the Brigham Street Pre-Revolutionary Burial Ground?
My work in progress will be summarized on this blog. If you would like any additional details about my research or would like to add information, please feel free to do so. I am a firm believer that many people hold pieces of the puzzle and that all we have to do is spill them all out on one table to put it all together.
Beth Finch McCarthy