The Meeting House

About the year 1646, a new Meeting House was built and a Burying Ground commenced opposite the present day First Parish Church. Over the years there has been four different Meetings Houses built in the area.

First Parish Meeting House

The first two were very crudely built and only lasted a few years. The last one, on the east side of the street, stood for about sixty years and was destroyed by a fire in 1868. The very next year the present Church across the street was dedicated entirely free of debt. As each Church was removed, the ground where it stood was taken up by gravesite. There is a very informative story written by Isaac W. Little well over one hundred years ago. It contains a huge amount of historical information, as he was, even in those early days, complaining about the neglect of the grounds, the destruction of old stones and the abuse of property rights.

Today people try to claim grave sites on some old lots. Most of the early ministers, Parker, Noyes, Woodbridge, Toppan, and Moore are buried here, mostly with replacement stones. Many early Deacons as well as Town Clerks and other Town Officials are also interned here.

Over the years the Burying Ground has had land added to it, but many residents and Church members have found it necessary to obtain lots in other local cemeteries. It is badly in need of a good sounds plan to improve its condition and insure its future upkeep. People come from all over the country to visit the area and search for their ancestors.

– Dick Cunningham

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