Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

February 28, 2008

More on Claypit Cemetery

by @ 12:04 pm. Filed under History

Last Friday’s post highlighted a story in the Globe’s Northwest Weekly section about an abandoned cemetery located behind the Brunswick Bowling Lanes in Lowell’s Pawtucketville section. The Globe story told how a history teacher from Dracut and her students are trying to track down who is responsible for maintaining the cemetery, since it does contain a number of graves (including those of some veterans) and it has fallen into serious disrepair after years of neglect.

Well, we were able to locate the most recent deed to the property and our research indicates that the town of Dracut owns the cemetery. The confusion is understandable, but here’s some background: The area where the cemetery is located had been part of Dracut for nearly two centuries, but on May 18, 1874, the Massachusetts state legislature “annexed” it and most of Pawtucketville to Lowell. So property in the annexed section ceased to be part of Dracut and became part of Lowell. But, in the case of the cemetery, the town of Dracut actually owned the land, so just like any other property owner, the town continued to own the property even after the property became part of Lowell.

Here’s the pertinent language of the deed which was recorded on July 12, 1866 in Book 50, Page 406:

Know all men by these Presents that we, Harriet A Edwards, widow, and Mary Howard, spinster, both of Chelmsford and Caroline Varnum and her husband Joseph B Varnum, all within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in consideration of Twenty-five dollars to us paid by the Inhabitants of the town of Dracut in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts . . . do hereby grant, release and forever quitclaim unto the said inhabitants a certain parcel of land . . .

The property description repeatedly refers to “the old burying ground.”

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