Of late, I have been trying to assess what happened to the bodies at Gardner Hill. When I first started this work, the general thing was there was a transfer to Harmony Grove Cemetery. That is, everyone was moved nicely. Re-interned, in other words. But, where in the Cemetery? By the Peabody gate? And, one write up says, well, it was only a handful of yards. In fact, there is misinformation everywhere I go to read on this topic.
So, we'll post an improvement once we know a little more.
Well, let's look at Sidney's map (The Essex Antiquarian, Vol VI, No 4, October 1902, pg 149). He shows the burial plot as being north of the Trask one. Too, it is toward Boston/Main. So, according to the scale, we're talking a couple hundred of yards.
Of course, Sidney did this from the ground, given his times. However, he was thorough so I accept his depiction. According to the satellite map of Google, we are talking almost 1,000 feet (well, 300 yards).
However, there is a winkle. Dr. Frank saw notes from Samuel Pickering Gardner where he mentioned his visit to the burial plot in the 1830s, before the road work, and some stones had already been moved and some broken. In other words, graves were already lost in terms of identification. All for commerce. Of course, Samuel P. was upset.
And, Samuel P. said that the seller was William (Harvard grad, so we're talking a secular influence more than mere money - well, it's a debate that continues) who I am researching further (How close is close?). He is a descendant of Samuel (#6 in the book), son of Thomas. Now, Samuel P. is a descendant of George (#3 in the book), who was the brother of Samuel. In this map, the Samuel who owned the plot north of Abel is a son of George. And, Samuel's plot is right above Abel's who was a son of the original Samuel.
This re-look came about since I heard this year that stones were moved. What? The bodies were cast into the river? Gosh, the fire? Payback? So, we can say, some. How many? Who was there? We need to research this. Where to start? All sorts of questions.
Well, this is more of a story than the witch thing that is so popular, somewhat. We have culture (Harvard and not), history (the rush to do shoes, etc.), and technology. I'm trying to envision how Gardner Hill was leveled. Too, what was the elevation change? All of this can be answered one way or another.
However, Sidney saves the day. He mentions that some bodies were moved to Trask's plot. That makes a whole lot of sense. So, thank you, Trask family. Their plot was closer, actually, than Harmony Grove. It wasn't commercial (don't worry, I have been gathering the history of the place, before, after and so forth).
So, we now have three classes of people: those whose remains were moved to Harmony Grove, those whose remains went to Trask's plot, and those whose remains were lost due to the stones being removed to allow for industrial expansion. Then, we can talk the different classes of stones. Not many survived. Two trophy stones stand in Harmony Grove (placating the conscience?). We may not be able to identify all who were put into Gardner's burial ground, but we ought to make an effort. Now of those were moved to Trask, did the stones go with them? Of course, many may not have had stones.
At least, we need to get the verbiage in an improved state in order to tell the story a little better.
Of course, the seller did not get the buyer to honor the 'in perpetuity' that was supposedly left behind. Ah, lots of other angles to look at, too.
Remarks: Modified: 10/17/2018