April 18th was Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts. I had planned to go to Granville and visit their town hall on this day. Well, that did not happen. Everything was closed. There was no mail, no garbage pickup and all town halls and libraries were closed. I usually check for holiday’s but this I missed. Granville’s Town Hall only has town clerk hours on Monday. So that makes things a little difficult to plan a visit.
I had visited the Granville Public Library on Wednesday April 6th in the afternoon and did this side trip from Springfield because it had hours that didn’t work with the town clerk. I met with Rose Miller the Town Historian and she suggested that when I came back to Granville we could visit. I called her to tell her my problem and she also had a problem too in her schedule. We figured out that we could meet around 1 pm at the Granville Public Library. The library was going to be closed but she had access. She was meeting with a man from New York who was researching his family. So our plans were set and I would come down much later in the day rather than get their by 9 am. This was good because I could take my time.
Meanwhile, I spent the morning busy with chores and I left the Comfort Inn about 11:30 am.
It takes about an hour, maybe a little less, to drive from Pittsfield to Granville. I used Hwy 20 and changed to Hwy 8 and then turned east on Hwy 57. I had no problem at the intersection for I-90 and was able to keep on Hwy 20 south.
This was going to be an interesting drive because so far I have only come to Granville from the east to the west and now I was going from the west to the east. This would give me a better idea of the distance and terrain. The road was good in places but damaged and rough in others. There was hardly any traffic which I love. Going down Hwy 20 was easy. The town of Lee was a lovely town and they even had a bookstore which was tempting but I did stop I kept going.
Just before turning onto Hwy 57 there is a covered bridge just north of the town of New Boston. It is bright red and over the Farmington River. Since I didn’t go to the one west of Winchester, NH, I decided to top and enjoy this one. I parked the car and walked over to the bridge and stepped inside noting the big chunky floor boards with a little of the river peeking through. There was a viewing window on the right side and I peered through it. It had a plaque on it probably a dedication?
Granville has an interesting history as Rose describes it. The area where the library is located was East Granville. The Granville Center was Granville and then there is West Granville. Well, Tolland broke off because it was too far to travel and everything shifted. There is no longer an East Granville although you will see it in the records. It is where the Granville Library is located and the Granville Country Store. So that means there is Granville, Granville Center and West Granville in today’s world. West Granville is not that close to the library area. The town hall is in Granville Center. The Main Cemetery is along the road north of Granville Center where the road dips and rises.
|Entering Granville established 1754 – Solomon Goss was born in that year?|
The road to Granville is up and down, around and wiggling here and there. I pondered what it would be like if there was snow and I am not sure I would be able to get around with all the hills and dales. You come first to Tolland and that is when the New Boston Road becomes the W. Granville Rd. Next is West Granville and it is about a few miles to Granville Center and then it becomes the Main Rd.
I came upon the Main Road Cemetery and tried to find a place to park along the road. They come fast on this road. The Main Road Cemetery is on the north east side of the road and there is room to park there but I did not want to try doing a U turn for I was headed to the library. The cemetery is hilly so you do have to step carefully because you could fall if you are backing up and not paying attention. Again it was mushy due to the rain so that made it slippery. In certain parts you can look down on other houses and lawns. One of the houses was just beautiful and the land around it was immaculate. This cemetery is in pretty good shape. I saw evidence of repair of a few stones using metal rods to fix the cracked pieced knitting them back together. They had tape with numbers written on some of the stones and stuck on the sides. Others had orange tape tied on them?? You can see one of the orange ribbons in the photo below.
|This stone has flaked off the inscription, not unusual|
|There is a stone wall parallel to the road and parking to the left|
|An iron gate to walk through, no driving in this cemetery|
I found who I was looking for? Peter Gibbons and Sarah Green Gibbons. The parents of Lemuel Gibbons who married Marry Goss sister to my Solomon, Ebenezer and Nathaniel and the others. Mary was a daughter of Philip and Mary Kendall Goss. Peter and Sarah married in Hardwick and I believe they came with Zachariah Haskell and Keziah Goss Haskell to the Granville area? I cannot seem to prove it? I found Roger Haskell the son buried at the Center Cemetery in Peru! I have not been able to find any further information out about Lemuel in the Granville area. He is truly a mysterious person. Now Lemuel is not my ancestor. He married into the Gosses. I am interested in him because he married Mary and she is the ancestor of my cousin Ken Goss. Lemuel was not in the deeds in Hampden County, however, his father Peter was. I think a probate file for Peter might be interesting to see. Although he died after his son Lemuel many years later.
Find A Grave has a listing for the Main Road Cemetery and a listing for the Gibbons buried there. Someone has posted a lot of information on this family with links to other memorials that do not have a stone.
In Memory of Peter Gibbons who died Dec. 6, 1822, Age 92 and Sarah his wife who died Feb. 8, 1811 age 80.
Sarah is at this link and Lemuel is listed as one of her children. As you can see the links are very long when you go to an individual listing.
I cannot find a grave for Lemuel Gibbons in the Granville area. The Find A Grave listing for him also does not have any idea where he is buried but does mention the confusion over the information about his potential death place. The Gibbons family were very prominent in Granville and had many descendants.
The interesting thing is that Paul H. Goss didn’t really acknowledge this Mary Goss, a sister. I have seen her birth in the records of Granville on a Family History Film #185380. There is also a book titled “Turning of Hearts: William Davidson Gibbons Family History Family History Book 929.273 G352 that talks about the Gibbons family and its connection to the Goss family.
No more dallying for it was a little after 1 pm and I headed to the Granville Public Library to meet Rose Miller the Historian. She was waiting patiently in her car and fortunately it wasn’t for me but for her appointment. He was late! He did appear as I was getting out of the car and had his three little girls with him.
Rose took us into the library and the alarm went off so she disappeared quickly. She opened the door to the Historical Room of the library and we settled in at the table. She began helping him which was fine with me. I needed to eat my lunch. I asked where I could eat my sandwich. Rose gave me permission. I was content to listen to these two discuss his family research and try to find and figure people out. He had come from New York to the library today for his appointment with Rose and she was willing to come in on a holiday. The girls were told they could read books in the children’s room but they had to put them back. So they were content for at least one hour and then the energy level increased.
|Granville Public Library|
|Timothy Mather Cooley kept very careful vital records of the Granville Church.|
She handed him cemetery records, histories of Granville and more. She reviewed Timothy Mather Cooley’s church records trying to find information to help him. She had pulled the land cards that the surveyor had compiled and shared those with him. Rose explained that he would have to go to Westfield or Springfield to access the land records and deeds at the Registry of Deeds for Hampden County. There are two offices for this Registry of Deeds but the websites don’t tell you which is the one you need to go to. So you will have to call to ask.
Unfortunately I did not catch his name but he had gone to the Granville Town Hall and the clerk had not been able to find any information for him on his people. She had accessed her cards to find the information. I listened intently at this point. Cards, no original records….hmmmm….?
Rose and the young man worked on the research for a good hour and more before he packed up and headed out. I just realized he probably ran into trouble because the government offices were closed for Patriot’s Day.
Rose and I headed back to the Main Road Cemetery. She was going to help me by taking a picture of me with the graves. I had not done that when I visited earlier that day. She pulled her car over and we went into the Main Street Cemetery which does have a grassy area next to the cemetery but be careful for the ground is real soft and you could get stuck. Having her take a picture or two meant I didn’t have to set up my tripod and use the timer. See the photo above.
|More Main Road Cemetery in Granville|
I pointed out the tape and ribbon on some of the stones and she puzzled over that. We walked around a little and Rose remembered and commented on some of the bigger stones. Rose’s husband Hank had been the one who ran the Historical Room in the library and he was avid in his pursuit of genealogy and history. He is the one responsible for a lot of the records in this library. Before him there was another lady who was also devoted to the history of Granville. There are a lot more records there than you think. If they don’t have original’s they have copies. Hank has been gone 11 years and Rose stepped in to help.
We left the cemetery and I followed Rose up the road into West Granville. I had pondered which house she lived in but was not prepared for the Saltbox that I saw. WOW! It was built in 1730. It was a brown color with a light blue door with a flag on it. The yard area was lovely and wooded. Her husband had wanted a lot of land something like 120 acres and they ended up with 30 acres??? She chatted happily and gave me permission to photograph anything I wanted but it was her home so I restrained myself. The barn on the right which is somewhat shrouded was something like 150 years old.
We entered the sun room and I was greeted with a delightful room filled with knickknacks but not overly done. Rose quilts and braids the most wonderful oval rugs. She had them all around the house. They were soft and wonderful on the feet. The wide wood planked floors were amazing. Rose is a “hooker” and no it isn’t the other definition. It is someone who hooks rugs and she has wonderful wall hanging rugs. These are picture rugs that you can hang on the wall or place on the floor. They are small maybe 3 ft by 2 ft? She has them scattered her and there. This is fine rug making. The quilts she had made were hanging on a railing in the staircase were gorgeous. All handmade. It was like stepping back in time.
The rooms in the home are all delightful and have either the white wall, or a wallpapered wall or the dark knotty pine I love or a dark wood beam. The kitchen as she called it had this huge fireplace with this stone interior and a oven for baking on the side. She had her rustic kitchen in the end area. Around the fireplace was a sitting area. Oh and books everywhere!
All the rooms were charming and filled with her treasures and collections. Her bedroom on the second floor was to die for. She had an office with the slanted roof and her husband had his office which looked like it had not been disturbed. Her sewing room was next to the powder room on the first floor. It was very tiny but charming. Silly me was stroking the wood panelling and touching the stone around the fireplace. Talk about heaven and seeing the real thing rather than a photograph in a decorating magazine. I was truly in heaven.
I usually book into old B&B’s but this was my first time inside a Saltbox house that was an actual family’s home. Why she invited me, of all people, I don’t know but I was very much touched by her kindness and generosity.
She then served me tea in lovely fancy cups with a saucer, which reminded me of my Mom, and let me eat the homemade chocolate chip cookies that a friend had given her. She doesn’t like chocolate chips cookies so she wanted me too to finish them off. I left one for her. We chatted about life. What a delightful and lovely day and what a wonderful surprise.
She took me upstairs to her office and showed me this card file collection of the Granville surveyor’s records and we studied them for Goss, Haskell, Gibbons, Davidson and more names. The surveyor had done a study of the deeds in the area and who bought what land and sold to another. I took pictures of the ones that interested me. I will compare his findings with my own research on the deeds and see what this will reveal.
|Deed Records by a former Granville Surveyor carefully preserved|
My time was done and I needed to move on. It was 4 pm. I had another cemetery to visit and I had to go back to Peru. I had misplaced my prescription glasses and I decided that the Center Cemetery was where I had lost them. I needed to take a chance and retrieve them if I could. This meant a little more driving than I had planned.
I waived goodbye and thanked Rose for her kindness and help. Off I went back onto Hwy 57 heading west back to New Boston and then up Hwy 8. The sky was darkening and the rain was beginning by the time I got to Otis. I was going in search of the Norton Cemetery in East Otis. So I turned on Hwy 23 at Otis and drove about a mile or more to the Norton Road. I entered a road with a sign that said “Closed MUD.”
I proceed cautiously but I went too far up this gravel road. So I turned back and there was the cemetery on the right. I parked the car and was greeted by a very unhappy dog belonging to the house across from the entrance to the cemetery. The owner was trying to contain him. I gathered my things and proceeded into the cemetery which is only about 1 block from the entrance onto Norton Rd. I had been concentrating on the right side of the road and the houses so that is why I missed it as I drove in. You park and walk into this cemetery.
|Norton Cemetery, East Otis, MA|
The cemetery is on a slope and it is in an open area with a stone wall around it. I easily found the Haskell family and there was Keziah Goss Haskell Rose’s grave broken in half. Fortunately I could see the inscription and it was really something to see that name “KEZIAH” across the top. The stones are to the right as you enter the cemetery and along the road side near the stone wall and lined up together.
|It reads Keziah the widow of John Rose died Aug 17, 1815 age 87|
|Philip Haskell, June 6, 1756, d April 18, 1849.
He served his country in the Revolution from its beginning to its close.
This Peter Haskell is a brother of Roger and therefore son of Keziah Rose (Keziah Goss Haskell Rose) and son of Zachariah. There are more graves but seem to be more of his wives and it looks like he married several times? I have some work to do.
The real fun was seeing the name “Keziah” carved in a tombstone. This Keziah caused quite a problem along with her mother back in the 1930’s and 1940’s when Paul H. Goss was trying to figure who was who and who married whom. I just wish we could find her mother Keziah Cooley Goss Brown and where she is buried? Someone on the internet said Timothy Brown headed to Winchester NH but he is not on the list in the Evergreen cemetery there and neither is Keziah?
The doggie was still not happy with me as I climbed into my car but the man was kind and made sure his puppy was undercontrol and had put him on a leash. Funny, this medium sized dog was wagging his tail as he barked at me! I decided not to push my luck.
Here is a very nice blog on this cemetery which was a great help to me in finding it: http://stuofdoom.com/main/?p=808 They also have a video.
Here is a listing of the burials: http://www.uscemeteryproj.com/massachusetts/berkshire/norton/norton.htm
Time to head back to Otis and then turn north onto Hwy 8 and head for Hinsdale. I did go through Becket Center and North Becket again and this time I continued up Hwy 8 rather than drive the Washington Mountain Road and bounce myself around. Hwy 8 is much better to drive. It was starting to rain heavier as I continued north. I am so glad roads don’t move around like the stairs at Hogworth in Harry Potter!!!! I know I said that before, HA!
The drive took about half an hour. I went through the town of Washington and back into Hinsdale and turned onto Hwy 148 and up the hill to Peru and right to Center Cemetery. I put on my slicker and my tenny runners and turned and there I spotted my glasses on the ground in the puddle with the arms sticking up right where I had parked the car the day before. HURRAH! Now I can see when I drive. I mean, I can see things but they are a little fuzzy and I can’t read some of the smaller signs. They are transition lenses so it helps with the sun and glare. No more 20/20. Sigh!
Before I left I walked quickly up the hill and said goodbye to Roger, Mary and Zechariah Haskell turned and headed back from Peru to Dalton and into Pittsfield. No he is not the Zechariah I seek but probably Roger and Mary Haskell’s son. Darn! However, finding Philip and Roger Haskell the two brothers and the sons of Zechariah and Keziah Goss is pretty cool! I had help for others are tracking these lines online and I thought I would help out a little with some better photos of these cemeteries.
Again driving through Pittsfield was easy because of the holiday (Patriots Day). I didn’t realize that when I visited Pittsfield and the Berkshires that I was going to get a total view of the highways in the area. As I was coming up the hill to the NARA turn off and getting close to the Comfort Inn I noted Mazzeo’s Ristorante was open. There were cars crowding the parking lot but I turned in anyway and parked.
The wine I chose was wonderful – David Norman from Australia? I had Fettucine Alfredo with broccoli and the plates was a perfect size. Sometimes Fettucine can be a never ending bowl. It was good I was hungry. They had a great Caesar salad which I ate all of and usually don’t. It was definitely a people watching environment. There was a waitress with very blonde hair in a ponytail and she was very intent on her job and zipping about with determination. Their uniforms were black shirt and pants. She was also very pretty. I think she was a budding future restaurant owner because of her determination?
It was a very slick restaurant and modern, my table was a dark wood coated to a gleam. It was noisy but apparently it was popular! I had been curious passing by it and so now I was content.
Time to go get ready an move on tomorrow and head back to Connecticut.