Vital records of Lee, Massachusetts, 1777-1801 :
from the records of the town Congregational Church and
inscriptions in the early burial grounds,
all the family birth records continued beyond 1801 given as fully as recorded ;
containing also the baptisms and names of church members in the records of
the Congregational Church from its organization in 1780 to 1801
Lee, Mass.: Valley Gleaner, 1899,
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
[Note: Originally known as Center Cemetery, now known as Fairmount Cemetery. Thanks to Mal Eckert & Ray Brown for this information. -jd]
In the old grave-yard, now in the north-east corner of the cemetery near the center of town, there are 72 monuments with memorials to 84 persons who died before 1801. Mattey, daughter of Joseph and Lois Henry, is supposed to have been the first person buried there. Doubtless there were earlier deaths among the settlers here, but no certain record of any has been found.
In Holland's Hist. of Western Mass., (vol 2, p. 516) is the following: "The first death that occurred in Lee befell a child of John Winegar. The death occurred at Crow Hollow, and the chld was buried on the West side of the river." Probablyh the statement was made on traditional authority.
It is supposed one of the earliest graves is marked by a rough stone bearing only the rudely carved letters S.B. The name for which these letters stand has not ben detrmined. The stone with the letter L.V.D., marks the grave of Lasso VanDeusen, 8 years old, a son of Matthew VanDeusen.
Only two dated before 1801 are in the South Lee cemetery; one at the grave of Isaac Davis, the first settler, the other at the grave of Abijah Stearns.
A few early graves in each cemetery are marked with uninscibed, unhewn slabs of stone. There are, also, several early graves marked in the same manner near the residence of C.E. Morely, Cape St., where, according to tradition, some of the settlers in that section named Gifford and Roberts were buried.
If any of the early inhabitants were buried elsewhere in town, all knowledge of their graves is lost.
Owing to weathering, probably some of the punctuation has been effacef from some of the stones.
The interined letters and words in the insciptions here given, are shown, as well as possible with ordinary type. On the stones they are close to the lines to which they belong.
Also: Zesna, their son died August 26th, 1793, aged 18 Month.
Margaret, their daughter died at Salem State of N. York Oct. 21, 1786, aged 3 Months.
Thomas Died February 17th, 1788, Aged 14 Months.
Permela Died April 3d, 1793, Aged 2 years & 3 Months.
Children of Mr. Thomas & Mrs. Phebe Beecher
No age nor sex can Death defy, ~ Think Mortals what it is to die.
Joseph Crocker Jun., Died July 24th, 1796, aged 7 Months & 6 Days.
The above were the Children of Insign Joseph & Mary Crocker.
The blooming cheeks, the lovely charms, ~ Lie clasped in Deaths cold Icy arms.
Tis long since death had the majority ~ Yet strange: the living lay it not to heart.
How sudden was the stroke ~ when the Almighty spoke ~ My Friends & Children now draw near ~ And see that you for Death prepare.
Farewell my friends ~ dry up your tears ~ Here sleeps my dust ~ till Christ appears.
Sleep on my babe ~ and take your rest ~ God called you home ~ He felt it best.
The God that * * *(stone broken)
Ye active babes & children all ~ Behold the seene of childrens fall ~ My day was short my hours few ~ And bid this world & all adieu.
Eunis died Mar. 19th, 1794, aged 3 Years.
The heirs of Mr. Elisaha & mrs. Mary GRANT
Surviving friends altough you morn ~ Let this console I shall return ~ The righteous Judge can by his word ~ Bring me trumphing with the Lord.
Behold my friends while passing by ~ This stone informs you where I lie ~ Tho I have lived to ninety one ~ Yet you may died while you are young.
My glass is run my Grave you see ~ Prepare for Death and follow me.
Gods people are made willing ~ in the day of his Power.
The blooming cheeks the lovely charms ~ Lie clasp'd in Deaths cold icy arms. ~ THIS STONE was erected by Seth Backus, Junr.
Farewell my loving wife ~ We bid a short Adieu ~ You can not come to me again ~ But I must come to you.
Adieu my spouse my children dear ~ I leave this world of pain ~ Let virtue by your Practice here ~ we do meet [indistinct]
Farewell my friends ~ dry up your tears ~ My dust lies here ~ Till Christ appears.
Decaying mortals here's the place ~ The house destined(?) for Adam's race ~ Be ready then to meet the Lamb ~ Of God, the Judge, the Great I AM.
All you that stop my tomb to see ~ As I am here so you must be ~ Repent, repent now you have time ~ For Iwas taken in my prime.
Those guiltles charmes, those ~ marks of genius are surpest, ~ Which nust the foundest hopes ~ in tender parents breasts.
In solemn silence here I lie ~ Pray from me learn that you must die ~ All youthful scenes of pleasure bright ~ must end as watches of the night. ~ ~ O may this be your happy case ~ That he who gives you length of days ~ May raise you to His corts above ~ There to pertake of boundless love.
Death is a debt to Nature due, ~ Which I have paid & so must you, ~ Here let me rest my weary head, ~ Till Christ my Lod shall raise the Dead