Norwalk might have misplaced a cemetery
Updated 10:47 am, Wednesday, February 15, 2017
NORWALK — In a quiet neighborhood on Brookside Road, the dividing line between Norwalk and Darien, a small cemetery blanketed in snow sparkles in the winter sunlight.
The untouched snow indicates it has been a while since anyone has stopped by to pay their respects. There are only 31 grave sites, and the tombstones indicate the most recent burial took place in 1912. The tombstones bear seven different surnames, according to records compiled by the Connecticut State Library in the 1930s, which lists the name of the cemetery as Reed Cemetery. The oldest headstone readable at that time was from 1812.
Until recently, it was thought to be a part of Darien. Upon further inspection, David Westmoreland, chairman of the Norwalk Historical Commission, found the small triangle of land, poking out over the Darien-Norwalk border, might actually be a part of Norwalk.
“I’ve been aware of the cemetery, but I thought it was part of Darien as it is literally the only thing on the west side of Brookside Road that is part of Norwalk — everything else is Darien,” Westmoreland said.
Westmoreland said tax maps show a slight jog in the town line, indicating the cemetery is in Norwalk. It is the only piece of land west of Brookside Avenue that belongs to Norwalk, and yet no one quite seems to know who has been caring for it.
Westmoreland said the Historical Commission is interested in finding out more about the cemetery with the intention of helping to clean it up and restore it.
State law allows municipalities to take over the care of abandoned cemeteries. Westmoreland said the historical commission won’t take over the cemetery until they have confirmed it is indeed abandoned, and he is asking anyone with information about who has been caring for the cemetery contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Historical Commission oversees four city-owned cemeteries, three of which are completely restored. The Brookside Cemetery on Rowayton Avenue the Mill Hill Burying Ground on East Wall Street and the Kellogg-Comstock cemetery at Ponus and Nursery streets are all restored, and Westmoreland said the Pine Island Cemetery is about 75 percent complete. He said if the city were to take over Reed Cemetery, its small size would require relatively little work and money to restore.
Westmoreland said he learned about the cemetery when April Martin, a Norwalk resident with ancestors buried at Reed Cemetery, contacted him and expressed her interest in helping restore the cemetery.
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