This passed in the affirmative; and the selectmen, Captain Tufts, Deacon Willis, Deacon Whitmore, Ensign Francis, Captain Brooks, and Ensign Hall, were appointed the committee to plan the enlargement proposed. The committee reported June 10th of the next month, when the town passed the following vote:--
That the town will give Mr. Aaron Cleavland and John Willis, for a small parcel of land, for an addition to the burying-place, lying betwixt Mistick River and Gravelly Bridge, after the rate of thirty-two pounds per acre.The portion they bought cost six pounds.
May 12, 1718: “Put to vote, whether the burying-place, some time past bought of Mr. Aaron Cleavland, be continued in said Cleavland's hands, as to the herbage, until the town give further order; and, when the town see cause to fence it, it shall be fenced at the town's proper cost; and whether that, forthwith, a board fence be erected at the front of the land, with a gate and lock. Voted in the affirmative.” This vote would lead us to infer that the enclosure was ill cared for; and the need of new fences is learned from the vote of Nov. 26, 1733, which was as follows: “Voted to have the front of the burying-place fenced in.” At the same meeting, they directed “that the fence should be made of good cedar posts, white-pine boards, with handsome double gates, colored red.” We apprehend that extraordinary care was not fashionable. One might infer that the “front” only was secured by a fence. From that day to the beginning of the present century it was not unusual to let these precious, and we may add sacred, spots be exposed to the visits of vagrant animals.May 12, 1785: “Voted that no cattle be permitted to graze in the burying-ground.” The “Old burying ground,” as it was called, being near the most populous part of Medford, was better defended by walls than was common in many towns; yet we remember the wall on its east side, as low, broken, and insufficient. March 5, 1739: It is, for the first time, proposed to build tombs; and the north side of the graveyard is designated as the most proper place. None were built until many years later. The town passed the following vote, May 11, 1786: “Voted to give liberty to any person to build a tomb in the ”