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The First Parish in West Cambridge.

In 1807 the old religious society which formed the original society of the Second or Northwest Parish in Cambridge, became the First Parish in West Cambridge. A few data from its records are continued from this time.


Voted to procure a clock to be erected within the tower of the new meeting-house.


Voted that any person or persons being desirous of erecting tombs in the Burying Ground, may apply to the Parish Committee for that purpose, who are authorized to grant liberty under their directions. Also voted that the town of West Cambridge have liberty to remove the Central School House on any part of the Parish Ground.

In 1810 liberty was given to Peter Tufts and Peter Tufts, Jr., to erect one tomb in Burying Ground. The same also to John Hutchinson.

In 1810 the Parish Committee granted permission to the selectmen of the town of West Cambridge to remove the Central School House on to the run, or water-course, in the Burying Ground.1 They also granted permission to the inhabitants of the parish to build tombs in the northerly part of the Burying Ground, bounding on the Common, on condition that they should build and maintain a good brick wall on the same.


Don Juan Stoughton was granted permission to build a tomb in the Burying Ground.

1815 and 1817. Repairs authorized on the cupola of new meetinghouse.2


A stove and funnel authorized to be erected in the meetinghouse, for the comfort and convenience of all the inhabitants of the parish at proper seasons of the year.


The parish bell sold, and a new bell purchased at expense of parish. Repairs of the bell-frame and wheel were also made at this time.

1 The Middle, or Central School House stood on the Common, west of the Meeting-House, and nearly or quite half way from the Meeting-House and Nathan Robbins's present property. The rear end of the school-house abutted on the brick-wall of the long range of tombs erected in 1810 and 1811, and the school-house was removed to allow the extension of the tombs. The moving of the house cost about twenty dollars.—J. B. Russell. The town directed the selectmen to procure a piece of land, and remove the Central School House thereon, Sept. 3, 1810.

About this time (1808-1810) the meeting-house of Dr. Fiske's Society was struck by lightning, which ran down the rod on the steeple till it got below the range of the eaves, when it struck off at a right angle, stripping off a clapboard nearly around the house, giving it a grotesque appearance.—J. B. Russell.

2 The September gale, in 1815, took off about one-third of the roof of Dr. Fiske's Meeting House, landing it in the road, near the house where T. J. Russell now lives. The repairs on the meeting-house in 1817, were merely strengthening the steeple, by braces of timber, hoisted up above the belfry, as the steeple had begun to lean towards the road and looked dangerous.—J B. Russell.

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