OLD BURIAL GROUND

(AKA Ann Lee Cottage Cemetery, North Hughes Farm Cemetery)

MOUNT WASHINGTON, MASS

 

 

 

Photo Source: Oldest Cemetery, Picturesque Berkshire Part II South, The Picturesque Publishing Co., Northampton, Mass., 1893, Pg 93

 

“Drive two miles north on West Street from Cross Road. There will be a driveway just past a grey house on your right.

Enter driveway, continue down small road to the left of the house. You will approach “Ann Lee Cottage.”

To the left of the garage behind the cottage is a path lines on either side with small fir trees.

This path leads to the cemetery, which received its name from the legend that Mother Ann Lee of the Shakers

stayed at this cottage on a visit to Mount Washington. It has been described as probably the oldest cemetery of whites in

 Berkshire County. Early Dutch Settlers’ graves are marked by common field stones.

 

This is a small plot eight rods square about one fourth of a mile east of the west road

and is probably the oldest cemetery of white people in Berkshire County.

 In it are some 130 common field stones set up with no names at the head and foot of unknown graves

 of the early Dutch settlers. Beginning at south-east corner the following are all that have names:”

 

 

     

 

                                                                                       Path to the cemetery Sept 2005                                                           Old Burial Ground Sept 2005

 

 Revolutionary War Veteran

 

BARTLETT                Robert, son of Loring & Dorcas, died Oct 2, 1808 age 4 mos.

 

WRIGHT                   William, died June 28, 1852 age 81 yrs

          Levi, died Mar 6, 1854 age 37

 

BENJAMIN                   Mrs. Abigail (DIBBLE), wife of Mr. Nathan Benjamin

 

DIBBLE                    John died Aug 1, 1773 in the 71st year of his age.

          * Lieut. John died Sept 5, 1826 age 87

Mrs. Olive (JOYCE or HENRY), wife of Lieut. John Dibble died June 10, 1811, age 66

 

DIBBLE                    Jeremiah died June 22, 1849 age 65 yrs. 2 mos. 10 days.

                   Ezra A, his son, d. May 29, 1836, age 2 yrs.

                   George M, his son, d. Feb 2nd 1845 age 4 yrs, 0 mos, 8 days.

          Olive F., daughter of Jeremiah, Jr. & Hannah M. Dibble

          died July 27, 1841 age 1 yr. 7 mos. 8 days.

          George, son of Jeremiah & Hannah M. Dibble

          died February 2, 1846 4 yrs, 10 mos, 8 days.

 

PATTERSON             (Capt.) Charles, Esq. died May 29, 1837 in the 92 yr of his age

          "Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of his saints"

          (HALL) Martha, wife of Charles Patterson, Esq.

 died Apr 2, 1837 age 88 yrs

 

SCHUTT                      Wilhelmus died February 23, 1849 age 84

          (TYLER) Anna, wife of Wilhelmus Schutt

died September 15, 1851 age 81 yrs

 

 

Sources: 1. Tombstone Inscriptions in Southern Berkshire Towns of Egremont, Monterey, and Mount Washington,

Berkshire Anthenaeum, Pittsfield, MA & Mason Library, Great Barrington, MA.

2. Gravestone Inscriptions for Mount Washington, Berkshire Anthenaeum, Pittsfield, MA.3. Cemetery visited & photographed by Michele Valenzano 2003

                                                 

                                                                                                                           

 

Old Burial Ground – Mount Washington, Massachusetts

by Michele (Patterson) Valenzano 2006

 

The families of the early inhabitants of Mount Washington in Berkshire County that rest in this cemetery have intertwined several times through generations which will cause some individuals to find more than one set of great-grandparents memorialized within. The cemetery has inherited at least three different names; The Old Burial Ground, North Hughes Farm Cemetery and Ann Lee Cottage Cemetery. The cemetery is known as the oldest cemetery of white settlers in Berkshire County and contains many graves marked with only common field stones that have been said to be that of ancient Dutch Settlers and do not bare any inscription nor appear to have ever done so. There are several grave markers that have not stood up to the test of time and are no longer legible and/or have fallen over or broken.

 

One of the few grave stones that survive (2006) is that of Mr. John Dibble Sr. (1702-1773). John Dibble Sr. was probably born in Bedford, NY in Westchester County and was one of a group of 79 purchasers of over 15,000 acres of land on Taghkanic Mountain from the Stockbridge Indians in 1757. He was one of the few purchasers of 1757 who remained on the mountain. This was during the time of the French Indian Wars, the Rent Wars instigated by Robert Livingston Jr. of New York and the murder of William Race. The land the cemetery is situated on at the time of John’s death was within his possession and was bequeathed to his three sons. It’s unknown if John Dibble Sr.’s wife Mary who died in 1799 is buried with him as there is no marker found for her. Near John Dibble Sr. are the graves of his son Lieut. John Dibble (1739-1829) and daughter-in-law Olive (Henry) Dibble (1745-1811).

 

The grave of “Mrs. Abigail, wife of Mr Nathan Benjamin” is the oldest legible stone that has survived time in the cemetery of which the most visible word of her epitaph beckons of the visitor…. Remember.”  Abigail (Dibble) Benjamin (1741-1772) was the only daughter of John Dibble Sr. and his wife Mary and a sister to Lieut. John Dibble mentioned above. She predeceased her father when she was merely 31 years old leaving five young children under the age of ten. Her final resting place was chosen on her father’s farm in the Old Burial Ground. Her widowed husband, Nathaniel Benjamin, remarried in 1774 however with Abigail’s brother’s, Nathan Benjamin served in the Revolutionary War. Later he removed to South Egremont where he died however was buried in Sheffield, MA in Bow Wow Cemetery. Abigail’s grave is positioned in the center of the cemetery. Her father John Dibble Sr was buried beside her who died the next year.

 

The three sons of John Dibble Sr; Samuel, John and Daniel were Lieutenants in the Revolutionary War and all three were land owners in Taghkanic Mountain in 1774.  The Dibble brothers along with their deceased sister’s husband Nathan Benjamin were largely involved in the civic affairs of Taghkanic Mountain later incorporated as the Town of Mount Washington in 1779.

 

Lieut. Samuel Dibble, the oldest known son of John Dibble Sr., in 1774 owned the lot of his father’s farm that included the Old Burial Ground known as lot# 33 on historical maps of the town.  It is not known if Samuel Dibble, who died before 1810, or his widow Lydia, are buried here. The northern half of the deceased John Dibble Sr’s farm containing a total of 25 acres including the Old Burial Ground was later sold in 1789 by  his youngest son Lieut. Daniel Dibble to Capt. Charles Patterson of Mt Washington and was described as follows: “a certain tract of parcel or land situate in said Mount Washington on the West Side of the Highway containing twenty-five acres bounded as followeth: beginning at a heap of stones near said Charles’ dwelling house, thence running west ninety one rods to a stake and stones, then south forty eight rods to a heap of stones, about six feet south of a ledge, then east to a heap of stones by the highway, thence north on said highway forty rods to the first mentioned bounds, said land was taken of from the north end of a farm that did belong to John Debell deceas’d.” Lieut. Daniel Dibble, married to Capt. Patterson’s younger sister Sarah Patterson in February  1774 and later moved to Meredith, NY where they both died and were buried.

 

"Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of his saints" is the epitaph that adorns the grave of Capt. Charles Patterson (1745-1837) who rests beside his wife Martha (Hall) Patterson (1751-1839) in the Old Burial Ground.  Charles Patterson, who served as a Captain in the Revolutionary War, purchased his first lot of land in Taghkanic Mountain with his brother-in-law Elnathan Hall in 1772 from Samuel Dibble, arriving from New Fairfield, CT on horseback with his wife and oldest son Levi born in 1768.  The southern half of lot# #38 Charles purchased in 1772 would remain the site of the Patterson dwelling house. “Esquire Patterson” was an original town proprietor of Mount Washington, was largely involved in the civics of the town and held various positions over a long period of time including Justice of the Peace and was chosen as the first Town Clerk of Mt Washington attending some of the earliest town meetings at the home of Lieut. Samuel Dibble of which his brother Lieut. John Dibble was chosen as a moderator. Charles Patterson owned the land containing the cemetery from 1789 to his death in 1837. Andrew and Abigail (Beardsley) Patterson, the parents of Charles, soon followed him to Mt Washington in 1774 from Stratford, CT, where Charles was born. Andrew (1719-1797) and Abigail (1721-1811) may belong to one of the broken or illegible headstones within the cemetery however no proof has been found.

 

Jeremiah Dibble Sr. (1784-1849) a son of Lieut. John Dibble and his wife Olive rest here as well.  Two of Jeremiah’s young grandchildren through his son Jeremiah Dibble Jr., are buried next to him; Olive F. Dibble and George Dibble. Jeremiah Dibble Sr married Elizabeth Schutt born 1789, the oldest known child of Wilhelmus Schutt (1765-1849) and his wife Anna (Tyler) Schutt (1770-1851) who are buried here.  It seems logical that Elizabeth (Schutt) Dibble 1789-aft 1880 would be buried with her husband, parents and grandchildren however a grave marker is not found for her. The Schutt family appears to have migrated to the mountain from West Copake, NY in Columbia County suited with a Dutch name. It is unknown if any of the graves marked with common field stones referred to as “early Dutch Settlers” are ancestors to Wilhelmus Schutt or his wife. Among the siblings of Elizabeth (Schutt) Dibble was her younger brother Ira Schutt born 1801. Ira Schutt 1801-1874 in November of 1823 married Emma Patterson 1798-1893, the youngest daughter of Charles and Martha (Hall) Patterson.

 

The homestead of Charles Patterson which now included the Old Burial Ground gives explanation of a reference found that, “he was buried on his farm there.” After Charles’ death in 1837 the homestead went to his son-in-law, Ira Schutt. Although Charles Patterson left a dollar amount to his widow Martha he did not leave her any use of his estate. With the assistance of her oldest son Levi Patterson, Martha petitioned the Surrogate Court that she had no place to lay her head, was granted her 1/3 dower rights and lived the remaining years of her life with her youngest daughter Emma and son-in-law Ira Schutt. Later the homestead was taken over by a son of Ira and Emma (Patterson) Schutt; Frank B Schutt 1837-1924. This made Frank B. Schutt neighbors with his sister Adaline (Schutt) Spurr 1835-1920 who married Mr. Isaac Spurr 1825-1900 and owned the hostel known as Pennyroyal in Mount Washington.

 

In June 1895 a Berkshire Eagle article read, “Isaac Spurr has built a substantial fence around the old burial ground on the Hughes farm. This is the oldest cemetery in the county, having been occupied for the purpose nearly 200 years. In it are the remains of John Dibble, Jr., one of our Revolutionary soldiers who died in 1826, and John Dibble, Sr., died 1773,  Mary Benjamin, wife of Nathan, 1772, and numerous unknown graves marked only by common field stones; also of Wilhelmar Schutt and wife and Charles Patterson and wife, grandparents of Mrs. Spurr and Frank B Schutt.”

 

The ownership of the Patterson homestead eventually was transferred from Frank B Schutt to his first cousin Luther Holley Patterson, who was the son of Mark and Waitstill (Holley) Patterson. Mark Patterson born 1787 was the youngest son of Charles and Martha (Hall) Patterson and died from illness in Pittsfield during the war of 1812 from illness in Pittsfield, MA. It is possible that Mark Patterson 1787-1813 was buried here but no proof has been found. Both sons of Mark and Waitstill (Holley) Patterson, Luther Holley Patterson 1811-1896 and Mark Orville Patterson 1809-1884, are mentioned in their grandfather Charles Patterson’s Will written in 1828 as “…sons of my deceased son, Mark”.

 

Mark Orville Patterson in 1831 married Louisa Dibble 1815-1898 a daughter of Jeremiah Dibble Sr and his wife Elizabeth (Schutt) Dibble. Hence Louisa was granddaughter to Wilhelmus and Anna (Tyler) Schutt as well as Lieut. John Dibble and his wife Olive (Henry) Dibble. Emma (Patterson) Schutt was a paternal aunt to Mark and a maternal aunt to Louisa. Mark and Louisa also shared Sarah (Patterson) Dibble as a paternal great-grand aunt.

 

Mark’s brother Luther Holley Patterson, shortly after the death of their grandmother Martha (Hall) Patterson in April 1839, married Rachel Ann Wright 1811-1896 on Halloween in 1839. Rachel (Wright) Patterson’s grandfather, William Wright Sr. (1771-1852), for which a grave marker is found here, was undoubtedly present at the marriage of his grand-daughter in Mt Washington.  Rachel (Wright) Patterson was the daughter of William Wright Jr. 1796-1868 born in the neighboring town of Salisbury, CT who Harriett Norton 1797-1858 and was named for her maternal grandmother, Rachel (Dibble) Norton 1772-1858. Rachel (Dibble) Norton was another daughter to Lieut. John Dibble & his wife Olive who are buried here. Levi Wright (1817-1854), possibly a brother to Rachel (Wright) Patterson, appears to be the last, from legible headstones, laid to rest in the cemetery.

 

Four month old Robert Bartlett (b/d 1808) buried here was of direct descent of the Mayflower passenger Robert Bartlett. Baby Robert was the son of Loring Bartlett and his first wife Dorcas whose maiden name is unknown, however she may have been of one of the Mount Washington families. Loring Bartlett was a son of Sylvanus and Sarah (Loring) Bartlett who moved their family from Plympton, MA to Salisbury, CT. Loring Bartlett and his brother Isaac owned land in both Mt Washington and Salisbury, CT. Isaac was involved in several land dealings with the Sparks’ of Mt Washington/Sheffield and the Chapin’s of Salisbury, CT. Baby Robert Bartlett died October 2, 1808. His young mother Dorcas died three days later on October 5, 1808 and was buried separate from her infant son in Chapinville Cemetery in Salisbury, CT. Loring Bartlett soon remarried and had several more children. He is buried in Chapinville Cemetery with his first wife Dorcas and second wife Phebe. Baby Robert appears to be the only child of Loring Bartlett and his first wife Dorcas and was buried here while the land was under the ownership of Esquire Charles Patterson.

 

 

 

Ancient Map of Mount Washington reflecting location of the cemetery

 

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