Brookfield Museum and Historical Society
An Extended Learning and Research Center
165 Whisconier Road, P.O. Box 5231, Brookfield, CT 06804
Phone: 203-740-8140

Museum Hours of Operation - Saturdays noon - 4 p.m. & by appointment


 

 

President's Page

Program Calendar

Museum Shop

Research Center

Collections

Brookfield History

Cemeteries

Gurski's Forge

Membership

Related Links

Craft Show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cemeteries of Brookfield

The Historical Cemeteries Association of Brookfield is an ad-hoc committee of the Brookfield Museum and Historical Society.  The purpose of the Association is to oversee the cemeteries that have no caretakers.  The Association has published a comprehensive list of all the cemeteries in Brookfield including those shared with New Milford, Hawleyville, and New Fairfield.  In addition to a description and its location, the publication alphabetically lists all those people buried in each Cemetery between 1745 and 2003, as well as information essential to any genealogy study of area ancestors.

The publication can be purchased at the Museum or online by going to our Online Catalog. The publication is available in both hard copy and on compact disk.

To learn about any one of our cemeteries simply click on the name shown in the following table of contents.  Click on Return at the end of the article to return to to the content section.

Table of Contents

Central Cemetery

Congregational Church Memorial Garden

Gallows Hill Cemetery *

Huckleberry Hill Cemetery

Land’s End Cemetery

Laurel Hill Cemetery

Merwin’s Brook Cemetery *

Northrop Cemetery *

Old South Cemetery

Prince of Peace Lutheran Cemetery

St. Paul’s Memorial Garden

United Jewish Brookfield Cemetery *

Wood Creek Cemetery *

Home Plots *

Memorials *

* To be added soon    


Central Cemetery

Central Cemetery is located on Federal Road. The eastern half contains very old tombstones. In 1777 Abigail Starr, wife of John Starr, was the first person to be buried here.  The western half of the cemetery was added about 1885.

An iron fence was placed around the entire front of the cemetery.  It was purchased with a bequest of Mrs. Angeline Sturdevant Ferris.  In 2003 a new fence replaced the old iron fence.  Mr. Henry Starr Beers donated the reception vault located at the north end of the cemetery.  In the northwest corner of the cemetery are the stones from the Huckleberry Hill Cemetery.

In the very front of the cemetery is a large white metal monument.  Standing on the top is a statue of a woman, which is unusual for this type of monument.  The footstones around the monument are of several different designs.  These types of monuments were manufactured at the Bridgeport foundry in Bridgeport, Connecticut and were sold by Sears Roebuck and Company.

Dr. Amos Williams, for whom Williams Park is named, is buried here along with Sarah Jane Campbell Pishon, who was exhibited by P.T. Bamum in the Great American Museum, as the fat lady.

The Central Cemetery Association manages the cemetery.

Return


Congregational Church Memorial Garden

The Memorial Garden is located on the grounds of the Congregational Church of Brookfield at the junction of Routes 25 & 133 and is managed by the Memorial Garden Committee of the church. The Memorial Garden is open to the public.

The stonewall in the Memorial Garden is built into the wooded and natural area to the west of the church building.  Placed at the entrance of the Outdoor Chapel, the wall defines an area whose natural surroundings invite the visitor to contemplate life with thanksgiving and point to the hand of God in the world around us.  The stonewall is constructed to contain columnar niches for permanent placement of cremated remains.  The wall is built of natural stone and topped with stone slabs.  A uniform bronze marker gives the name and dates of birth and death of the person interred.  The garden was dedicated in September 1992 on the 235th anniversary of the Church.

Return


Huckleberry Hill Cemetery

This is reported to be the oldest cemetery in Brookfield.  It was located on Old State Road near the junction of Federal Road.  It was reported that those with smallpox were sent to a house across the road from this location and when they died they were buried here.

Judge Samuel Sherman decided that the stones should be moved to Central Cemetery.  One shovel full of dirt was removed from each gravesite, along with the tombstone.  No one knows the reason for removing the stones.  One theory is that the road needed to be widened and they moved the stones that were in the way.

The Historic Cemetery Association of Brookfield working with the owners of the property, the State Archeologist, and the Brookfield Planning Commission, had a portion of the original site set aside as the Cemetery.  In 1995 Timothy J. Jaquith working on his Eagle Scout Project, cleared the area, put in benches, and a large boulder with a plaque memorializing the site.

Return


Land's End Cemetery

Located on Route 25, just over the Newtown line, is the area that at one time was called Land's End.  This land was set aside in 1748 to be used as a burying ground.  A cemetery association was formed in 1863.  For many years the association held its meetings in the brick schoolhouse just south of the cemetery.  It was called the Land's End School.  The cemetery is still managed by the Land's End Cemetery Association.  In 1942 and 1967 additional land was purchased to increase the size of the Cemetery.

Benjamin Hawley settled in this area from Stratford, Connecticut.  He was the son of Samuel Hawley, Sr. and the grandson of Joseph Hawley.  His descendants became so numerous that this area became known as Hawleyville.

Reverend Thomas Brooks and members of his family are buried in this cemetery.  He was the first minister of the Congregational Church in the Parish of Newbury. I n 1788, the Parish was incorporated into a town, and was named Brookfield, after Reverend Brooks.  At that time, he had been the minister for 31 years.  He served in Brookfield for a total of 42 years.

This cemetery is often included in the history of Cemeteries of Brookfield because many of the residents of Newbury Parish and Brookfield are buried there.

The epitaph on the tombstone of Reverend Thomas Brooks reads:

"Mors, mihi vila est (Death to me is life)

O mortal, wander where you will,

Your destiny is cast.

The rising stone and verdant hill

Proclaim your destiny at last."

 

Return


 

The Laurel Hill Cemetery

Eli Ruggles donated the land for this cemetery.  Originally, the road in front of the cemetery was called Old Post Road.  It is now known as Laurel Hill Road. The cemetery is located between Station Road and Mountain Road.  It was originally planned with a wide road extending from the gate to the top of the hill with evergreen trees bordering the road.  At one time this area was covered with Mountain Laurel from which the area received its name. 

Lucia Ruggles Holman Tomlinson, one of the first missionaries to the Hawaiian Islands, is buried in this cemetery.  Her first husband, Dr. Thomas Holman, her brother, Samuel Ruggles and his wife Nancy Wells Ruggles, left for the Hawaiian Islands in 1819.  Samuel and Lucia were both born in Brookfield.  They were the children of Samuel Ruggles and the grandchildren of Captain Joseph Ruggles Sr.  Upon the death of Dr. Holman, Lucia married Esquire Daniel Tomlinson of Brookfield.  Lucia is said to be the first American women to circumnavigate the globe.  A plaque has been placed on the Tomlinson tombstone in honor of Lucia.

Elder William Biddle and his family are also buried here.  He was a Baptist minister born in England.  He preached in the Baptist Church in Brookfield for many years.  The Church was located just south of the Cemetery.  He lived in the Ancient Inn that stood on the opposite corner.  We invite you to visit the historical timeline, found on the Brookfield History page, to see pictures of both the church and the Ancient Inn.

Also buried in the Cemetery are artist and sculpture Horace Clifford Westermann and his wife Joanne Bell Westermann. S he was also an artist.  Mr. Westermann designed and built the cross that once stood on the site of the oldest Cherry Tree in Connecticut.

The Laurel Hill Cemetery Association manages the Cemetery.

Return


Old South Cemetery

Old South Cemetery is located on Sunset Hill Road.

The first person buried in the cemetery was Lucy Gunn, the three-year-old daughter of Abel and Lucy Gunn.  Two years after her death in 1794, her father donated this property to the town to be used as a burial ground.  Colonel Isaac Hawley gave the western section of the cemetery to the town in 1805.  His wife was the first adult to be buried in this cemetery.

Prominent early residents of Brookfield are buried at Old South Cemetry:

      • Dr. Preserve Wood, Brookfield’s first physician,
      • Dr. Arza Canfield and Dr. Amos P. Smith also physicians,
      • Elijah Starr, Brookfield’s first town clerk, and
      • Four of the first deacons of the Congregational Church, Michael Dunning, Ashbel Dunning, Mathew Baldwin, and Luther Smith. 

At one time, an association was in charge of this cemetery.  It raised money to plant roses and to put up the sign with the name of the cemetery.  Emily Hawley was in charge of fund raising.  In 1984, Michael Fisch, removed dead trees, brush and made a sign for the cemetery as part of his Eagle Scout project. Today, the Historic Cemetery Association of Brookfield oversees the cemetery.

Return


Prince of Peace Lutheran Cemetery

Arthur A. Eberle donated the land for this cemetery to the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.  His wife died in March of 1971.  His wish for her was that her remains to be interred in a mausoleum. T his would be the only mausoleum in the cemetery.  Mr. Eberle was interred with his wife in August 1981.

The cemetery is on route 133, to the rear of the Prince of Peace Luthern Church.

Return


St. Paul's Memorial Garden

This garden is a part of Saint Paul' s Episcopal Church grounds located on Whisconier Road in Brookfield.  The garden consists of a stonewall, trees and plantings.  Here, an urn, containing cremated remains may be placed in a niche in the wall or buried in the ground.  A simple brass maker gives the name and birth and death dates of the person being remembered.  Perpetual care of the garden and landscaping is provided by the Memorial Garden Committee of the church.

The southern portion of the garden was completed in 1978 and the northern half in 1982.  In 1984 the addition of a rough-hewn stone cross completed the major construction of the garden.

Return