Lower Green’s Farms Colonial Burying Ground

Aerial view of the Greens Farms Colonial Burying Ground; Source- Bing
Historic/Common Name:
Colonial Burying Ground
Address:
_ Green Farms Road and Sherwood Island Connector
Town:
Westport »
Year:
since c. 1730
Historic Designation:
LHP, SR
Property Authority:
Historic District Commission
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

The Lower Green's Farms Colonial Burying Ground was founded c. 1725 and is situated close to Long Island Sound between the Post Road and Interstate- 95 in the Greens Farm's section, once known as West Parish. Remnants of a road circling the inside of the burying ground are still visible, though much of it is blended into its surroundings. As with most colonial burial grounds, the grave are positioned with the head laying to the west and the feet to the east, so that on Judgment Day, the resurrected dead can arise to face the dawn. The inscribed faces of the headstones generally face west while those of the foot stones face east. The entrance to the burying ground, flanked by stone pillars and iron gates, is located on Green's Farms Road opposite the site of the second meeting house of West Parish. This structure was burned by the British during the raid on Fairfield on July 7, 1779. [2]

Significance of the property:

According to local historian George Jennings, the colonial Burying Ground, was set aside from the town commons on the south side of the country road (Greens Farms Road) just west of Muddy Creek about 1725. That it was a set aside is proven by the fact that no deed or gift of the burying place has ever been located, according to Jennings. Also, early in the ministry of Hezekiah Ripley, the Greens Farms Parish voted to allow him the right to fence the grounds so as to pasture his sheep thereon. The burying place is specifically mentioned in the boundary description ins a March 12, 1749-50 Fairfield deed. The earliest stone is that of Abigail Andros Couch, dated September 14, 1730. The cemetery is still actively used ad is significant in that it contains the remains of many of the prominent early Westport families, especially those from the Greens Farms section. [3]

Relationship with the Surroundings:

It is a mostly rectangular, 3.28 acre site, bounded on the north by Green's Farms Road, west by the Sherwood Island Connector, south by land owned by Nyala Farms, Inc. and on the east by a private residence. Between 1738 and 1779, the second West Parish (Greens Farms) Congregational meeting house stood across the road.

Features:
Burying Ground
Historic Use:
Cemetery
Present Use:
Cemetery
Architectural Style:
N/A
Era:
18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century
Ownership:
Private
Owner:
Congregational Society of Greens Farms
Sources:

Assessors information retrieved from the website www.visionappraisal.com.
[1] Historic Property information retrieved from the town of website http://www.westportct.gov/.
[2] Lower Green's Farms Colonial Burying Ground, Historic Property Study Report, 2008, SHPO library, Hartford.
[3] McCahon Mary E., Colonial Burying Ground, Historic Resources Inventory, 1988, SHPO library, Hartford.
[4] Historic District handbook accessed in the town website [http://www.westportct.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=280].
GIS information retrieved from http://www.westportct.gov/index.aspx?page=538.

Map:

Map of the historic property retrieved the online GIS map, accessed from the town website.

View photo
Date of Compilation:
12/31/11
Compiler:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation