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John Knight gravestone

Status: Located

Owner of originalAl Sawyer
Date19 Apr 2014
PlaceSawyer Hill Burying Ground; Newburyport, MA
File nameKNIGHT John son of Ens. Joseph and Deborah (COFFIN) d. 6-Apr g-s.jpg
File Size723.11k
Dimensions1798 x 1349
Linked toKNIGHT John (Burial)

Sawyer Hill Burying Ground, Newburyport, Essex, Massachusetts, USA

Notes: Sawyer Hill Cemetery is on Curzon Mill Road adjacent to Maudslay State Park.

In 1689, a meeting house, built by a few individuals, on the way "thro the plaines to Sergeant Emery's Mill," in Newbury was occasionally used for religious worship by the inhabitants of the town residing in that locality.

In 1696, Reverend Samuel Belcher was called to the work of the ministry there, and was installed pastor November 10, 1698. At or about that date a burying ground was laid out, in the vicinity of the meeting house, on what is now known as the Curzon Mill Road. It was enclosed with a stone wall as early as 1708.

Joshua Coffin notates in three places: pages 204, 206, and 208 some facts about the throat distemper in his "A Sketch of The History of Newbury, Newburyport and West Newbury." The term throat distemper was used in the 17th-19th century before advances in medicine allowed for specific infectious agents to be identified. Based on the symptoms recorded, most throat distemper was diphtheria, with scarlet fever and other forms of strep throat also called by this name.

Many of the families buried in Sawyer Hill were victims of the "throat distemper" epidemic that ravaged the town during the 1730's.

In 1851 all the territory east of the Artichoke River, including this burying ground, called the Sawyer Hill Burying Ground, was annexed to Newburyport. [History of Newburyport, Mass. 1:213]

It is still active on a limited basis. The wooded site with several hundred headstones and burial monuments is located back from the road and is not easily visible or well known. It appears to receive rudimentary care but has not been documented on an MHC inventory form. Some of the headstones and monuments are in need of stone conservation.

Sawyer Hill Burying Ground

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