WESTFIELD — A small, private family cemetery in Westfield, dating back to around 1730, could be in danger of being moved.
The report comes from a member of the Westfield Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) who claims the current owner of 330 Springfield Avenue, where the 20-foot by 40-foot cemetery is located, recently sold the property to a developer who has proposed moving the 19 individuals interred there to the Revolutionary Cemetery near The Presbyterian Church in Westfield, according to Jacqueline Brevard’s committee report during the July 26 HPC meeting.
But as of now, no deed has been recorded of the transaction and it is still unclear whether the property was, in fact, sold to new owners.
Drawing upon county records, “I looked if anything has changed hands, or that there’s a contract in place with a developer,” explained Town Attorney Tom Jardim during the July meeting. “But there have surely been discussions about it.”
Ms. Brevard brought the issue to commission members after being urged to do so by the Westfield Historical Society (WHS).
During her committee report, Ms. Brevard claimed the former homeowner contacted the WHS and informed the organization that there is a cemetery on the property. According to Ms. Brevard, the former homeowner had discussed “deeding over the cemetery” to the WHS, but that was never accomplished.
“It’s certainly eligible to be designated historically [significant] should the commission be interested. That’s why I’m putting it out there for consideration,” noted Ms. Brevard. “From a historical preservation perspective, it would seem to me that we would want to keep those bodies where they are and to preserve the property. It’s clearly historic.”