The purpose of this association is to procure, establish, improve and perpetually to maintain in condition of maximum dignity and beauty, for the convenience, comfort, health, and safety of the community of Washington, adequate grounds and facilities for the burial of the human dead.
On June 2, 1841, the Connecticut Senate and House of Representatives approved “An Act concerning Burying Grounds and Places of Sepulture.” One year later on June 7, 1842, Mawby Morehouse, Ira Baker, Dimon Morehouse, Ithiel Hickox and Mary E. Mitchell availed themselves of the provisions of that Act by associating together for the purpose of procuring and establishing a Burying Ground and Place of Sepulture in Washington. They demonstrated the association “The Proprietors of the New Burying Ground in Washington.” At a meeting specially warned for that purpose, and held on May 7,1925, an amendment was approved to change the name of the association to Washington Cemetery Association, Incorporated.
The first piece of land procured for the New Burying Ground on September 7, 1842, at a cost of $143.03 contained about one acre—”Beginning at the Northeast corner of the Episcopal Church and running North and West by Remus M. Fowler’s land far enough to embrace an acre for a particular description see our deed from said Fowler on the town records ” reserving liberty for said Fowler to pasture a horse or sheep on said land while he lives and occupying the land adjoining, reserving all the feed growing on the same for that purpose.” Additional adjoining land was acquired from time to time as follows;
The Washington Cemetery, near the Episcopal Church, now consists of about 6.77 acres acquired at a cost of $3807.87 plus a larger sum spent to prepare the grounds for burial purposes. A map showing the location of the lots in this area is kept by the Secretary of the Corporation. In 1951 Washington Cemetery Association Incorporated acquired an easement to lay pipe, and did lay a water pipe, from the east boundary of this property eastward to Old North or Mallory Road.
In 1905 the Corporation acquired at a cost of $275.00 a parcel of land containing about two acres adjoining and lying west of The Judea Cemetery on Canfield Hill. It will require considerable expense to prepare this parcel for use as a burial ground.
The burying ground of this non-stock, non-profit membership Corporation shall be exempt from assessments and public taxes. It shall not be liable to be taken or disposed of by any warrant or execution, for any tax or debt whatever, nor shall it be liable to be sold to satisfy the demands of creditors when the estate of an owner shall be insolvent.
Ownership and management of cemeteries are regulated by Public Health statutes of Connecticut, particularly Chapter 238, as revised. Any owner or group of co-owners of a lot or lots in the Washington Cemetery Association Incorporated and entitled to one vote.
The Washington Cemetery is non-sectarian. Buried there are Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Trinity Lutherans, members of the Salem Evangelical Church and of others, some unaffiliated with any Church.
In 1849 the price of a lot just one rod square was $8. In 1883 the size of a lot was increased to twenty feet in length and nearly square, to accommodate ten grave spaces. The prices of a lot rose in 1883 to $20, in 1939 to $250. Including perpetual care, and so on up until 1952 lots were sold at a rate of $100 per grave space including perpetual care.
During the years 1842-1872 the directors from time to time selected certain days when all the proprietors were invited to meet to take care of the cemetery. Beginning in 1873 an assessment of $1, was made for the care of each lot. This amount gradually increased until for 1925 the annual charge was $4, which was raised for 1947 to $6, and for 1952 to $10 per lot. In lieu of this annual charge all owners who had not provided for perpetual care were invited in 1951 to do so by paying into the General Perpetual Care Fund the sum of $300 per lot or $30. per grave space. Owners have not yet evidenced their response—ability to the extent hoped, which means that the Corporation must continue to depend upon collecting annually for the care of many lots.
The Perpetual Care Fund started in 1896 when the Corporation received from the Estate of Mary E. Mitchell a legacy of $100., the income from which is to used in taking care of two lots, and monuments thereon standing, in name of Mary E. Mitchell. As a result of many other gifts and bequests, and of the transfer to the Fund of a part of the proceeds from the sale of certain lots, the General Perpetual Care Fund grew to $32,780.12 as of June 30, 1951. This Fund was deposited with the Waterbury Trust Company, Trustee under indenture made February 17, 1926, which provides that the net income shall be paid in semi-annual installments by The Trustee under indenture made February 17, 1926, which provides that the net income shall be paid in semi-installments by The Trustee to the Corporation. It is important that the principal of this Fund be increased in order that the income may equal the increasing expenses of preserving and maintaining the maximum potential dignity and beauty of the cemetery as a whole. Unrestricted contributions and bequests to Washington Cemetery Association Incorporated for its General Perpetual Care Fund are needed.
For the protection of every lot owner and of the Corporation, the Regulations which appear have been adopted by the Board of Directors. The Directors chosen by the members at the adjourned annual meeting held on December 15, 1951, to serve until the next annual meeting, and the officers elected by the Directors at their subsequent meeting on December 15, 1951, were as follows:
The Gateway to the Cemetery designed by Ehrick K. Rossiter
On June 8, 1762, the Reverend Mr. Daniel Brinsmade of Woodbury in Litchfield County and the Colony of Connecticut in New England, for and in consideration of the good will and affection he had to the people of his charge, gave and conveyed to the inhabitants of Judea in Woodbury “and to their heirs and assigns (who shall adhere to ye Religious Constitution established by this Government as to Articles of Faith and Discipline)” a certain piece of land containing one acre for a Burying Place. After about eighty years most of the grave spaces in this acre had been utilized.
The Judea Cemetery in Canfield Hill is a responsibility of the Town of Washington. The Daughters of the American Revolution, Judea Chapter, has a small endowment fund, the income from which is used to augment the amount spent by the Town for general maintenance of The Judea Cemetery.