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The Cemetery Commission appointed caretakers for both Daniels Court and Bowens Corner.

Adams Cemetery Commission Appoints Caretakers

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Cemetery Commission appointed two residents to take care of two historic cemeteries.
 
The commission last week appointed residents Allen Mendel and Johanna Maxwell as the caretakers of Daniels Court Cemetery and Bowens Corner Cemetery. 
 
"It is an extension of a back yard," Commissioner Bruce Shepely said about Bowens Corner Cemetery. "It has historical implications that go back to the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. The latest burial is 1865."
 
The previous caretaker of Bowens Corner Cemetery can no longer maintain the East Road graveyard and abuttor Maxwell contacted the commission and said she would be interested.
 
"She is doing a great job up there it looks good," Shepley said. "She has a high interest in the historical piece and she is excited to contribute."
 
Shepley added that Maxwell said she was interested in installing a small stone walkway leading into the cemetery.
 
This status comes with a $100 annual stipend from the veterans account and the commission also voted to permit Mendel to do the same job at Daniels Court.
 
Mendel has taken care of the Daniels Court Cemetery for years and although he has received the stipend, he was never officially voted in as the caretaker. 
 
"It was never officially appointed and Allen said it was overgrown when they bought the property and they knew it was there and he has been maintaining it over the years," he said. 
 
On a side note, Shepley said he wanted to research what the exact protocol was when a cemetery becomes abandoned. 
 
"What happens when a cemetery becomes discontinued?" he asked. "There are plenty of cemeteries scattered throughout New England that are overgrown, on private property, or in the woods."
 
In other business, the commission addressed a broken water spigot in the old section of Bellevue Cemetery and Shepley said the Department of Public Works does not intend to fix it. 
 
"That pipe is disconnected underneath. It is not a case of just hooking it up so I talked to DPW and they do not have the funding to replace it," he said.
 
Shepley said work would include digging up the road and it is not a priority town project.
 
"Maybe there is funding elsewhere but I think as a priority for the town it certainly does not fall high on the list," he said. "We need roads paved, there are collapsing manholes."
 
The issue was brought forth by a resident who felt it was unfair that a single large section of the cemetery did not have direct access to water.
 
Shepley did not have an update on the ongoing Bellevue Cemetery garage project but there is a prebid conference Thursday. 
 
"I have nothing and nothing has come forward to me," he said.
 
The town plans to refurbish an existing garage at Bellevue Cemetery to store and equipment, maintain equipment, and other department needs.

Tags: cemetery commission,   historic sites,   

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Suffrage Centennial Committee Kicks Off Yearlong Celebration

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent

Cassandra Peltier as Alva Belmont Vanderbilt, a prominent figure in the suffrage movement.
ADAMS, Mass. — About 75 people filled The Manor on Saturday afternoon for the kickoff event of a yearlong celebration of Susan B. Anthony and the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.
 
The event at St. John Paul II Parish's Italianate mansion was organized by the Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee. The committee serves as an advisory committee to the Board of Selectmen. 
 
Anthony was born in Adams and was a social reformer best known for spearheading the women's suffrage movement. She was also involved in the anti-slavery movement, collecting signatures for petitions as a teen, the temperance (prohibition of alcohol) movement, and women's financial rights.
 
Retired school teacher Mary Whitney, committee member and host for the day, shared why Anthony's work was so important. 
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