2005 and later—Sandisfield/Colebrook
Norton Fletcher and Willard Platt,
by the gravestone
of Lieutenant Benjamin Smith,
my sixth great-grandfather,
in the Sandisfield Center Cemetery
Drove out the Mass Pike and south to Norton Fletcher’s home on Beech Plain Road, Sandisfield, where he introduced Willard Platt, then (or recently) of the Town’s Board of Selectmen. They took me out to the Sandisfield Center Cemetery and kindly posed by Benjamin Smith’s grave.

Then they showed me some documents from the pre-Revolutionary town’s records, and we went to the headquarters of the Sandisfield Historical Society, where we perused and I photographed more old records, and where Norton made me official with a Sandisfield Historical Society baseball cap.

From there, back to Sandisfield Center, where we lunched at the old New Boston Inn and discussed where I might find my Stillmans and Hurds, who took part in the early history of the Town but are not buried in this central ground.
I knew already that many of my Stillmans were very nearby, in the Beech Hill Cemetery, across the Connecticut line to the south. This, interestingly, was pretty much foreign country to these good Massachusetts folk, but they gave me general directions, and the GPS did the rest.

Late in the afternoon, I headed down to Colebrook and found, with some difficulty, the Beech Hill Cemetery. Photographed the gravestones of many Stillmans and took the results back to Somerville for analysis.

All this was a powerful emotional experience for me, especially later, when I was able to figure out the inscriptions on the grave that seven infant first-cousin Stillmans share on Beech Hill. The accounts in my sections entitled “Sandisfield-Colebrook” and “MayflowerDescendants” include my findings from this visit and augmentations from later, longer, better-prepared ones.
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