First Parish in Sudbury Boundary History

A collection of notes and scans -> electronifications of collected papers labelled Church Boundary History.

See Also: Sudbury Town Center Project page.
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ALT6 zoom
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1913 map with context (PDF)

Church Boundary History papers

I received a collection of Church Boundary History papers. It contains many notes and cover letters - about 1/4 inch of paper, 10+ 11x17, a few legal size xerox copies and many other papges. Some hand annotatd.
There are details of various projects: mortgage, easement and addition.
Carl Sheridans's letter dated: 1963.12.23. Results of Title search showing no prior boundary. See below.
It mentions Plan of Meeting House Lot Augustus Tower, 1894. If you know of this plan, please let me know (YON)

AND 3 Maps!!!

Maps shown here are: 1) Hudson Road 1941, 2) Town Center 1913 and 3) Town Center (date unknown)
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1) HudsonRoad1941.jpg
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2) TownCenter1913.jpg
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3) TownCenterDU.jpg
The Middlesex County Court House and Registry of Deeds near the Lechmere station subway terminal area was our treasure mine of FPS deeds and associated boundary commentary for several years off-and-on in the early 1990s. We traced back from deed to prior deed until we were in the sub sub basement and no one there could find anything earlier than the Sawin material. The original material was first collected to be a gift to each of the seven Trustees, but there was little interest in those days. What we now have is all that remains of those collections of seven copies each. During the last few years there seems to have been more interest, because earlier material seems to be lost. Any gaps now noticed may be filled with original material still today always in the Registry.

We are delighted to find a home for what it seems would otherwise become text trash. This boundary file also contains what was thought to be just incidental items of OCCASIONAL interest, all of which had been associated in the Registry files (book and page) with some deed or other.

Carl Sheridan's letter to Mr. H.R. McCarthy

Dated: 1963.12.23. Henry McCarthy was the Chair of the First Parish Standing Committee (Trustees) at that time. This contains the results of Title search showing no prior boundary. The goal was a mortgage or loan for FPS to build the Atkinson Building, whah was attached to the meetinghouse in 1993 and became the Atkinson wing. (full scan), (notes) and said notes - from the letter :

The Town of Sudbury evolved from the original authorization of the Colonial Court in 1638 upon the petition of a Peter Noyes and three others to order the Town. The Town and Church were inseperable. All Church and Town matters were acted upon in the Town Meetings. In Fact the Church was called the Meeting House.

In 1725 the First Parish Meeting House was completed on the Northwesterly corner of the present land.

In 1836 there was a separation of the Town and the Church in that the meetings of the Town began to be held separately from the meetings of the Church and the Church began t keep separate records. There is an old plan of the Sudbury Meeting House Lot by August Tower, dated December 10, 1894, not recorded, which shows he Meeting House, school house and the powder house on the present land. This plan also shows the triangular piece separated by Concord Road which is now known as the “Common”. It is my understanding that this common was leased to the Town for a period of 99 years at an annual fee of $1.

(... discussion of more building details and FPS v. Jones ... )

However, there is no record that we have been able to find where the First Parish of Sudbury obtained title to the property that has been used as church property.

There has been no separation of the title to this property according to the records we have been able to check.

First Parish in Sudbury v. Jones, 1851

2010.11.07 jch - excerpt from FPS v. Jones, 1851. This is a six page ruling from the court case that explains why FPS owns the common:

October Term, 1851. Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Notice it says First Parish In Sudbury. FPS currently stands for First Parish of Sudbury, Unitarian Universalist. Odd formatting symbols are in the document. I have left them as is until I can look at the Xerox(tm:-) copy.

**2 In 1723, the proprietors of common lands in Sudbury granted the land on which the meetinghouse stands, and the common about it, not including the locus in quo,“to the west precinct in Sudbury,”“for the conveniency of said west precinct's meetinghouse, and for a burying place.” The east and west precincts in Sudbury corresponded with the present towns of Wayland and Sudbury. The east precinct was in 1780 erected into the town of East Sudbury, (afterwards changed in name to Wayland,) leaving the west precinct the present town of Sudbury. The terms, east and west precinct, were used previous to such separation, to distinguish the different portions of the original town, as different parishes of the same town, and also for all other purposes, as well municipal as parochial.

Grants were made by the proprietors of common lands in Sudbury for the support of the ministry in the west parish, out of which a fund has arisen, which has since come into the possession of the plaintiffs.

The locus in quo was included in a grant from the proprietors of common land to Richard Biddlecom in 1722. And said proprietors in 1740 exchanged with John Haynes “some part of the land laid out for a training field,” &c.; in consideration of which Haynes conveyed “unto the inhabitants of the westerly precinct in said Sudbury forever, all his right, title and interest in and unto about half an acre of land laid out to the right of Richard Biddlecom, within the common and undivided land in said Sudbury, and on the westerly side of Sudbury River, and is the land whereon the school-house now stands??”

The issue was resolved at town meeting in 1964: H.R. McCarthy to Town, 1964, Town Meeting Minutes, 1964 granting title to the land to the West of Concord Road. First Parish had that lot surveyed in 2005.

The Common does not a surveyed boundary, or, so it appears. I hope the Town Center Project gets done for pedestrian safety first and foremost. More history - lease of common. Town Board of Selectman approving lease of Common and the actual lease

Page started by YON Sun, 07 Nov 2010 17:42:45 +0000