In June of 2015, I had posted the 1795 receipt for the purchase of John Dinsmoor's "elegant double grave-stone." In summary: John Dinsmoor was born in Ireland in 1721 to Robert and Margaret Orr Dinsmoor, and came to Windham with his parents and three siblings in 1730. John later married Martha McKeen of Londonderry and the their family grew to include thirteen children. Dinsmoor is recorded as having been one of the leading men of the town, serving as town clerk, a moderator at town meetings, selectman, justice of the peace, elder at the Presbyterian church, and a delegate to the Provincial Congress at Exeter in 1775. He died in Windham in 1793. However, as evidenced by the late 1795 bill above, it was approximately two years before a, "large and Elegant Double Grave - stone" was purchased for his grave by his son, John. The bill for two pounds eight shillings also included a provision for the second half of the stone to be carved for two dollars at a later date, following the death of Martha. Since I last wrote about the receipt I have had the opportunity to photograph the gravestone, which is one of the larger, more detailed gravestones located in the Cemetery-on-the-Hill.
Also, I have been able to learn more about the stone carver, James Park. The Park family of Groton, MA carved many of the turn of the nineteenth century gravestones in Groton. A building built by, and for, the Park family is currently the oldest extant brick building within the town lines of the original Groton; it is now located on Park Street in Ayer.
Derek Saffie is an avid Windham historian who enjoys researching and sharing his collection with all those interested in the history of the New England town.