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Sunday, May 1, 2011

April 19, 2011: From Litchfield to Thomaston - Ebenezer Goss Country

I love New England!  You can get someplace so quickly by car.  After Litchfield I headed east on Hwy 118 and turned south on to Hwy 254.  It would take me through Northfield into Thomaston, Connecticut.

There is a road named Blakeslee along Hwy 254 and I found it surrounded by large grassy fields.  It is very short.  Now is this were they had their land?  Hmmm....don't really know.  It was very pretty.


Thomaston was part of Plymouth before it separated. I am heading into Ebenezer Goss and Blakeslee country.  Ebenezer Goss was the younger brother of Solomon Goss and son of Philip and Mary Goss. 

As I drove south from the Blakeslee Road sign I studied the area and saw large fields and then houses on both sides of the Hwy and as I entered Thomaston the houses increased.  I really didn't know where exactly Ebenezer and Bede had lived but it was suppose to be 1.5 miles on the Hwy to Northfield from Thomaston.  This would be south of Northfield and a little ways after you get to the Knife Shop Road?  This is where they had their children Mary, 1782 to 1841, David 1786-1848, Carver 1791-1821 and Beder 1796-1879.  I kept on going.  The house was still standing in the 1930's?

Ebenezer married Bede Blakeslee a daughter of David and Abigail Blakeslee.  Some records refer to her as Obedience.  Married 18 May 1752.  Ebenezer packed up the family left Plymouth (Thomaston) about 1804 and headed to Ohio.  The history books for Portage County describe the journey. 

This is a link to a Family Tree online titled "My Goss Family" compiled by Claudette M. Beerman-Rogers.  My cousin Ken Goss has mentioned her several times and visited with her when she lived in Portage County, Ohio.  She has since migrated and moved away but she still has this tree posted about the Goss Family and it has some interesting tidbits on the Goss family and on Ebenezer Goss's line. 

The town hall for Thomaston was built on land that use to be the old cemetery.  The burials were removed to the Hillside Cemetery in what is called the Ancient Cemetery a part of the larger cemetery.

Find A Grave has a memorial and picture of the David Blakeslee tombstones.  There are lots of Blakeslees in this cemetery and a lot more exploring that could be done. 

Finding the Hilltop Cemetery is very interesting.  I came into Thomaston on Hwy 254 going south and it is basically through a valley and then you come to the stoplight and the main street which runs parallel to the Naugatuck River.  I turned right onto S. Main St. and started to head for Waterbury.  This was tempting but going to Waterbury was a trip in itself.  Digging into the Scott Family was a tall order and I just didn't have the time this time. So I turned around and looked up to the left trying to spot the cemetery on the hill and there it was among the trees.  I turned onto Center and then onto Marine St. and there was the entrance.

Hilltop is truly on a hill.  Driving around is an interesting experience there are levels that go higher.  This cemetery is huge and not for trying to find graves without some help.  I suggest the cemetery office and a map. 




Entrance to the upper level.
Really a Hilltop Cemetery, Thomaston, CT







You can drive around the Hilltop Cemetery on paved roads.  There are graves tucked in areas that are wooded and you have to walk to them.  There is a pond but don't drive that road it stops and you don't want to get stuck in the soft grassy areas.  I think another road ends too so be careful!

So I spent about 45 minutes wandering the Hilltop and didn't find the Ancient Cemetery?  Well, much to my surprise I had blown right by it.  The entrance is at the very front almost across from the entrance sign I showed earlier and before you get to the maintenance building.  You don't have to go into the main cemetery and you can park in the maintenance building parking lot.  It was not a problem when I was there no one was around. 

Ancient Cemetery next to the front entrance of Hilltop Cemetery, Thomaston, CT

Ancient Cemetery entrance, Hilltop Cemetery, CT
Frankly I am very worried about this cemetery which is tucked back up a path in the woods.  It was in sad condition with tombstones toppled over and half buried. 




As you can see from the entrance you have to climb a little but it is not too bad.  You do need to find parking and walk in.  There is a path through the woods and I would say about 1 block in?

Path to Ancient Cemetery looking to the entrance.

Path to Ancient Cemetery looking to the tombstones
I found David Blakeslee's tombstones about in the middle of the burial area. 

Capt. David Blakeslee Bede's father's tombstone

David Blakeslee died Feb 11, 1781 Plymouth, Litchfield County, CT.

I had pondered taking photos of cemeteries in detail but I just didn't have the time.  I felt the tug a lot at this cemetery even though it really wasn't my family line.  I come down from Ebenezer's brother Solomon Goss.  I came here to honor my cousin Paul H. Goss and his line down from Ebenezer. 

I have more photos which I will upload when I get the chance for this cemetery.

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