Haverhill city councilors tonight are expected to accept a $15,000 grant from the Tenney Family Association to repair gravestones and markers at the Old Bradford Burial Ground.
Technically, councilors are being asked to vote to authorize Mayor James J. Fiorentini to take the gift to be maintained by the city treasurer and spent by the mayor and city Public Works Department. In a letter Friday to the City Council, Fiorentini said the city is grateful for the gift.
The 326 Salem St. cemetery dates back to 1665 and located on one and a half acres of land given by John Heseltine while Bradford was still part of Rowley. Bradford was incorporated as a separate town in 1672, lost its East Parish in 1850 to form the Town of Groveland and the remaining land was annexed to Haverhill in 1897.
On its website, the Tenney Family Association, now of Laguna Hills, Calif., lists the cemetery as the resting place of John Tenney, of the family’s first American generation. The website details conditions of stones, noting “some no longer have legible transcriptions, some are buried, some are leaning.” It said a first phase of anticipated restoration expected to repair or restore 11 stones, reset 10-15 others to prevent further damage and clean 20 stones.
The Old Bradford Burial Ground was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.
In other business before the City Council, members are being asked to approve a transfer of $5,748 from the city’s Waterways Fund to purchase a kayak launch system.
The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m. remotely and in-person at the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, room 202, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St., As a public service, 97.9 WHAV plans to carry the meeting live.