Historic Maple Street Cemetery is located at Merritt Apartments

To the editor:

In view of the plans to develop the condominiums between Maple, Mead and Park streets, commonly known as the Merritt Apartments, it would be interesting to know plans for Maple Street Cemetery, currently located at the Merritt Apartments, between the condos and garages.

According to records, the cemetery, established about 1825, was founded by Col. Ezra Benedict as a private burial place for the proprietors of several shoemaking firms living in the Park Street area. Col. Benedict owned a shoemaking business on Park Street and was the cousin of Caleb Benedict of Brushy Ridge.

Photos attached are of the area where the gravestones lie, and the stone of Col. Benedict. The cemetery is not visible to casual observers, since most of the stones are flat, missing, or overgrown, and there doesn’t seem to be any signage. The area is in need of conservation; most residents probably don’t even know a historic cemetery exists at the location.

During a recent visit, it appeared that there are currently nine gravestones you can see. Only one is standing; the rest are laid into the ground.

But the records say there are 52 people interred there, and most are Benedicts, Comstocks, Hoyts, Hanfords, Burtises, Carters, Ayres, Noyes, historic names. Many headstones are most likely buried beneath the grass.

Information on Maple Street Cemetery may be found at www.findagrave.com, including the 52 people who are buried there.

One is the aforementioned Col. Ezra Benedict, original owner and builder of the Ardsley Inn, 1790, which had been on the corner of Park and Maple.

This cemetery is an important part of New Canaan’s local culture, and is the final home to many of our Town’s founding families.

Ed Vollmer

Robin Wolyner

Susan Serven

Members of New Canaan Historical Society’s Board of Governors