We acquired a collection of deeds, mortgage notes and courthouse papers from the 1700s. Here’s what the buyer of one note wrote to us:
I thought you might like to know that we have done some research on the 1796 Deed you sold to me on eBay. The Meeting House it pertains to was founded in 1733, as a necessary precursor to Petersham's official recognition as a town in 1754. The structure no longer exists (presumably burned in a fire, but I cannot find a date on this) but is reported to have been located about 20 feet north of the still-existing cemetery, i.e., in the center of town near where the flag pole is now situated.
Both the seller, Josiah Peckham, and the buyer, Silvanus Howe, were well-known early settlers. Both served in the Revolutionary War. Peckham owned a tavern, while the Howe farm was considered one of the leading farms in town. His house still stands and is owned by a neighbor of mine.
As you can see, this Deed is a rich part of Petersham history and we are very glad to have it back in town.