Haverhill councilors are expected to accept a $15,000 grant from the Tenney Family Association tonight to repair headstones and markers in Old Bradford Cemetery.
Technically, councilors are being asked to vote to authorize Mayor James J. Fiorentini to take the gift which will be maintained by the city treasurer and spent by the mayor and the city’s public works department. In a letter to the city council on Friday, Fiorentini said the city was grateful for the gift.
The cemetery at 326 Salem St. dates back to 1665 and is situated on an acre and a half of land donated by John Heseltine when 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, California, lists the cemetery as the resting place of John Tenney, the first American generation of the family. The website details the condition of the stones, noting that “some no longer have legible transcriptions, some are buried, some are leaning.” He indicated that a first phase of early restoration should repair or restore 11 stones, reset another 10 to 15 to prevent further damage and clean 20 stones.
Old Bradford Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.
In other business before city council, members are being asked to approve a transfer of $5,748 from the city’s Waterways Fund to purchase a kayak launching system.
The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m. remotely and in person in Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, Room 202, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St., as a public service, 97.9 WHAV plans to hold the meeting live.