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Somebody keeps cutting down new trees in historic North End cemetery

NorthEndWaterfront.com reports that earlier this month, somebody got down low to the ground with a saw and cut down two saplings at the Copp’s Hill Burying Ground - the latest trees to be killed in a spree that dates to 1995.

Brighton Center has had a similar problem, but the man responsible for that has never been known to leave that neighborhood.

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A memoir in North End Library Collections about the Jewish community in the North End of Boston mentioned a Jewish Burying Ground, or a family plot next to a synagogue not far from Copp's Hill Burying Ground. Perhaps off Salem Street or adjacent to North End. So far, folks with expertise on old North End communities haven't figured out where was this Jewish Burying Ground or subsequent construction over a family plot. Neither the West End Museum nor Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts. Checking with folks with expertise on Archives of The Boston Synagogue, West End https://bostonsynagogue.org/about-us/history/

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Good question, with around a dozen or so synagogues in operation in North End area (larger at time, parts destroyed with Central Artery), but these area active in area from mid-1870's - last burials at Copp's Hill (only open North End burial grounds) seem to date from a decade earlier. By mid-1800's, most burial in Boston was on outskirts of city - no longer in center. The Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts is a wonderful resource for this history, and opens historic sites (have been on their tour of East Boston cemetery): https://www.jcam.org/.

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Subsequent construction over a family plot...

North End Library Collections https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Goldstein_(librarian)

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It's hard to believe that there would be open land available for burials of any sort in the North End in the late 1800s. The neighborhood was pretty solidly built up by that time. Real estate atlases, from 1867 on, don't show any lots that would have been suitable for a burying ground, other than (of course) Copp's Hill.

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Adjacent to North End...

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Again I would point out that the this is the oldest residential community in America and it's history is well chronicled. This business of "I saw a blog post once about a cemetery which has vanished since the 40s." seems a bit silly.

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A family plot...

Memoir in North End Library Collections https://bpl.org/about-north-end/

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But again, no one has any memory of this except for one guy. No records can be found.

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No record of existing records having been searched about it, with expertise! Checking out oral histories https://westendhouse.org/about-us/club-history

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Perhaps the plots were in sub basement like the Old North Church has.

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A comment on the linked article makes the most sense in determining the cause: someone who lives nearby doesn’t want the trees to grow larger and ruin their view of the waterfront. And, I presume, the potential sale value of their property.

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They do not own that property and they have no deeded right to a view or encumberances on other properties to preserve one.

This is not "reasonable" in the least.

Why do people not understand where their property rights end?

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They do understand. That's why they chopped down the trees at night, during a thunderstorm, and not in broad daylight.

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There was nothing in MrDines' comment to indicate that he found this behavior "reasonable". It is a likely explanation, though.

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I certainly don't agree with it, but it seems like the most likely reason.

I grew up in a beach town south of San Francisco, my house was right across the street from the beach on a road that never did nor never will have any parking restrictions. My parents got so fed up with people parking on the street on wonderful days that they took to going to the sign on the highway that indicated there was beach access and unbolting it at night.

Again, I don't agree with it and do think it's stupid and selfish behavior. I just think I understand the impulse.

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Most likely reason? Are we not even going to entertain the idea of a ghost lumberjack?

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...and I’m deceased. Gonna haunt this ‘yard and chop some trees.

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....just a feeling

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They should be shot dead.

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If the reason is to preserve their view or property values as some have speculated, the punishment should be to remove their condo's windows and cover the opening with a solid wall.

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But if we do resort to capital punishment (and I am not saying it's decided), we should bury them there and plant a tree on the grave.

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If you read the report from 05, it says so. I have seen this kind of tree damage in Dorchester too.

It is very mysterious.

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There r losers who hate trees, think they are messy, and want to kill them all. Our lives DEPEND on enormous numbers of trees being planted. This has to be dealt with seriously. See previous comment.

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But that is a bizarre mindset. Trees are messy? what are you on about?

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No, they're right, there are people who think that! They don't like the leaves and seeds and branches and all that stuff that trees leave around. There are some trees that are pretty bad about that--just dropping one thing or another all year. I don't subscribe to that world view, but that's why there are people who like having a lawn of nothing but grass.

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there are people who think that the leaves trees shed are "garbage".

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All those leaves or needles. Pollen. Acorns, seeds, pinecones, etc. Sap. Poop from the birds they attract.

Of course, despite the "mess", I can't imagine prefering an empty patch of pavement, but still.

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Lots of people hate trees because they make their cars less shiny. Pollen and such will freak out people who buy black cars with tons of chrome and wash them daily. Some people would rather cut a tree than rake leaves. Since this tree was in a cemetery I don't think any of that applies.

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The only reason to bring a chainsaw to a cemetery is a zombie uprising.

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