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Remembering Sarah

The December 20th anniversary date of mill worker, Sarah Cornell is usually forgotten in the bustle of the holiday preparations.  The tragic story of a young girl found hanging near a haystack on Mr. Durfee’s farm has been the inspiration for several books, and much sympathy over the decades since the deed.  Sarah indicated in a note that if she were to go missing, the Rev. Ephraim Avery would be the man to find.  The pregnant girl’s message from beyond the grave and the circumstances surrounding her demise convinced authorities to bring in the minister for questioning and ultimately for trial.  Aided by his standing in the Methodist church and the influence of important people, Avery was aquitted. He then fled to Ohio and led an uneventful life. Sarah’s thin and worn gravestone in Oak Grove Cemetery still stands as a reminder of the pitiful tale of Justice unserved.  The costs for her burial and stone were undertaken by the Fall River Congregationalists when the Methodist congregations of which she had been a member declined the responsibility.  Sarah was laid to rest on Christmas Eve.  For more on the story http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Maria_Cornell

(photo January 9, 2011)

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