By Beth David, Editor
The Neighb News made a number of critical errors in last week’s story, John Cooke history lesson does not settle burial question. (Please see Editor’s letter on page 2.)
In the most glaring error, the article mis-characterizes the importance of a photograph shown by local lecturer and local historian Christopher Richard. The photograph shows that the site of the John Cooke Memorial Park in Fairhaven was used in different ways over the years.
It shows that the site was not used as a burial ground at that point in time, not that it was never used as one. The property had barns and other farm structures on it from about the 1850s to about 1900.
Mr. Richard, who is also the Director of Tourism for the Town of Fairhaven, has always said it was a burial ground at some point in history. He has a page on the Office of Tourism website devoted to John Cooke, and he also, as a private citizen and historian, maintains a website and a Facebook page on John Cooke and his ties to Fairhaven.
Mr. Richard has always maintained that there is no proof that John Cooke was buried at the site, but also, he said, there is no proof that he was not.
The Neighb News article also made an error in reporting Mr. Richard’s recounting of a portion of Mr. Cooke’s will. He described a particular place that is located west of South Main Street in Acushnet. The will does not, however, indicate that Mr. Cooke asked to be buried there.
We also made an error in reporting the boundaries of Mr. Cooke’s homestead. The house was near the intersection of Adams Street and Howland Road, and the homestead property went from about the north side of Riverside Cemetery (where Route 195 is now), to Woodside Cemetery at Glenhaven Avenue and Morgan Street.
Mr. Richard also stressed in his talk that the families of the Mayflower are among the most studied families of the United States. Books published by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants say that John Cooke’s burial place is unknown.
The Neighb News strives for accuracy in all our stories, and we encourage our readers to please let us know if they find any factual errors in our reporting. We also encourage our readers to send letters to the editor at NeighbNews@comcast.net.
We apologize for our errors and any confusion they may have caused.
For more information, visit http:// fairhaventours.com/johncooke/, http://john-cooke.blogspot.com; https://www.themayflowersociety.org, http://mayflowerhistory.com
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Click here to download the entire 3/28/18 issue: 03-29-18 PDPromos