1876. 1977. 2010. May 31, 2012.
Many numbers have played into the short life of Baby Bertha, who died December 29th, 1876 at the age of 1 year, 6 months and 20 days.
In 1977, a group of Milford boys discovered a gravestone at the I-95 Quarry Road overpass. The small stone simply read: "Bertha, daughter of Wm. & M.J. Phillips, died Dec. 29/ 1876. Age 1yr, 6 mos, 20 days."
The gravestone had been in the Milford Police Department's evidence room for 33 years when two years ago, members of the Police Department and Carol Jean Turke, a New Jersey resident who does genealogical research as a hobby, were able to locate a record of death in Chelsea, Massachusetts for the name inscribed on the gravestone.
Contact was made with the City Clerk, Head Librarian and City Historian for Chelsea who were extremely helpful during this investigation. It was discovered that the stone was from Garden Cemetery in Chelsea which was in operation from 1841 until the 1930s when it was closed to further burials. The town of Chelsea currently maintains the cemetery.
The Milford Police Department has been in contact with representatives from the cemetery and will be making arrangements for the return of Bertha’s stone where it was lovingly placed 136 years ago.