This is a serialization of the new book written by Carl Flowers, owner of Silveus Plantation, the subject of "Groton's Anonymous Mistress." This 300-year-old house is accessed by Kemp Street near the boundary of Groton and Dunstable.
By Carl Flowers
In 1932, Clarence L. Thompson, Stephen W. Sabine and Everett B. Gerrish were the Groton Assessors. The three men met their mandated responsibilities required by Chapter 131. Their valuation and poll tax lists place the Fitzpatricks on Shattuck Road. These same men were Groton's selectmen.
Would it not be a reasonable conclusion to believe they knew where Shattuck Road was located? If the three selectmen changed the name of the road to Dan Parker Road, surely they would have remembered.
Dan Parker Road didn't appear on any valuation or poll tax list because no one lived on the road. There were no buildings on Dan Parker Road to be taxed. The court said to believe this to be true was, "entirely speculation about events that occurred eighty years ago." While the court says this factual information is speculation, the court did some speculating of its own when it agreed with the town about Dan Parker Road being abandoned to the Dunstable Town Line instead of the Dunstable Road eighty years ago.
What a contradictory joke the court has pulled using a double standard. We know two different sources state Dan Parker Road was abandoned from Martin's Pond Road to the Dunstable Road and not to the Dunstable Town Line. Maybe the court thought Groton's Town Clerk was responsible for recording the proceedings of the Groton Town Meeting in town records in addition to recording the proceedings in The Public Spirit, which was the local newspaper.
To make things easy for the court, Rocky Hill Road was identified as a road running from Martin's Pond Road to the Dunstable Road. Rocky Hill Road is the same road named in the 1932 town meeting warrant from which Blood Road was abandoned. Simple logic would seem to dictate Rocky Hill Road was the road that was abandoned from Martin's Pond Road to the Dunstable Road.
The court rejected this hard core fact because it supposedly added confusion and uncertainty surrounding the issue. "If the 1932 abandonment could have been referring to some road other than Rocky Hill Road, it seems that there is at least some possibility that the road that was referred to was the one running" through the Mistress' domain. The court wanted information it could interpret rather than hard core indisputable facts.
Information easily subjected to various points of view could have been supplied. One bit of interpretable information concerned the 1800 change made to the 1772 layout of the road to John Woods. The 1800 change created a partial road paralleling Shattuck Road. From a title search to all the parcels abutting Shattuck/Dan Parker Road to the Mistress, we find several deeds referring to a Cross road from Dunstable to Groton. In another deed we find a road north of a house with 28 acres purchased by Dan Parker in 1865. This would be the 1800 change to the 1772 layout that ran through Dan Parker's property from Martin's Pond Road to Dunstable. An argument could be made that the cross road from Dunstable to Groton was the Dunstable Road.
The 1800 change isn't the only interpretative possibility the court could have been given. A short distance from the intersection where Rocky Hill Road, Martin's Pond Road and Dan Parker Road meet is the blockage of a road that ends at the Dunstable Road. The road is blocked by concrete posts on both Martin's Pond Road and the Dunstable Road. These barricades indicate land on the two sides of the barricaded road was owned by the same person, thereby allowing the road to be closed to all public usage. There is one absolute certainty. This couldn't be done to the road going by the Mistress due to there being more than one land owner abutting the road. The Fitzpatricks couldn't live simultaneously on Shattuck Road and Dan Parker Road. The Shattuck name might have been changed to Dan Parker Road, but no record of this is to be found in the selectmen's minutes because they are conveniently missing. If Shattuck Road was renamed from the Dunstable Town Line to its intersection with Martin's Pond Road where it was abandoned to the Dunstable Road, no existing town road would have been made a dead end. Just as this is true for the abandonment of Rocky Hill Road, the same is true for the 1800 change to the 1772 road to John Woods and the road with the concrete posts.
Due to the town's flawed interpretation of the 1932 town meeting proceedings and the court's agreement with the town, three dead end roads have been created.