Flowers planted at monument for Revolutionary heroes
The Saugus Garden Club and Saugus Historical Society joined forces last fall to present the town with a gift that would not be noticed until last week! Donna Manoogian, Nancy Sayles and Laura Eisener planted bulbs last October around the Minutemen monument in Saugus
Center Cemetery in anticipation of their blooming on the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The daffodils and hyacinths may have been the only ones who enjoyed the rain on Patriot’s Day, but they certainly burst into bloom and brightened the grayness!
The program at Saugus Historical Society for April was a tribute to the men from Saugus who fought in the American Revolution, in particular focusing on Parson Joseph Roby. He is buried in the Saugus Center Cemetery along with his first and second wife and a number of other
members of the community who lived through those tumultuous times.
Saugus was still part of Lynn during the Revolution, and usually known as the West Parish or sometimes the Third Parish. Joseph Roby served the church as the local pastor for over 50 years and was very influential in persuading other citizens to fight for independence. He and two of his seven children participated in the march to Lexington and Concord and the resulting historic fight, and they are listed on the monument. It was said he went to church “with his Bible under one arm and his musket under the other” in order to be ready at a moment’s notice. The Roby School building, built in 1896, was named after him.
Although Roby died in 1803, it was largely due to the fact that Saugus had its own thriving church that it could successfully petition to separate from Lynn in 1815 and become a separate town. It was the law at the time that each town had to have its own Puritan church, and residents could be fined for not attending regularly.
The Parson Roby lecture is one of the ways the Saugus Historical Society is planning to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution and the events leading up to it.