Keyes Rd

Gardner, MA

Kneeland Maids Murder Site


On March 7, 1855 the bodies of Miriam Kneeland and  her sister Mrs. Sarah Phinney were found bludgeoned to death by a neighbor. Known as the Kneeland Maids, the two elderly ladies lived alone in their home. Someone had entered the previous night by breaking a window and attacked the sisters in their sleep with a chair leg. 

The discovery of the crime left the the community shocked. A selectman posted a $500 reward for the capture of the perpetrator. A man named George Stacy was arrested with a strong while boarding a train that was headed for Burlington, Vermont. He had strong evidence that linked him to the crowd.

George had once asked a coworker at a chair factory if  thought a chair leg would be able to kill a dog. Some of his clothes were found with blood, which he claimed it was from a nosebleed. A month later while George Stacy was in custody, the Kneeland Sisters home was burned down. After trial he was acquitted and released from custody. It’s rumored that the Sisters’ nephew confessed to the crime on his deathbed. The murder was never solved

You can find some artifacts related to the murder and the house at the Gardner Museum.

Research Contributed by Josiah P. of Troop 6, Gardner