Inside the Gates

Inside the Gates focuses on historical and/or anecdotal articles about our old cemeteries.  

Contact Debi Curry to submit an article for consideration and/or suggest a topic.

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  • 31 Mar 2017 3:36 PM | Debi Curry (Administrator)
    In order to understand the history of the Harrison Lutheran Cemetery Association it is necessary to study the organization of the Harrison Lutheran Church from its beginning in the early 1900’s. The Lutheran Congregation in Harrison was organized in 1913 and was called the Harrison Pulkkinen Suomi Evangelical Lutheran Church. At this time there were quite a few Finnish families who had migrated to this area since it resembled their native homeland of F inland. After first meeting at cottage services, the Finnish people built their own church on Maple Ridge where they held services until 1931 when they purchased the former Congregational Church building in Harrison Village. The name of the church changed over the years to Harrison Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church and in the 1990’s to the Christ Lutheran Church.  During the early period of the Lutheran Church, they purchased land from Victor Pulkkinen in September of 1913 for a burial ground. A later deed of April 1925, from Victor Pulkkinen, was a right of way to the burial ground This cemetery is located in South Harrison near Carsley Brook near what is now Bud Andrews residence. 

    With the change in location of the church from Maple Ridge to Harrison Village the members purchased a new cemetery site that was made available by Peter Pulkkinen by deed on May 21, 1932 to the Harrison Pullrkila Evangelical Lutheran Church. The new site was more accessible to a good highway than the South Harrison site. This land is located in Harrison on the comer of Summit Hill Road and Route 117. On March 22, 1963 the church purchased additional land from the Nummela and Suomela families so that presently the cemetery grounds include the entire open field surrounding the fenced area. The church members maintained the care of the grounds. The early members who were buried in the South Harrison cemetery are still remembered and visited by relatives who live in the area. 

    In the late 1960’s the Harrison Lutheran Church members decreased so that it became necessary to merge with the Trinity Lutheran Church of South Paris. The Church buildings were subsequently sold to the Seventh Day Adventist Church The remaining members were concerned at the time of the merger transition that the cemetery, which was always maintained by the church, would not be neglected. They approached the idea to organize an association especially for the cemetery care. 

    In March 1968, at a meeting held at the church office in South Paris, the Harrison Lutheran Cemetery Association was formed as a non-profit charitable organization At the time of the first meeting a discussion was held concerning what the name of the organization would be. It was pointed out that the name of the cemetery had been filed with the Secretary of State when the cemetery was started over thirty years before, so all agreed it would be best and most appropriate to continue with the same name. The group’s legal adviser was Frank Bjorklund. The chairman of the Christ Lutheran Church Cemetery Committee was Robert Heino, therefore, it seemed fitting that he be selected to be the President of the Association. Bruno Leino was selected as Vice President, Saima Pulkkinen as Secretary/Treasurer and the four Trustees were E. John Nurmi, Toivo Kyllonen, Walter Leino and Martha Leino. The President, who is Director, and other officers and Trustees were to prepare the by-laws which would be presented later. Attorney Dow finalized incorporation procedures. He handled the necessary legal details. On June 21, 1973 the Harrison Lutheran Cemetery Association was legally organized. The Association’s preamble states that it was formed for the better preservation and maintenance of the last resting place of all who lie buried in this Harrison Lutheran Cemetery and to inspire now and in the future generations a high sentiment of regard for this final resting place. The Association is interested in perpetuating the cemetery’s history through the loving care shown by its members and honoring and preserving the members of all who are buried in this ground. 

    The serious work then began in the fall of 1973 to take care of whatever necessary changes and maintenance need to be done new deeds, by-laws, liability insurance and manual work, i.e. repairs to fences, painting, mowing, filling in sunken graves, raking in the spring, etc. In 1976 a new set of by-laws was drawn and reviewed and accepted. In 1977 it was voted to have the Associations annual meeting on the first Wednesday of May. In 2006 it was changed to the second Wednesday in May. 

    Finances and how to better invest our funds for the best profit were brought up each year as it was hoped much of the cost of yearly maintenance could be recovered from the interest on our funds. A money market account was opened in 1983. Perpetual care costs were added to the sale of lots as separate prices. A CD account was opened later, primarily from perpetual care funds and other memorial donations, which were received over the years from various families to help defray cost of maintaining the grounds. 

    During the 1980’s the Department of Transportation began making plans for road reconstruction on Route 117, which would affect the roadside by the cemetery. The D.O.T. was to give information concerning roadways, ditches and proposed driveways. The D.O.T. offered $750 to the Association for land adjusted because of the road improvement. The offer was accepted and put in the general fund The actual roadwork was finally completed around 1990. 

    Over the first few years mostly member volunteers did the maintenance of mowing the grounds. Robert and Mabel Heino worked many hours to keep the grounds looking well groomed. In 1990 Daphne Chaplin, who lives across the road from the cemetery, offered to do the mowing and she has been doing this fine maintenance work to date. She is a very dedicated and caring worker. We have been fortunate to have her help. 

    Until the 1990’s, the cemetery was enclosed with a white picket fence, which was showing years of wear so that the members began to study various types of new fences. Alter several years of discussion it was decided to replace the old picket fence with cross fencing or woven board fencing. 

    In the fall of 1990, Robert Heino and Martha Leino gave a talk on the cemetery association at a meeting of the Finnish American Society. Eva Bean reported that the Finnish American Society wished to donate a granite stone with name plaque to be mounted at the cemetery entrance. Ed Rolfe offered to move it and set it by the gate of the cemetery entrance. The stone, given by Mac and Eva Bean of Waterford on behalf of the Finnish American Society, has a bronze plaque displayed on it. The dedication of the stone and plaque was held on May 25, 1992 at the cemetery on Route 117 in Harrison. Those participating in the ceremony were: Rev. Henry Leino, Barbara Payne, president of the Finnish American Society, and Robert Heino, President of the Harrison Lutheran Cemetery Association. Special recognition for this project went to Ed Rolfe and Dana Chaplin for transporting the granite stone and to Ed Kaustinen for mounting the plaque on the stone. The Association was very grateful and appreciated this meaningful memorial donation from the Finnish American Society. In 1993 the Lobb family donated several flowering trees and a concrete sitting bench to be placed inside the cemetery, as a memorial to their mother. 

    With the new fencing project it would be necessary to take down the old picket fence and the area expanded to the edge of the woods. The old wire fence from the back of the grounds needed to be taken down It was voted to have all the new ground plowed, rototilled and seeded. Eugene Leino did much of this work. The road edge of the Summit Hill Road would be lined alternately with large stones and fir trees. Robert Carlson offered to donate the fir trees needed for the project and Robert and Mabel Heino donated the large stones.  This natural fence of trees and stones has really added to the appearance of the grounds. As the trees have grown they have been pruned by Harold Leino to keep their boughs looking trim. 

    At the 1995 annual meeting Robert Heino reported that the new fence work was finished. A dedication for this new cemetery enlargement and fence was held on May 27, 1995. A brief service of commemoration and dedication was held with Rev. Henry Leino conducting the service. This work, done over the past two years had enlarged the grounds, installed a new wooden woven fence and a natural fence of stones and trees along the Summit Hill Road. With its completion it has enhanced the appearance of the cemetery. 

    In 2003 a special newsletter was sent out to let members know of the extensive work being done on the cemetery grounds and the need for funds. It was hoped that memorial donations or other contributions would help in this endeavor. 

    With the enlarged area of the grounds the big issue discussed was how to plot the new graves. A new map showing how the lots would be arranged was to be called the Harrison Lutheran Cemetery Association Plot Plan of Harrison, Maine. Before starting the new plot plan it was decided to make a row of single lots in the last row of the old area. 

    It was suggested that the local technical school at Oxford Hills draw up the computer plan for the lots in the new section of the cemetery. Daphne Chaplin would supervise this student project. The new lots would all be single lots of four feet by ten feet. Several computer print outs have been made but corrections are be made Considerations needed to be made regarding roadways, pathways, lot corners, etc. 

    As changes have been made over the years, it has been necessary to update the original by-laws. The lot sizes and prices have changed from what they were; therefore, this matter will need to be addressed. The old section was divided into rows of one-half, three-fourths, or full lots. The new vaults used now are larger than before. Today we have people preferring cremation, also, which determine what lot size their family might need. The new plot plan is not complete as of this date. The members will attempt to consider what the future needs will be and plan accordingly in order to be satisfactory to everyone. 

    Since the cemetery grounds have expanded there have been many favorable remarks made about the well-kept appearance of the grounds. Much of the praise should go to Daphne Chaplin for the fine mowing maintenance she has done over the years. We have had many dedicated hard workers who have helped to keep the grounds, fences, etc. in shape. The small hrs, which Robert Carlson donated in the early 1990’s, are now good-sized trees and with the stones donated by Robert and Mabel Heino make a fine natural fence and with the new woven board fence it really enhances the appearance of the grounds. 

    Each year American flags are placed at each of the veteran’s graves as we remember their service to our country. There are increasing numbers of war veterans being buried each year, many from the World War II era.

    We have been fortunate to have a president who has served us so well since the Association was organized. Robert Heino has worked tirelessly to see that all the burials have been done with dignity and caring. 

    As we look to the future it has been our hope that younger members would become interested in taking over some of the duties performed by the older members. Many families are represented in the Association and the work will need to be taken care of by future generations. 

    It is also hoped that the financial needs will be taken care of by remembrances and donations to keep up the work and maintenance that has been achieved so far. Various fund raisers have been held such as yard sales. bake sales and raffles. This is in addition to what interest accumulates on bank accounts.

    The preamble of the Harrison Lutheran Cemetery Association states that it was formed for the better preservation and maintenance of the last resting places of all who are buried there. To inspire now and in future generations’ high sentiment of regard for this final resting place. It is thereby interested in preserving memories and perpetuating this cemetery’s history through the loving care shown by members of the Association. 

    As we go into the future let us remember all those who have gone before us and let us not forget the memory of any who are buried here. 

    A message from President Robert Heino 

    We must remember the church members that started our new cemetery.

    The first Chairman of the Cemetery was John S. Leino. These people were mostly farmers who worked with simple tools to survey and lay out the cemetery without the modern transits and computers of today. But these people did a great job of setting up the lots for burials mostly with strings. It was a time consuming job, then came the task of building and erecting the picket fence, approximately 200 feet of the front and 100 feet on each side.

    At the entrance then used to be an arch built of wood. Our Pastor Edwin Kyllonen constructed the concrete pillars at the entrance to the cemetery. At first the area was smaller and was enlarged we believe in the 1940’s.

    Hopefully we got all of the names of the workers correct; Joseph Kyllonen, Joseph Pulkkinen, Elmer Harju, Oscar Tikander, John Leino, Wester Martikainen, John Carlson, John Mattson, Charles Heino, John Poikonen, Charles Seilonen, Erik Wilson, William Jacobson and John Nurmi. It’s hard to imagine how these few men could do all of this volunteer work besides their every day chores. We all can be grateful and could we do it in today’ world?

    We had a gravedigger that would open the graves in the direction that the sun comes up and he dug three graves side ways instead of length ways.

    My father passed away 61 years ago this year and I remember working with him at the cemetery. He would be working and I would be sent to help, the Leino boys would be there doing their part. Then the land that was bought had to be cleared of brush and trees, Bruno and Laur Leino and Carl and Albert Heino did most of this.

    In later years Eugene Leino was to plow the ground but it was so root bound that it had to be broken up with the rototiller. We tilled it 3 times to get it ready. We added two tons of lime and four 80 lb bags of fertilizer then 200 lb of lawn seed, rolling it to make a very nice area for expansion Stones and Er trees were placed on the Summit Hill side. In 1992 or ’93 we took down all of the picket fence on all sides digging out all the old post. Then came the drilling of all the fence posts in the rain.

    In 1994 we put in the woven board fence on the offset part of the cemetery on a weekend, volunteers did all of the work After the cemetery had been in operation 35 years we sent letters to all lot holders proposing the start of perpetual care and the response was 90% in favor.

    The cemetery was part of the church prior to starting the association in 1973. Because it was part of the church all funds from lot sales were put in the church treasury. Perpetual care, sales of lots, yard sales and various bake sales help to pay for the upkeep. We were sorry to learn of our Secretary/Treasurer Martha Leino resigning. We all owe her our gratitude for 40 years of service. Thank you, Martha. We are fortunate to have two young ladies take over: one as secretary and one as treasurer.

    In conclusion as president of the Cemetery Association, I am asking fo your assistance. Help is very much needed to maintain OUR cemetery. In the past, my wife has helped me it so many ways, including preparing for meetings, cooking, baking, serving coffee and working at the fundraising events. Mabel has been there every step of the way and I couldn’t have done my job without her.

    I believe involvement shouldn’t end with the purchase of a lot. With that purchase, you become part of a “family”. I hope you’ll pitch in to keep the area around your site neat and orderly and also participate in fund-raising activities (work bees, bake sales, etc). Let’s keep the Harrison Lutheran Cemetery a “family affair”.

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Robert Heino

    Editor's Note:

    Robert Heino died 3 November 2012 and remains at the Harrison Lutheran Cemetery  that he loved so dearly in life.  [Find a Grave Memorial #100365425]

    The Bridgton News published his obituary on 8 November 2012:  

    He was born May 25, 1929, in Waterford, son of Finnish immigrants, Kalle and Liisa Heino. He was very proud of his Finnish heritage and worked hard to help out his family. Robert was known by many friends as “Bob.”

    Robert married Mabel Qualey on Jan. 11, 1969. They lived in Waterford at his family farm, and then they moved to Maple Ridge in Harrison. He worked at Wilner Wood Heel, various logging jobs and at Dielectric in Raymond for 29 years.

    He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his friends, and helping Mabel in their gardens. Robert was caretaker and president of the Harrison Lutheran Cemetery Association for many years and took great pride in caring for it.

    * Image of Robert Heino and excerpt from obituary used by permission of The Bridgton News.

  • 22 Dec 2016 1:45 PM | Debi Curry (Administrator)

    David Simmons begins to clear a gravestone
    David Simmons begins to clear a gravestone 

    When, in the early days of Sedgwick, a person died it was common to bury them in a family cemetery near their homes. Some of these small burial grounds have been kept up but, as descendants pass on or move away and interest in the sites wane they can, quite quickly, be overtaken by brush and, eventually, forests.  One such cemetery is Snow’s Burying Ground which Barbara M. Grindle, in her excellent catalog listing of Sedgwick, Maine’s Cemeteries, Burying Grounds and Family Plots 1789-1999, describes as follows,     

    “Snow’s Burying Ground (Frank Benson Burying Ground)    Located beside Route 175 among the blueberry fields, this cemetery is visible from the road only if you know where to look.  The oldest stone is that of J.F. Snow, son of John and Charlotte Snow, who died May 27, 1834 at the age of 2 years.”1

    Snow’s Burying Ground September 2014

    Over the years this cemetery’s proximity to the blueberry fields has helped because the undergrowth would be cleared when the fires burning the fields were allowed to move through the cemetery. More recently however, the blueberry fields haven’t been burned or harvested so the cemetery has become overgrown with brush and brambles. In 2014 David and Ellen Simmons took an interest in the cemetery and, with the kind permission of land owners David and Jake Carter, they began to clear Snow’s Burying Ground.

    The cemetery is on land originally owned by Seth B. Grindle (1804- ) who was a sea captain, a farmer and who, in his later years, ran a navigation school.  It is said that he had 4 wives-not at the same time.2   In time the land was sold to John Gray and, in 1911 when it passed to Frank Benson (Hancock Deed Registry Book 484 Page 199), the burying ground on the property was recognized in the following paragraph; 

    “On the south east by land formerly owned by Isaac Closson, thence on the southwest by land formerly owned by J.F. Gray, thence on the northwest by said J.F. Gray, thence on the northeast by land formerly owned by John Gray, the same being known as the Seth B. Grindle homestead, containing about thirty five acres. Reserving a graveyard and a right away to same.” 3 

    Charlotte Wife of Capt. John Snow Died June 9, 1840 At 35.
    As for me I will behold thy face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied when I wake in thy likeness.
    By the side of his mother lies J.F son of John and Charlotte Snow died May 27, 1834. Age 2 years

    Grindle, Barbara M., Sedgwick, Maine’s Resting Places Cemeteries, Burying Grounds and Family Plots 1789-1999, Little Guy Press, Blue Hill Maine, 2000. See page 69.

    Snow, Walter A., et al., The Grindle Family of Hancock County, Maine, 1978. See page 192

    Hancock County Registry of Deeds, Book 484 Page 199

  • 17 Jul 2015 4:50 PM | Debi Curry (Administrator)

    MOCA Note:  The following article detailing burials at the Storer Cemetery in Dexter was transcribed from an Eastern Gazette newspaper clipping held in MOCA archives. MOCA believes that at least one page of the article - and perhaps two - are missing, thereby accounting for the many additional burials at Storer Cemetery that are not detailed here.  If you are a sleuth - amateur or otherwise - and would like to seek out the missing page(s), we would be most grateful and will gladly add the additional transcriptions to the article posted.

    Local History Column: Storer Cemetery in Dexter

    Edited by
    Mrs. Annie W. Murphy
    Miss Mary H. Hamilton
    Contributors solicited

    Eastern Gazette
    Aug 23, 1934


    The earlier settlers in this township were accustomed to set aside a small plot as a burial ground each on his own land, or in some instances several neighbors would use the same lot.  The Greene cemetery, lying between Maple Street and the old Charleston road was Dexter’s first public burial place.  It was purchased in 1820.  Elmwood cemetery was purchased in 1843.  In 1845 the town voted to purchase land on the north side of the pond for a burying ground and choice was made of a private burial lot on the farm of Briggs Curtis.  For some years this was known as the “Curtis Burying Ground”.  After Amos Storer purchased the Curtis place the cemetery began to be designated by his name and still remains the “Storer Cemetery.” “Waldheim” and the “Waldheim road” had not even been thought of at the time, but every one followed the old road up to the Robert Hamilton house, (now owned by William Frye), past the old schoolhouse and then on up and down a steep hill to the Briggs Curtis house, (not the home of Harry Hutchins.)

    The cemetery lies on the south side of this road near the top of the hill and is easily reached from either direction, and the road is very good.

    We entered by the eastern gate and came first to the grave of Alfred Curtis marked by a slate stone, the only slate stone we found here.  The inscription reads:

    “Alfred Curtis, died March 3, 1839, aged 25 years; ‘To Die is but to live’”

    Down at the right hand and near the ground we read: “G. Pullen, Augusta.” G. Pullen evidently made the tombstone.

    On the same lot we find a stone in memory of

    “Mary, wife of Benjamin Beals, died Feb 13, 1843, aged 39 years.”  Alfred and Mary were the children of Briggs and Lydia Curtis.

    The lots are laid out in rows running north and south and the land slopes toward the south, a very pretty place for a cemetery.

    Next we came to the Nutter lot where we found stone bearing the names of

    “John F. Nutter, June 10, 1842 - Feb 28, 1822.”

    “Maria B., his wife, Feb 28, 1851-Dec. 21, 1908.”

    “Chester A. Nutter, Nov. 8, 1884, died in Cuba, Mar 27, 1906.”  We followed the second row of graves back up the hill toward the north.

    First we came to a stone inscribed:

    “Betsy Watson, died March 14, 1874, aged 80 years, 1 month and 9 days.” and

    “Eunice Stevens, died Oct. 25, 1865, aged 62 years, 12 days.”

    Next was the Reuben W. Lane lot with stones in memory of

    “Reuben W. Lane, died March 14, 1868, aged 66 years, 8 months and 4 days.”

    “Hester A., wife of Reuben W. Lane, died Sept. 12, 1865, aged 55 years, 3 months and 22 days.”

    “Mary, wife of Reuben W. Lane, died Sept. 27, 1853, aged 35 years, 9 months.”

    “Melvina, daughter of Reuben and Mary Lane, died Nov. 23, 1848, aged 20 years and 10 months.”

    Reuben W. Lane was a son of Captain Matthias Lane, an account of whose family will be found in the Eastern Gazette of July 26, 1934.

    In the third row of lots we found stones inscribed to two children of Seth and Diana Drew: “Margaret M., died April 23, 1837, aged 3 years and 6 months.”

    “Seth H., died Jan 3, 1842, aged 11 months.”  In this row also we find a stone in memory of

    “Thomas Macomber and Lucy Alden, his wife,” with no dates.  Next we find “Samuel A., their son, April 19, 1829 - Oct 16, 1917.” And “Aroline A., wife of Ward Safford died March 2, 1897, aged 74 years.”  She was the daughter of Thomas and Lucy Macomber.

    In this third row we find the grave of “Lewis E. Whittemore, born June 9, 1849 and died Aug. 22, 1905,” and on the same lot is a stone in memory of his sister: “Emma J., wife of B.H. Chandler, died Oct. 22, 1881, aged 28 years.”

    Down in the south-easterly corner will be found the Chandler lot with a marble monument inscribed with the following:

    “Harvey Chandler, Feb. 20, 1808 July 14, 1891.”

    “Dorothy Hanson, his wife, July 30, 1823 Oct 18, 1902.”

    “Sarah A. B., wife of Harvey Chandler, died Jan. 14, 1853 aged 36 years, 9 months, and 7 days.”

    “Gustavus A. Chandler, Regt. Com Sgt. Died in Miss. June 30, 186? Aged 29 years and 6 months.”

    “Elizabeth L., died Feb. 8, 1856. Aged 14 years, 2 months.”

    “George B. D., died Aug. 4, 1888, aged 48 years, 3 months.”

    “Melvin J., son of Harvey and Doratha Chandler, died May 18, 1887, aged 22 years, 4 months.”

    A little to the west of the Chandler lot will be found a small stone in memory of Adelbert, son of Rufus and Polly Willard, died Aug. 2, 1863, aged 1 year, 11 months and 11 days.

    In the third row is the Pettengill lot with stones inscribed:

    “Rufus W. Pettengill, died Nov. 4 1901. Aged 73 years, 11 months, and 23 days.”

    “Ruth S., his wife, died July 29, 1895, aged 60 years, 6 months and 21 days.”

    “Hattie S., their daughter, died July 17, 1894, aged 23 years, 2 months and 25 days.”

    “Henry R., their son, drown June 19, 1868, aged 11 years, 25 days.”

    In the fourth row of lots is the grave of Sumner W. Lane, a son of Richard Y. Lane and a grandson of Webster Lane, recently included in the account of the Lane families.

    The inscriptions on tombstones in memory of Josiah Hopkins and his wife, Sarah, are very satisfying.  Mr. Hopkins stone is inscribed with a Masonic emblem.

    “Josiah Hopkins, born Eastham, Mass., May 4, 1772; died Dexter, Maine, July 7, 1856, aged 84 years.”

    “Sarah Rackliff, his wife, born Scarborough, Maine, Feb. 17, 1770; died in Dexter, Me., June 25, 1850, aged 80 years.”

    On the Storer lot we find stone in memory of:

    “Amos Storer died Nov. 8, 1895, aged 94 years.”

    “Lavinia, wife of Amos Storer, died Dec. 19, 1881, aged 74 years.”

    “Everett R. Storer, died Aug. 28, 1882, aged 33 years, 1 month and 7 days.”

    “Charles P. Storer, Oct. 29, 1836 – m?? 26, 1901.”

    “Mrs. N.E. Storer, wife of Frank Storer, died Aug 13, 1878, aged 50 years, 5 months and 7 days.”

    “Franklin Storer, died Aug. 28, 1882, aged 51 years, 5 months and 25 days.”

    There are two small markers simply inscribed with the names “Mary Etta” and “Flora Ella”.  Frank and Everett Storer were the victims of a drowning accident at ?head Lake**.  Frank spent most of his life in Dexter and was very well known here.  At different times he drove the stage to Dover. And...

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~missing section~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    On the map of Dexter published in 1875 we find the dwelling places of four “J. Lanes” noted with no way to distinguish between John, James, and Jeremiah.

    Jeremiah and Aurelia C. Lane had a son, Robert L. Lane, who became a doctor and later lived in Massachusetts, and a daughter, Annette Lane, born October 15, 1853.  She married Reuben A. Taylor.  On the lot with her parents we find memorials to “Reuben A. Taylor, 1844-1927” “Annette Lane, his wife, 1853-1932.”

    “Orman L. son of Reuben A. and Annette Taylor, died August 29, 1879, aged 2 years, 3 months and 22 days.”

    In our first article on the “Lane Families” date July 12, 1934, we quoted the Rev. Jacob Chapman as saying that “William Lane of Boston may have been connected with Job, James, and Edward Lane, from Yorkshire, England, who settled in Billerica (now Bedford) in Malden and in Gloucester, Mass and in Falmouth (now Portland) Maine.  But the connection is not traced.

    The Webster and Matthias Lane families trace their descent from William Lane of Boston.  Mr. Herring writes that the John Lane family presented in this article traces back to the “Job, James, and Edward Lane” mentioned above.

    In our visit to the Storer cemetery it was our intention to make a note of each name and date, carefully.  There may be, and probably are, unmarked graves here as is true in all cemeteries.  We have no way of knowing.

    [Gravestone image used with permission of Find a Grave photo volunteer,  "TheGhost"]

    ** Of course, our MOCA transcriber was intrigued by this particular note, and sought out additional information about the deaths of Frank & Everett Storer.  As a result, a full newspaper clipping describing the ordeal of their deaths has been added to their memorials on the Find a Grave web site. You can read more there:

    Franklin Storer (1825-1882) Memorial #114680638
    verett Storer (1849-1882) Memorial #114666273

  • 03 Jan 2015 11:22 AM | Debi Curry (Administrator)

    One of the four active cemeteries in Brooksville, this cemetery was created behind the Union non-denominational Church around the turn of the 20th century when Cynthia Blake; Carrie Gray and others rode around town in a buggy collecting donations for its establishment. The initial inhabitants were brought in from several private burial grounds around town. For example, Blakes buried originally near Bayside Lodge (or at least their headstones) were moved here. Perhaps this group included the stones for early settlers Israel and Hephzibah Blake, husband and wife born in the 1700's.

    "In the olden days" i.e. the 1800's, epitaphs were sometimes pre-carved on stones that could be ordered from Boston. These were quite expensive, costing as much as a years' salary. (No wonder many old graves in town are unmarked, or marked only with a simple fieldstone!) These old inscriptions, while expressing heartfelt and appropriate sentiment, also are somewhat generic in character. This cemetery has its share of such stones, and you will fund the epitaphs faithfully transcribed in Volume II of Cemeteries of Brooksville, Maine published by the Brooksville Historical Society.

    There are several modem stones of unique character here. One belongs to James Farr, who became a French teacher under the inspiration of his teacher, Mrs. Walker, who escaped France just before the Nazi invasion. Farr was trained at the Sorbonne.  His epitaph reads in French on one side, with a translation on the reverse: "Here lies James B. Farr, son of Lynwood A. and Lura A. Farr, born July 11,1946 whose ashes are shared between this plot and Chamonix, France.''

    Mr. Farr is still alive. You will notice that many, many stones in this cemetery have birth dates, but no death dates. In most cases, this is because the person is still living. Occasionally it is because the descendants have yet to inscribe the date.

    Another unique modem stone belongs to a Howard who died after our cemetery book was compiled.  His inscription reads "It is better to be shot out of a cannon than to he squeezed through a tube." The meaning of this mysterious epitaph is partially deciphered by tracing the statement to an article about motorcycles written by Hunter S. Thompson! It has always been possible to be tucked away on Cape Rosier and still quite tuned in to the modem world.

    It was the custom in the old days for a widow who remarried to be buried beside her first husband. For example, among the many Grays, John B. (who died in 1914) married Mary

    McDonald, and when he died she married Alonzo Sanborn.  Mr. Sanborn is buried in Lakeview cemetery but Mary is here, next to John, her name inscribed as Mary D. Sanborn.

    It was fairly common for widowers to remarry and be buried with, two (or more) wives by their side. This is the case with Fred Carver.  He and his first wife Etta had three children, all of whom died young, with the last, Ada, outliving her mother by a few years.  Fred's second wife, Amelia, who took care of Ada, is buried next to Etta. Upon the death of Ada, Fred and Amelia left Cape Rosier for Hog Island, where they built a house and took in "rusticators" - travel by boat in those days was much easier than travel over land. Near his grave is a "scotch" rose bush that also grows, in two other places: Hog Island, and his former homestead on Cape Rosier.  We have not found this particular rose elsewhere.

    Often, family plots contain the remains of faithful servants. That's the case, with the small, simple stone of Jessie Tattnall, one of the very few (if not the only) black person ever buried in Brooksville. She was a beloved governess and friend of the Emerson family, and died in 1968

    There are quite, a few bachelors here. One of historical interest was Ed Collins (1860-1953), a master builder of ship models, one of which (the Red Jacket) is in the Historical Society museum. His mother was Rebecca Redman, born in 1832.  (She in turn was a daughter of Francis and Rebecca Redman, who are buried over the hill to the south, in the Carver Cemetery.) Next to his stone, we have placed a scanned photo of him in his harbor side shop. Another bachelor of recent memory was Jarvis Green, who died in 1960. He used to ride a bicycle with a large front tire and small rear tire. His unusual fieldstone echoes the much smaller, but equally rustic, stone that marks his mother's grave nearby. Jarvis was the subject of a poem titled "The Hermit of Cape Rosier" by one of the nation's Poet Laureates, summer resident Daniel Hoffman, whose wife Elizabeth (also a poet) is buried here.

    The graves of Girard and Elizabeth Condon are covered by a most unusual moss or lichen, found nowhere else in the cemetery. The reason for this remains a mystery. Girard Condon's house on Coastal Road was donated to the Historical Society and is presently being refurbished as a Farmhouse Museum.

    Most cemeteries in the United States bury their dead "in a Christian manner." This means that all bodies are laid with the head pointing west and the feet pointing east. There is an active Cemetery Association for Evergreen, which has adopted various rules, one of which is that new headstones and footstones shall face East/West and be in alignment with existing stones in that section of the cemetery. Another rule is that a person must be a native descendant of Brooksville or a resident for 10 years to buy a lot at the standard rate. Non-residents may buy a lot, but at twice the price. The association's president is Kip Leach, our Selectman, and the treasurer is Helen Condon.

    July 2008

    Brooksville Historical Society

    Evergreen Cemetery
    Cape Roser, Hancock County, Maine
    Also known as Union Chapel Cemetery, Cape Rosier Unitarian Church & Cemetery"Our Little Church Cemetery" (Blake Genealogy)

  • 14 Aug 2014 6:19 PM | Debi Curry (Administrator)

    From 1987 MOCA archives we find this description of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Cemetery.  Although the name seems to imply that it is located in Portsmouth, NH, the cemetery actually lies on Jamaica Island at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, which is located in Kittery, ME.

    Thomas M. Doyle, Administrative Office in the Public Works Department, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, has given MOCA a copy of the first draft of his meticulously researched records of burials at the U.S. Naval Cemetery located at the Shipyard. One of only two such cemeteries in the continental U.S., it was originally designed for 140 burial sites but an 1826 survey revealed 56 to be unusable because of underlying ledge. Redesign and expansion in 1901 provided an additional 200 sites. It was entered into the Department of the Interior's Register of Historic Places in 1977.

    Only 149 of the 214 grave sites currently in use have known occupants. Included are Navy and Marine service men and women, dependents of active military personnel and British and Danish seamen and fliers who lost their lives on these shores during WWII.

    The first recorded burial was that of a civilian living on the island in 1820, the most recent a retired Navy Chief, buried in 1972 beside his parents.

    Doyle is still striving to document the remaining 65 burials. His current alphabetized list includes the name, date of death, age when known, and burial location of each person, plus available personal data such as birth date and place, military affiliation, and cause of death.

    VOL XIX No 4 Fall 1987

    Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Cemetery

    Find a Grave - Portsmouth Naval Cemetery
  • 20 Jul 2014 6:41 PM | Debi Curry (Administrator)

    Photo courtesy of Susan Esposito, Eastport, ME

    Hillside East Cemetery, located in the northern section of High Street, holds a lot of Eastport's heritage, from sailors and their families to British and American soldiers and sailors, businessmen, common men and women. Reading the headstones and enjoying the view can be very interesting and relaxing. The oldest gravestone dates from 1800 and is believed to have been transplanted from Robbinston. The cemetery has been expanded several times and was once a park. There are three tombs above the ground and used throughout most of the 19th century.  

    Our story today is reprinted by permission from an article by J. Terry Hall published in the 12 Oct 2001 Quoddy Tides tells us more about these historical treasures:

    The west brick wall of the Masonic tomb in the Hillside Cemetery in Eastport is a little shabby now. On the corner, several layers of bricks have separated from the brickwork. The main door has dents, dings and patches. The cupola is tarnished and dingy, obviously in need of repair. But once upon a time…

    Cannons boomed from the revenue cutter Swiftsure, under the direction of Capt. Uriah Coolridge. Her crew was paying last respects to the late Dr. Samuel Ayer, the surveyor of the Port of Passamaquoddy. Friends gathered in prayer. Then the procession formed behind the horse-drawn hearse, followed by the fine carriage with the widow and children. Behind them came the customhouse officers, the physicians and friends who trod slowly up the hill to the graveyard. The procession led to the Freemason’s tomb, where the Masons laid their fraternal brother to rest. The tomb had been built only four years earlier. It still shone with newness. The bricks were painted to give the appearance of stonework along the broad western face. The year was 1832.

    In 1819 the town of Eastport, Massachusetts (Maine not being a state yet) began the process of acquiring a new “burying ground.” The new cemetery was haphazard at best. There were no established lots or paths. In 1828 the Masons attempted to establish some order by building a tomb or “sepulchre” for their Masonic brothers, their families or visitors of their order. It was a grand work for the time. First a sub-level had to be excavated. Then brickwork for the various rooms had to be lain. Then earth was put over the tomb. The main entry room had an arched brick ceiling.

    In 1829 a visitor wrote: “Other doors open to the several vaults, which are capable of containing about four hundred coffins. Some twenty or thirty bodies, I was told, had already been deposited there.” He went on to say, “This is the first and only one of the kind that has come to my knowledge, built in the United States for this express object. And it reflects much honor on the liberality, generosity and affection of the Masonic Fraternity here, toward their deceased brethren, and others.”

    The number of coffins that could fit in the tomb probably would be less than 400. Still, people of that era were shorter in stature, and the coffins were made of pine and smaller than today’s coffins. The old coffins would have been set in racks perhaps six or more coffins high and 14 or more wide. They would have fitted on slides of some type.

    The tomb was intended to be the permanent resting place for some of the occupants, but temporary for others. In 1836 the selectmen were for the first time authorized to locate, lay out and sell lots to citizens of the town. Friends or family could now obtain burial places for their loved ones and have them moved to a new site. With family lots being established, some of the interred were removed from the tomb and buried in family lots. During the 1850’s more land was apparently purchased for the cemetery. The selectmen appear to have been determined to remove some of those interred haphazardly and to put in many of the lanes that exist today. These lanes were about five feet wide to accommodate horse-drawn hearses and carriages. What is known as the “town tomb” today may have been used to temporarily hold the former occupants of the lanes.

    The town tomb appears to have been modeled after the Masonic tomb, with its Masonic-style cupola above the entrance. At what point it was built or turned over to private individuals is unknown. This tomb has been known by several names, among them the Shackford tomb. In 1859 the selectmen began to toy with the idea of purchasing this tomb, known then as the Hayden and Kilby tomb, but it would be more than 30 years before the town acquired it.

    A third tomb, now removed, stood about 50 feet west of the two older tombs. This tomb stood entirely above ground and was built on a ledge. The location is marked with an urn today. It is shown on a 1927 map of the cemetery, which called it the Bucknam, Prince and Weston tomb.

    The exact reasons why the tombs’ occupants were removed can only be conjectured today. The possibility of deterioration of the pine boxes, deterioration of the racks, and health risks are among the likely reasons for removing those permanently interred in the tombs. In 1900 the last remains were transferred out of the Shackford tomb, which was being rebuilt by the city for the sum of $535 in that year. At that point it became known as the town tomb and was used as a receiving or public tomb for winter use. The practice of using the tombs expressly for wintering over, then, is only 100 years old in Eastport.

    The Freemason’s tomb, 173 year old and a little beat up today, has had presidential appointees interred within its walls. Sea captains, militia captains and generals and Revenue Marine captains have rested within its walls. No other town in eastern Maine ever build a tomb to hold so many caskets, had tourists visit its cemeteries and tombs as early as 1829, or built civic structures as early as 1828. Eastport’s town tomb and Freemason’s tomb are perhaps unique to this part of New England. A treasure does not have to be made of gold. The Eastport tombs are historical and cultural treasures.

    WPA Cemetery Plans, Hillside Cemetery (1941)

  • 14 Jul 2014 4:52 PM | Debi Curry (Administrator)
    At the entrance to the present day cemetery is a monument consisting of three granite grinding wheels salvaged from the old Grist Mill set on a concrete base with a plaque reading "In memory of Dr. Lyman A Lydic, 1978". Flags of both countries fly overhead.

    To provide a historical framework for this unique cemetery, we offer the following background from a letter sent by retired funeral director, John A. Lowry, to Dr. Hilda M. Fife in October of 1970:

    As nearly as can be determined, the land on which the Forest Cemetery is placed was part of a crown grant from King George of England to one Hill, about 1829.  This grant contained nearly all of what is now known as North Lake Parish in the Province of New Brunswick.  The work entailed in following title through a period of more than eighty years was dropped for the present time.  Title has been traced back to 1892, at which time the cemetery was in existence.  The earliest burial record was in 1869.

    Before the International boundary was finally legally established and ratified in 1924, Forest City was really one village.  It came into being as a result of a tannery being established on the headwaters of the St Croix River and was about equally settled on both sides of the river.  At some time, and no date is available, a cemetery was started on the Maine side of the river.  In a short time this was abandoned and the original burials all moved.  Again, no date is available.  Since that time, the cemetery in Forest City, N.B. has served both communities.

    In 1966, Dr. Lyman A. Lydic who was born in Forest City, Maine, retired from the practice of medicine in Dayton, Ohio, and built a home in Forest City, Maine.  The cemetery was in the state that most rural cemeteries are, with a few people taking care of their own lots, and the rest growing up to hay and hawkweed.  Through his efforts, the Forest City Cemetery Association was formed.  It now numbers about 80 members who assess themselves $5 per year to maintain and improve the cemetery.  The local members gather at necessary times to rake leaves, paint fences, and do the little things that are necessary.  A caretaker has been hired to do the weekly maintenance.  The cemetery has been graded, fertilized, and seeded, fences painted, new gates purchased and installed.  This summer, a sign of design in keeping with the situation of the cemetery has been erected, proclaiming this to be the Forest City Cemetery, International.  As in most rural cemeteries, there are many unmarked and unknown graves.  This year metal grave markers have been purchased and eventually all of these graves will be marked.

    An unusual feature of this cemetery is that no lots are sold.  It is for the use of any person living in the community who wishes to be buried there.  And in most cases friends or neighbors open the graves and clean up the debris.  There is no fee for the lot or for the future maintenance.  Naturally we are glad to have everybody become a member of the Association, but it is not required.

    The International scope becomes very interesting to me, for in forty years of funeral work, I never encountered another. 

    John A. Lowry

  • 25 Jun 2014 4:39 PM | Debi Curry (Administrator)

    by Maryann Chapman

    WHERE HAS PORTLAND GRAND TRUNK CEMETERY GONE? This was the question posed by Karl Rawstron of Portland published in the MOCA Newsletter, December 1999. I am pleased to report that this ancient cemetery is alive and well today thanks to a three year effort on the part of Samantha Allshouse and Kayla Theriault, who adopted the cemetery as a Girl Scout Gold Award project in 2010.

    Unfortunately, we cannot turn back the hands of time enough to recreate what this burial ground looked like in the late 1700’s. The ravages of neglect, disinterest, desecration and vandalism have taken away so much that we are left with only a skeletal image of the Presumpscot (Grand Trunk) Cemetery.

    Historical Roots of the Grand Trunk Cemetery

    (Also referred to as the East Deering or Presumpscot Street Cemetery)

    Presumpscot Village was an active town of about three thousand residents from c. 1790 – 1890 before incorporation into Portland. However, as early as 1730, records indicate that many families migrated back to, and settled in Falmouth, now Portland, from Newbury and other towns in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. There is evidence that this burial site was the final resting place for many of these earliest settlers. Land and property changed hands many times, bought and sold by families whose names we recognize today: Sawyer, Blake, Lunt, Noyes, Ilsley, Merrill and Galvin. In nearly all cases, there was consideration of, and references to the existence of the burial site as early as 1740. Many records have been lost over time.

    • 1793- The first recorded burial of Susannah Merrill Graves, Aet. 48 wife of Lieut. Crispus Graves, Revolutionary War.
    • 1893- The final burial of record for Frances I. Boothby Aet. 78, Wife of Silas Boothby.
    • March 1898- Leonard Bond Chapman, self- appointed caretaker of the ‘Ancient Cemeteries’ was officially recognized and appointed custodian of these burial site, including the East Deering Cemetery, though without pay. It is notable that the selectmen of the town did allot $400.00 toward expenses. L.B. Chapman continued his devoted service until his death in 1915.
    • “Show me the manner in which a nation or community cares for its dead. I will measure exactly the sympathies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to high ideals.” William Ewart Gladstone
    • Over many years, this burial site suffered the ravages of neglect, disinterest, desecration, and vandalism. During, the 1970’s and 80’s it became a dumping ground for discarded appliances and vehicles. A mere eight memorial stones remained intact; all covered with spray paint. It was only individual effort and the determination of the teachers and students of Presumpscot School, and notable community members: Councilor Cheryl Leeman, Mr. David Millard, and Mr. Theodore Sawyer, that prevented the total loss of this ancient site.
    • October 2010- Samantha Allshouse and Kayla Theriault take on a Girl Scout Gold Award project to cleanup and recover the cemetery with the support and blessing of the City of Portland, Public Services Cemeteries Division. Research uncovers the fact that there are eight veterans buried here, and work begins with the help of historian, Herbert Adams and the newly formed ‘Friends of the Grand Trunk Cemetery’ to acquire replacement stones from the Veterans Administration. A kiosk is built to house the graphic map of the cemetery layout, and white river stones are numbered and placed at each grave.
    • August 2012- The Grand Trunk Veterans Memorial is dedicated. Six new memorial stones are placed to honor a veteran of the Revolution and five veterans of the War of 1812. The memorial stone for the Civil War veteran is placed within the enclosure. A memorial bench is also placed in the cemetery to honor the memory of Zoe Sarnacki, former Presumpscot School student; a gift from Samantha and Kayla’s Girl Scout Troop 2051.
    • October 2013- Dedication of the memorial stone for Joseph Merrill, Veteran of the War of 1812. Date TBA. Today, we plan to reinstate the cemetery archway or gate. However, we’ve been unable to find any existing photos and thus, we hope that MOCA members might share their knowledge of other Maine cemeteries of the same vintage with existing archways or gates to help us in research. Photos or at least where to look will help. We will begin fund raising once we have adequate information.
    On a final note: a week or so prior, while at the cemetery, three descendants of Anthony Sawyer, came to visit their relative’s burial site, all from other states. It was gratifying to know that their continued interest, concern, and support for the Grand Trunk Cemetery resulted from a project of two Maine Girl Scouts whose own determination has inspired a community to examine and value the importance of this small but important historical gem.

  • 16 Jun 2014 4:02 PM | Debi Curry (Administrator)

    The cemetery in the village of Winslow, on the north bank of the Sebasticook, is probably the oldest in town. A committee was appointed by the town in 1772 to apply to Dr. Sylvester Gardiner for land for a burying ground on the Fort farm. Doctor Gardiner undoubtedly gave the land now in use, when visited by that committee. In this yard, beneath a slab of dark slate stone, one side smoothed for lettering, and the other side just as it was split from the quarry, lies the body of an eccentric citizen, who composed the following epitaph with strict injunctions that it should be inscribed on his tombstone just as written. It has been widely copied by the newspapers:

    "Here lies the body of Richard Thomas,
    An inglishman by birth,
    A whig of 76,
    By occupation a Cooper,
    Now food for worms,
    Like an old rumpuncheon marked numbered and shooked,
    He will be raised again and finished by his creator.
    He died Sept. 28, 1824, aged 75,
    America my adopted country,
    My best advice to you is this take care of your liberties."

    Other Winslow Burial Grounds

    • In the Hetchell grave yard lie the bodies of David Smiley, John Tailor and wife, and other early settlers.

    • Benjamin Runnels and some other contemporaries were buried on his farm, now owned by Dr. H. H. Campbell.
    • A similar burying place is to be seen on the Brown farm, where some members of the Hale, Newell and other old families were buried.
    • One half acre of land bought by the town of David Guptill in 1854, adjoining a piece consecrated to that use by the McClintock family, in which were the graves of Abigail Robinson and her mother, constitute the McClintock burying ground.
    • The Drummond burial ground on the river road was given to the family about 1840, by John Drummond. Lots are now sold to any one for burial purposes.
    • The Crosby grave yard was accepted and fenced by the town in 1881.
    • On the William Stratton farm, the Stratton family have a private burial ground; and on the river road is the Tufton Simpson ground.
    • General Ezekiel Pattee, who died in 1813 at the age of eighty-two, gave the burying ground on the river road, in which his body now lies. Near by, also, appear the tombstones of Colonel Josiah Hayden, who lived in 1818, eighty-one years old, and Manuel Smith, who died in 1821, eighty years old--both prominent men of their times.
    Illustrated History of Kennebec County
    edited by Henry D. Kingsbury and Simeon L. Deyo, 1892, p. 554-555

  • 13 Jun 2014 4:30 PM | Debi Curry (Administrator)

    October 8th, 1829, Maine's Governor Enoch Lincoln died in Augusta. He was buried after a formal state funeral, Thursday, October 15th, in a tomb on the public grounds, now Capitol Park, opposite the State House, then under construction.

    Early Burying Grounds

    1786: The committee on burying-grounds reported that Abishai Cowen would give a lot eight by ten rods on the west side of the road on his land; and Samuel Cummings one six by eight rods on the Winthrop road for burying-grounds, which the town accepted. "Col. Howard was willing that people should bury at the fort burying-ground," but would give no title to the land.
    James W. North's History of Augusta, 1870, P. 201.

    Burnt Hill Burying Ground

    In November of this year [1802], Joseph and Hannah North gave to the inhabitants of the South Parish about two acres of land for a parish burial-place. It was the lot now known as the old or "Burnt Hill" burying-ground on Winthrop street. Previously to this a few persons had been buried on their land where the town house was, and where Joseph Anthony's house now is, at the corner of Winthrop and Elm streets.
    James W. North's History of Augusta, 1870, P. 323.

    Forest Grove Cemetery

    Until this year (1835), the "Burnt Hill Burying Ground," given by Joseph and Hannah North to the South parish in 1802, was the largest place of burial in town, and contained originally but two acres, but it had been somewhat enlarged on the north and west by the addition of narrow strips, which were mostly owned by individuals who had laid it into private lots. On the 11th of February of this year (1835), some of the principal citizens obtained an act incorporating the "Forest Grove Cemetery," for the purpose of purchasing, holding and managing a lot of land, "not exceeding three acres," to be used exclusively for a cemetery for the dead. The corporation was organized, and a lot purchased of Bartholomew Nason, on the south side of Winthrop street, opposite the old burying ground. It was divided into lots by suitable streets and walks, and ornamented with forest trees. In June of the same year many of the lots were sold at an established price of twenty-five dollars each. Since, the grounds have been enlarged from time to time, lots graded and fenced with ornamental iron fences, permanent and expensive walls of stone erected around some of them, and elaborately wrought monuments of marble and granite placed on many. The lots are neatly laid out and beautified by rare flowers and shrubbery, and the natural beauty of the place has been greatly increased by persevering labor of art.
    James W. North's History of Augusta, 1870, Pp. 568-9.

    Mount Pleasant Cemetery

    A lot of land containing twelve acres was purchased by the city this year [1853] on the north side of Winthrop street, on the top of "Burnt Hill," of Vassall D. Pinkham, for a public cemetery. The lot cost twelve hundred dollars. It was accurately surveyed and lotted by George H. Vose, who made a large plan of his survey. Half of the land was subject to sale for family lots at the moderate sum of ten dollars per lot; the other half was devoted to public use for burials without charge for land. The cemetery was named "Mount Pleasant," from which hereafter "Burnt Hill" should take the name of "Mount Pleasant."
    James W. North's History of Augusta, 1870, P. 686.

    Riverside Cemetery

    The Riverside Cemetery near Pettingill's corner was purchased this year [1858]. It is on original lot number twenty-eight, west of Bangor street, and extends west from that street to the railroad. It contains five and three-fourths acres, and was purchased of the heirs of the late Charles Williams for the sum of five hundred and seventy-five dollars. The ground has been laid into conveniently shaped lots, which are sold for family burials at the sum of ten dollars each.
    James W. North's History of Augusta, 1870, P. 706.

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Dedicated to the Preservation of Maine's Neglected Cemeteries since 1968.
Maine Old Cemetery Association, PO Box 641, Augusta, ME 04332-0641
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