- The intricate carvings of a 19th century stone carver will be the focus of the Spring Program of the Maine Old Cemetery Association in New Gloucester, May 16, at the First Congregational-Christian Church. The church is located at 19 Gloucester Hill Road.
Bartlett Adams (1726 to 1828) arrived in Maine from Massachusetts in 1800 to establish a stonecutting workshop, that was in business from 1800 to 1828. He made marble hearthstones, mantelpieces and door jams, but the most lasting, and visible, impact of his work is still seen today in the early cemeteries of southern Maine.
The Maine Old Cemetery Association is comprised of nearly 700 paying members and more than 1,100 Facebook “friends”, all focused on preserving and researching the old cemeteries of Maine. The organization was founded in 1968 by the late Hilda Fife.
Ron Romano, the region’s Bartlett Adams expert, will be the featured speaker for the spring program, with a focus on his research of Adams’ stones. The program also features a discussion of and visits to New Gloucester cemeteries, presented by Thomas and E. Philip Blake, president of the New Gloucester Cemetery Association and the curator of New Gloucester Historical Society, respectfully. Thomas is also the acting sexton of the local cemeteries since 1998 and E. Philip is the author of Images of America’s “New Gloucester” (2009).
Registration for the program is $3 at the door, and is open to all.
A MOCA business meeting is planned before lunch with President Clyde Berry presiding. All are welcome to attend to learn more of the work of the MOCA membership. The afternoon will feature a trip to New Gloucester Lower Cemetery, one of their oldest, lead by the Blakes. The door prize drawing will be held during the tour, and winners must be present to win.
Lunch by reservation will be provided by the Congregational Church Meal Committee at a cost of $7 paid at the door. Reservations can be made until Thursday, May 7, online
or by email to Debi Curry or by phone to Jessica Couture at (207) 877-7675.
MOCA programs always include exhibits and displays of cemetery-related projects. Anyone involved with cemetery research or preservation projects is invited to create a display of their work to share with the membership.
Membership in MOCA can be paid at the program or online
. Annual membership is $7 or $30 for five years, and $150 for lifetime membership. Membership includes a quarterly newsletter with updates on cemetery-related projects and goals, as well as communication with researchers.
The week following the spring program a Cleaning and Leaning Workshop
will be held in Waterboro, sponsored by the Waterboro Cemetery Committee and MOCA. The workshop includes MOCA’s program of Cemetery DOs and DON’Ts. A $20 donation is requested for registration including a pizza lunch. More information is available from Angela M. McCoy
of the cemetery committee at (207) 651-1059 or and also on their Facebook page
MOCA members and interested parties are also invited to participate in the 2015 Association of Gravestone Studies Conference, June 23 to 28 at Westfield State University in Westfield, MA, that will include a bus tour of cemeteries in Southern Berkshire County, a noted marble region. More information is available on the AGS website
. Another Cleaning and Leaning Workshop
is planned in Rockport Aug. 29. More details will be available on the MOCA website.
MOCA’s Legislative Liaison is currently following and seeking support for three bills aimed at cemetery maintenance and protection, LDs 378, 1071, 862 and 953. To learn more go to www.legislature.maine.gov/bills/.