The Sculpture: Ava A. Kirkland

11 Sep 2015 3:11 PM | Debi Curry (Administrator)

On 15 January 1875 Avaline A. Lord of Lowell, ME and Frank A. Kirkland of New York City were married by S. Besse. [1]  Avaline was the daughter of lumberman Daniel W. and Mary Dustin Page Lord and in the 1870 federal census Avaline's occupation was listed as “teaching school”. [2] Daniel and Mary died in Bangor, Penobscot Co., ME. [3] 

No place of death has been located for Ava, however the grave markers for these three individuals and for Ava's younger sister Clara, are enclosed in a white picket fence in Tannery Cemetery in East Lowell, ME.

In describing this cemetery Dick Shaw, writing for the 9 October 1976 Lewiston Evening Journal Magazine Section, wrote that, “as one turns east onto a quiet country road by the [East Lowell] town hall he soon finds himself at a small graveyard occupied by a near-life-sized statute of the deceased [Ava Lord Kirkland] who for 100 years has stood vigil from her granite cubicle, also occupied by two headstones and several pieces of wrought iron furniture.” [4]

On a 10 August 2015 visit to this cemetery there was no wrought iron furniture and within the white picket fence enclosure there were three grave markers in addition to the statue. The tallest marker is TO THE, MEMORY, OF, AVA A. LORD, Beloved Wife, of, FRANK A. KIRKLAND, OF NEW YORK, Died Dec, 26, 1876, Aged 32 Years. Her epitaph reads “A faithful loving wife, A dutiful daughter, A devoted sister, A true and tried friend”.  A small brick-shaped marble marker is in place for Clara Lord Hawley (1850-1940), and there is a joint stone for “Father” Daniel Lord (4 April 1817–7 January 1897) and “Mother” Mary D. Lord (20 June 1820–3 March 1909).  Also within the fence, atop a large granite block onto which is carved LORD, is a sculpture of a young woman.  

Shaw writes that the statute, a life-like sculpture of a marble barefooted maiden, was created in France and shipped to ME to be placed in the Tannery Cemetery in East Lowell.

[1] Ruth Gray, editor, Marriage Returns of Penobscot County, Maine Prior to 1892 (Camden, ME: Picton Press, 1994), 626.

[2] Year: 1870; Census Place: Lowell, Penobscot, Maine; Roll: M593_554; Page: 194A; Image: 392; Family History Library Film: 552053

[3] Maine, Death Records, 1617-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. 

[4] “Unusual Gravestones Are Found in Maine”, Lewiston Evening Journal Magazine Section, October 9, 1976, p. 4A, microfilm Maine State Library.

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