Cemetery Records Index Card Collection
A collection of records on Bowdoinham cemeteries compiled in the mid to late 1970s.
The collection, compiled by Marilyn Hinkley and others, consists of a set of cemetery grave site diagrams, identifying the overall layout and location of graves, and an extensive set of records of individual graves. Approximately 60 cemetery diagrams and around two thousand cards on individual graves.
There is a nacient name-search tool for searching graves (but only a small portion of the grave records are uploaded at this time).
2016: We hope to finish adding all the cemetery card data this year as part of our joint program with Merrymeeting Arts Center, Hallowed Ground, Forgotten Voices, which will focus on cemeteries.
Note on image sizes: The "slide show" view (when you click on a thumbnail) shows a larger image, but you can also view the FULL-SIZE image (quite large):
Method 1: Right-click on the thumbnail image and select "open link in a new tab" or "open link in a new window."
-- OR --
Method 2: Right-click on the slide-show image and select "view image" (then use the browser "back" button to return).
If you have questions about this collection, please contact us.
Reproduced from The Advertiser, 1970s:
Adopt a Cemetery
Bowdoinham has within its town lines about 100 cemeteries. A half dozen of them, like the Village, Ridge, Bay View, and Maxwell Yards, are kept in fine repair by persons who really seem to care about them.
But this town is dotted with old family cemeteries. Six stones here in a corner of a grown up pasture, a couple dozen stones there on a hilltop, now a good half mile from the nearest road.
The fact is, we don't even know how many cemeteries there are in town. We have a list of those that are easily spotted from the road, but we know that list doesn't contain half the old burying grounds m town.
As an example, three years ago we heard of an old cemetery that was about to be bulldozed under the southbound lane of 1-95. Most of you know that story. We went out, located the plot, complained to the state, and they realigned that strip of road so this cemetery will be saved in the median strip of their super highway.
That cemetery is one of the town's lucky ones. Most of the others in the back woods, fields and hills of our town seem doomed to oblivion. One or two stones fall flat each year, and before you know it, they are gone - gone and forgotten.
These old cemeteries are irreplaceable. The names and epitaphs they bear are tools of genealogists; tools that are necessary for tracing old family lines. Several society members have recorded names and other data from stones on their land, and have filed this information with us. Other folks have adopted family cemeteries on or near their land. They have cut the bushes, straightened and cleaned the stones and then recorded information they bear.
We would appreciate hearing from any reader who recalls an obscure, forgotten cemetery located in Bowdoinham. We'll want to add this cemetery to our list. We also want to hear about any burying grounds you or your friends might be restoring or maintaining. Maybe a local club, or class in school would take one or several grounds as a project.
Time will tell. If we ignore or neglect these old cemeteries another generation or more, time will wipe them out. On the other hand, if we can locate these plots now and get people in to work on them, time will record that Bowdoinham people really care about the folks that came here before them, (FDC)
Volume 2 #3
Frank Connors, Editor
Reproduced from a 1976 issue of The Advertiser:
Cemeteries In Bowdoinham
On this page we have listed all of the cemeteries known to exist in the Town of Bowdoinham. The list is a long one, more than 50, and we feel certain there are more in town of which we have no knowledge.
It is our sincere hope that this listing may kindle new interest in our towns old burial sites, and that people may come forward and make a public commitment to "adopt" one or more cemeteries as a personal project. Each site should be carefully cataloged, stone by stone, and most sites need varying degrees of restoration work. We can't think of a more fitting bicentennial observance for any group or individual to undertake.
We are certain that some cemeteries were left off our list, simply because we have never learned of their existance. Readers of this list would be doing the town and our society a favor by reporting burial grounds in town which do not appear on the list. We'll publish additional lists as they become available in future issues of the ADVERTISER.
In 1912, Silas Adams observed in his History of Bowdoinham that the town's old burial grounds were being sadly neglected. It is certain that today, 63 long years later, these venerable old grounds fare no better. We can all share the blame for that. (FDC)
POST ROAD [Millay Road to Richmond line]
SPEAR FAMILY PLOT. Southwest of Allan Frizzle's Jr.) new home on a direct line toward the Interstate 95 roadbed. Approximately half way between house and road, behind what used to be the small barn. About 2-dozen stones. Needs care.
WEBBER FAMILY PLOT. Top of knoll on north side of stone wall running east of the interstate roadbed. Opposite the new home of Allan Frizzle,Jr., directly behind where his old home used to sit. About a dozen stones. Needs immediate care.
JACK FAMILY PLOT. Due west of Post Road, several hundred feet down a clearly defined woods road. Directly across the road from buildings now owned by George Libby. Reasonably well maintained.
NEALEY FAMILY PLOT. About 150 feet west of the Post Road on the southern property line of what used to be the Sewall Farm. Abuts land now owned by Arthur Veno or Oscar Grahn. Needs immediate care.
CURTIS FAMILY PLOT. Due east from edge of Post Road some 20-30 feet on the old Douglass Farm, now owned by James Bouldin. Roughly two-thirds of the way to brook from the house. 2-3 adult Curtis family members buried here, 45 children. Restoration has been started by the Bouldins.
BLANCHARD CEMETERY. Just over the Bowdoin town line, about 150 yards from a new home built by Linda Millay. On what used to be the Blanchard homestead, buried here are at least three generations of Millays, plus Starbirds, Williams, and others. Needs attention.
MUSTARD CEMETERY. About 100 yards west of the Post Road and northwest of a trailer owned by Ruth and David Millay. Enclosed by an iron fence, includes a granite-faced, underground tomb. Here are buried members of the Mustard family, keepers of a famous tavern on the same site. Being maintained.
TEMPLE-RANDALL CEMETERY. West of the Post Road behind the home of Freeman DeRosier. An early burial site, secluded and nearly forgotten. Needs immediate attention.
BROWN POINT ROAD [Historical Society Church to end of Abagadasset Point]
PURINGTON-VERRILL PLOT. Behind home of Edward Bragdon, Sr., at edge of woods, southeast corner near high voltage power line. In reasonably good condition.
BROWN POINT CEMETERY. East of Heath's Corner several hundred yards, north side of road down a short lane in pine woods. Important cemetery, many early stones. In reasonably good condition.
PORK POINT ROAD [Heath's Corner to Harward Corner]
PREBLE PLOT. Southwest of old cape formerly owned by Charles Preble, now owned by the Rathnells. Members of the Preble family buried here, including Charles Preble, who has no stone marker. Needs immediate care.
HARWARD PLOT. Northeast of Harward home, on land now owned by the Bachmans. Near road on bay side. Several notable Harward shipmasters buried here. Some problems with vandals, very well maintained.
CENTER'S POINT ROAD [Jellerson's Corner to Merrymeeting Bay]
RAYMOND PLOT. South corner of Center Point Road and Lane leading to game warden's camp on bay. Grave of prominent, early churchman and his family. Stones all flat, needs immediate care.
BEECH HILL CEMETERY. West of road several hundred yards, through swamp, on crest of only hill in area. Burial site of original settlers on Center's Point. Historic site, needs immediate care.
ABAGADASSET ROAD [Jellerson's Corner to Route 24 at Hall's Corner
MEETlNGHOUSE: BURYING GROUND. On sloping river bank east of c. 1775 meetinghouse site. Most graves marked only with field stones; very historic; Revolutionary War veterans; total number of graves unknown. Nearly lost.
ADAMS- CROMWELL PLOT. Southwest of meetinghouse plot and behind old Cromwell farm cellar hole (slightly north) Revolutionary War veteran. Most stones flattened, needs immediate care.
WILLIAMS PLOT. In field behind home of Harry Prout; half-way to river. Two stones remain, others reported moved to Ridge Cemetery. Abandoned.
DAVIS PLOT. Very near road on right, corner between Rideout and Denham houses. Several small cedar trees on site. In acceptable condition, needs care.
CARDING MACHINE ROAD [Hall's Corner to Richmond line]
MAXWELL FAMILY PLOT. About 200 yards east of road, nearly mid-way between homes of John Lemont and Joey Hyde. Traces of woods road lead to site . Needs immediate care.
HATCH PLOT. One stone remaining in the field behind the home of Joey Hyde. Restoration could uncover more. Should be restored before all traces are lost.
LIBBY PLOT. Unknown number of stones east of road and on east side of big falls near Richmond town line.
*NOTE: The Carding Machine Road is one of the town's earliest, and undoubtedly hides several more yards than are listed here. We have old records that refer to a McFadden Yard, near Dinsmore's Mill; and to another yard in the vicinity of the Brooks District School. Much more research and brush beating is needed
WHITE ROAD [Bishop Corner, at Hinkley's to Richmond line]
DINSMORE PLOT. About 200 yards north of Dinsmore Crossroad on-right-hand edge of road. Reasonably well maintained.
SMALL FAMILY PLOT. One-quarter mile beyond the Dinsmore ground; right-hand edge of road on telephone trunk line. Reasonably well maintained.
KNIGHT-SMALL CEMETERY. Perhaps 150 yards in from road on left; across creek from home of Myron Dunn. Many early stones. Quite well maintained.
RIVER ROAD [Clay Hill to Harward Corner]
SAMUEL COOMBS PLOT. Burial site of one of village's first settlers, probably site of Revolutionary War veteran burial. Opposite home of Harry Tome on wooded bluff; very near road, in danger of being lost.
CAMPBELL- CHENEY PLOT. Opposite Cheney farm on corner, perhaps 50-60 feet from the road. Some stones are already gone, others are laid flat. Needs immediate care.
CAPT..JOSEPH HALL PLOT. Right-hand side of road on west bank of the Abagadasset, in a wooded area. Old Bowdoinham sea captain and his family. Needs immediate care.
PRATT PLOT. Behind home of Thelma Pratt on south property line shared with farm owned by the Macleans. Quite a distance from the road in a easterly direction. A number of old, significant stones. Needs immediate care.
RIVER ROAD [Harward Corner to Richmond line]
MAXWELL CEMETERY. Due west from foot of Swan Island, west side of road on hill crest. Enclosed by fine granite wall, large center memorial to selectman legislator-businessman, Noble Maxwell, other family members Sea captains, prominent citizens. This town's best maintained cemetery. Immaculately maintained.
WHITTMORE PLOT. About one half mile beyond Harward Corner, on east edge of road. Very early town settlers, perhaps ten stones, mostly flat. Needs immediate care.
GETCHELL PLOT. On an old Hill farm, site of very early settling, also shipyard. Due south of existing buildings. Historic place, must have immediate care.
PURINGTON PLOT. Behind farm owned by Chester Brookings until quite recently. On south property line shared with Hill farm. Approximately due north of Hill farm barn. Stones taken from grave sites years ago, placed on stone fence. Abandoned, should be protected.
THOMAS PLOT. Due east of Thomas farm now owned by Dennis Jones, in field toward river. Center monument to Capt. John Thomas (1832), who died of the plague on a trip to Africa. Needs attention.
PREBLE- GRANT PLOT. Behind home of Mrs. Wallace Carr, perhaps 100 yards, on northerly property line. Old ground, needs immediate attention.
VILLAGE BURYING GROUND. Opposite the Bowdoinham Community School on Cemetery Road, established 1826 by town's more prominent citizens. Some fine old stones. Very well maintained. Mowed regularly.
STUART PLOT. Parallel to Railroad Avenue, about half way up school house hill, behind residence of William Prindall. Just a couple of stones remain, ground enclosed by a fine rock fence. Nearly lost.
RIDGE ROAD [Pleasant Street to Richmond line]
MORSE FAMILY PLOT. East side of road, property line nearest village on farm owned by William Wallentine. Less than a dozen stones, several flattened by grazing livestock. Needs immediate care.
RIDGE CEMETERY. Probably the town's largest cemetery, certainly one of the most important. Started about 1800 as a private ground, many good stones including grave of town historian Silas Adams and of Eben Lancaster, 103-year-old Bowdoinham native who lived in three centuries. Very well maintained. Mowed regularly.
VERRILL PLOT. On Gentian Meadows Farm owned by Raymond Verrill. West of road well inside the tree line. Several stones, enclosed by a pipe fence. Needs immediate care.
WILDES ROAD [Brown Point Road to point]
PRATT PLOT. On left-hand side of road very close to edge. Located on last high ground before entering the State preserve. Enclosed by a wood and wire fence. Quite well maintained.
SEDGELEY FAMILY PLOT. Inside the State game preserve about 2,000 feet, turn east and cross powerline diagonally, 12 or more stones, near old foundation of home of Peter Allen. Needs immediate attention.
BAY ROAD [Cathance Bridge at Brooklyn to Topsham line]
BAY VIEW CEMETERY. About two miles from village on west side of road, on highland overlooking Merrymeeting Bay. Incorporated in November of 1908 by James Ames, Tyng Fogg, George Getchell, Lewis Fulton, William Kendall, Rinaldo Purington and C. B. Randall. Many stones, very well maintained.
FISHER ROAD [Upper Main Street to Topsham line]
FISHER-JEWELL PLOT. Directly behind the farm of Malcolm Jewell, almost half way to the river. East and south of the site of the old Fisher Tavern. Well maintained.
UNCLASSIFIED, NO LONGER TRACEABLE
STURTEVANT PLOT. Just east of US Route 201, near line with towns of Bowdoin and Richmond. Cemetery was inventoried five years ago by Mrs. Willey of Richmond. Stones on site since disappeared.
HALL'S CORNER METHODIST CHURCH BURYING GROUND. Church (built 1799) once stood 100 yards up Carding Machine Road from Hall's Corner. Reports tell of a burying ground with the meetinghouse, but no stones remain on the site today.
BEALS PLOT. In the field opposite home of Leonard Bishop, on River Road. Site lost, several stones remembered.
INTERSTATE PLOT. Six unnamed graves in the median strip of Interstate 95, about one quarter mile southwest of the 138 interchange. No way to determine who is buried on site; Historical Society moved four years ago to prevent covering of graves by south bound lane, now site should be permanently protected.
TOMB, REED'S POINT. Old brick tomb with granite face, near end of point on the Cathance River site. A family burial site, names unknown. Tomb destroyed perhaps a decade ago, granite carried off.
BOOKER ROAD PLOT. Southwest of old Booker Road on west side of south bound Interstate 95. About 25-30 feet from the interstate right-of-way; 6 or 10 stones, none of them marked with names. Must be preserved.
Frank Connors, Editor