By Roxanne Moore Saucier
Of the NEWS Staff
Gravestones are so fascinating that often we feel compelled to browse cemeteries whether we have any relatives buried there or not.
The shapes, the symbols and the materials themselves can tell us quite a bit.
The highlight of the Maine Old Cemetery Association fall program will be “Early Maine Gravestones,” by Ellen Dyer, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at the former Old Point Avenue School, 108 Old Point Ave., Madison.
Dyer, the executive director of the Henry Knox Museum in Thomaston, will give an illustrated talk on the symbols and language used on 18th and early 19th century gravestones in Maine, primarily in the midcoast area.
Registration for $3 will be held 8:30-9:15 a.m.
Also on the agenda will be:
ä MOCA business meeting and election of officers, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
ä Explanation of afternoon cemetery tours, Lena Arno, 11:30 a.m.-noon.
ä Lunch, 12:10 p.m.-1 p.m. at Kennebec Valley Grange. Meatloaf and fixings, cobbler, $7, must be prepaid by Wednesday, Sept. 22, to Kennebec Valley Grange, Cheryl Patten, 1161 East Pond Road, Smithfield, ME 04978. Include names of people you are reserving lunch for.
ä Tour of cemeteries or visit Madison Historical Society, 1 p.m.
ä Door prize drawing, 2 p.m., must be present to win.
The meeting place is accessible to the handicapped, but the historical society is not.
This will be the last MOCA meeting of the year.
Did you know that MOCA has transcribed the inscriptions on more than 951,000 gravestones in Maine? Check out the MOCA volumes (blue books) at Maine State Library in Augusta. Cemeteries for some counties are available on CD.
At the July 31 meeting in Gray, MOCA presented awards for cemetery restoration to:
ä Dillon Clifford, Vassalboro, Eagle Scout project on the Chadwick gravesite in China woods.
ä Lance Dwight, Wilton, Eagle Scout project at Center Cemetery behind Franklin County Courthouse, Farmington.
ä Todd Watson and son Danny Watson, for restoration of Holland Cemetery in West Point, Phippsburg.
ä Jesse Sutfin and family of Sebasco Estates, Phippsburg, restoration of Perry cemetery on Decker Hill in Sebasco Basin.
Join MOCA for $5 a year, $20 for five years or $100 life membership, sent to MOCA, PO Box 641, Augusta, ME 04332-0641.
I always enjoy the newsy newsletter.
MOCA’s meetings are educational and a lot of fun. You do not have to be a member to attend.
This article was reprinted from Family Ties in the Sept. 13 issue of the Bangor Daily News.
Group to host a ‘grave’ history tour at midcoast burial sites
By Roxanne Moore Saucier