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, 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 costs $3 and will be held 8:30-9:15 a.m.
Also on the agenda will be:
– MOCA business meeting and election of officers, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
– Explanation of afternoon cemetery tours, Lena Arno, 11:30 a.m.-noon.
– Lunch, 12:10-1 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.
– Tour of cemeteries or visit Madison Historical Society, 1 p.m.
– 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:
– Dillon Clifford, Vassalboro, Eagle Scout project on the Chadwick grave site in China woods.
– Lance Dwight, Wilton, Eagle Scout project at Center Cemetery behind Franklin County Courthouse, Farmington.
– Todd Watson and son Danny Watson, for restoration of Holland Cemetery in West Point, Phippsburg.
– 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 04332-0641.
I always enjoy the newsy newsletter. The fall 2010 issue includes instructions on how to clean a gravestone safely.
MOCA’s meetings are educational and a lot of fun. You do not have to be a member to attend.
James Neptune, director of the Penobscot Nation Museum on Indian Island, will speak at the meeting of the Penobscot County Genealogical Society at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15, in the Lecture Hall at Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St.
Neptune is dedicated to the history of the Penobscot Nation people and the preservation of their history. The PCGS enjoyed a previous group gathering at the museum.
All are welcome. You do not have to be a member of the society to attend. Refreshments will be served.
Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail queries to firstname.lastname@example.org