I have always been intrigued by old cemeteries. As a child, many a Sunday afternoon family drive took us past cemeteries of all kinds. It didn’t matter to me if a burying place was grand, small, park-like, or unkempt — it would capture my compete attention as we drove past, leaving to me to wonder what stories the people resting there had to tell.
It didn’t hurt that there were two cemeteries at the end of the street where I grew up and another just around the corner. Cemeteries were as much a part of the landscape as the elms that formed a tunnel of shade over our street every summer or the grand town hall that stood just in front of the fire station.
The elms and the town hall are gone, but the cemeteries remain. Trouble is gravity, time, and Maine weather take a toll on some of the headstones. Changes in land ownership and land use sometimes unwittingly degrade accessibility and visibility of grave yards on private property.
Our hope these past thirteen years is that our website The Cemeteries of Brunswick, Maine has, in some small way, helped maintain old and create new connections to Brunswick’s historical and genealogical past. Over these years I’ve compiled a lot of information about the people who came before us. The personal stories of these ancestors of ours have illustrated Brunswick’s history to me in a way no history book ever could. As I work on a memoir of Brunswick told through these cemetery tales, I will share some of them with you through this blog.
~ Barbara A. Desmarais