And what was their yard?
If you hang a right onto River Rd. at the Pleasant St. intersection and proceed just over a mile and a half, you’ll arrive at a good-sized older cemetery fronted by a wooden post-and-rail fence. Above the open center gate is a sign proclaiming this to be “Hartwell-Little Yard Cemetery [sic].”
About 15 years ago the cemetery was vastly overgrown, prompting a local Boy Scout troop to remove brush and downed branches, mow the graveyard, right and clean the stones, paint the fence, and build the signage.
So, who were Hartwell-Little and what kind of yard did they operate?
It turns out yard is a shortened version of graveyard and Hartwell Little (1837-1929) was a farmer from Whitefield who purchased the farm surrounding the cemetery in 1866. He lived there with his first wife Lovesta (King) (1838-1905), and later his second wife, Naomi (Edgar) (1855-1919). Little was a farmer who also served as Brunswick’s state legislator in 1874. None of the three is buried in this cemetery, however. Little and Lovesta are buried in Whitefield; Naomi is buried in Post Falls, Vermont.
There is at least one member of the Little family in this graveyard; Little and Lovesta’s granddaughter, Mabel Melissa (1896-1900), daughter of their son Charles, is buried there in an unmarked grave.
Older records at Pejepscot Historical Society list additional names for the cemetery: Dunlap-Owen Cemetery, Toothaker Yard, and River Road Cemetery. Though Little doesn’t appear on any gravestone in the cemetery, the names Dunlap, Toothaker, and Owen do. And, just as Little was an owner of the property, so were John Dunlap, John Toothaker, Roger Toothaker, and John Owen II. But none of them has a headstone there, either.
The only previous owner of the land abutting the cemetery whose name was actually engraved on a monument is Solomon Stone (1791-1850) from New Brunswick, Canada, who bought the property from John Owen in 1836. He, his wife Abagail [sic] (Brockway) (1794-1834), and their daughters Alice (1832-1850) and Abigail A. (1820-1851), wife of Capt. George W. McManus. Also buried in Hartwell Little Yard is the Stone’s granddaughter, Alice McManus (1851-1851) who died at 6 months of age, 3 months after her mother.
Next blog in two weeks: A Note From the Teacher
- Helene Bisson
- Brunswick Cemeteries, Brunswick, Maine, Adams Cemetery, etc., Cheetham, Donald, and Mark Cheetham, Richmond, Maine, 2004
- Kennebec Journal, March 10, 2001
- Pejepscot Historical Society
- Portland Press Herald, March 8, 2001
- History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell, Maine. Wheeler, George Augustus Wheeler, MD. And Henry Warren Wheeler, Alfred Mudge & Son, Printers, Boston, Mass., 1878