Monday, December 12, 2016

T'is The Season For Giving and Receiving!


To each of you who have encouraged and supported the recovery of the Grand Trunk Cemetery, participated in the ceremonies, and in the Spring and Fall Planting parties, contributed your advise and research, or taken time to read this blog ; Thank You!
     I am happy to announce that Wreaths Across America, the organization whose mission, expressed so well in their motto:
has honored our Veterans interred at the East Deering Grand Trunk Cemetery, through the generosity of Portland Police Officer Kevin Haley with a wreath which was placed at the Grand Trunk Cemetery Veterans Memorial this past week.  Officer Haley was the investigating Officer for our last incident of vandalism at the cemetery and became interested in the recovery project and most especially,  the work to resurrect the records of our ancient Veterans and honor them with replacement monuments.  The wreaths are made right here in Maine and many will have been placed in cemeteries throughout the state. This week, a convoy of trucks and volunteers will journey to Arlington National Cemetery to place wreaths on the headstones of the fallen.  Thanks for your service and the honor given to our Grand Trunk Cemetery Veterans!

Unfortunately, the ground was frozen so the wreath could not be placed
within the enclosure at first.

Lynda Allshouse continues her daughter, Samantha's legacy.

A cold morning!
   The next day, Joel, with hammer and large screwdriver, allows us to place the stand and wreath more appropriately.

The Grand Trunk Cemetery Veterans Memorial Christmas 2016

     Thanks to Joseph Dumais, Coordinator of our Portland Cemeteries for publishing a second installment of this blog in bound copies.  One will be kept at the Evergreen Cemetery office, and one has been accepted and donated to the Maine Historical Society.  My hope is that these might be useful to others who want to research the stories of the early residents of Portland.  I am truly grateful.
My  copy along with a DVD
     After a brief respite, my plan is to return to further research to add to the story of the East Deering village.  The records from the 1936 WPA survey raised the question of whether there are other Veterans yet to be recognized who are buried at the Grand Trunk Cemetery.  Here are the names that surfaced:  Revolutionary War, Albert Ames, section A-12, John Burke, A-2, Charles Crowell, K-7 and  War of 1812, John Ames, A-11.  No other information was recorded.

      There were also these names listed with dates of death:  John Jones, B-12, Aet. 84, 1754, Arthur Babb, C-2, Aet. 17, 1758, and a John (Murray, Mery?) A-4, Aet. 1773.  The letter and number beside each name refers to the section where the individual was buried.

      I also hope to look more closely at the Sawyer family to find records of the children of John and Abigail Sawyer, several of whom died within weeks of each other at an early age and in all probability, are interred along with their parents here. 

  And finally;  there is the question of when the cemetery became the responsibility of the City of Portland.  Was there ever a deed of transfer?

     For now, I wish you all the happiest of holidays with your families and friends.