Cemetery Excitement

It’s not a normal reaction to walk into a cemetery and get excited about a crew using heavy equipment. Well, that is what happened to me yesterday. A Gloucester DPW crew was working hard to remove debris from fallen trees.

One of these trees nearly knocked over the monument for the James Clark family.

Watching Tommy Nolan using what I’ll call the Knotweed Wacker 5000 was turning six-foot-tall Japanese Knotweed into matchsticks. Now we will be looking for volunteers to help rake and bag the vile weed. After being bagged, it will take a trip to an incinerator. This year will see the entire cemetery visible and will get a period-correct sign.

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Rob’s Surprise

In life you’ll meet many people and some will become  friends.  If you are lucky one of your friends will step up and do things you would never ask them to do.  Our friend Rob Surabian has become a best friend in the truest meaning of the words.  We normally meet on Sundays to work on cemetery restoration items.  He is often the first person there and gets right to work on projects.  His skills have quickly gone from a curious beginner to a highly skilled craftsman.  October 16th was our last meeting in Clark’s Cemetery.  We headed to Florida to vote and spend the winter in the Florida sunshine.  Yesterday we received an email from Rob with images of the work he had recently completed.  It was amazing that he took the time to spend a day working alone in Clark’s.  If you are looking for someone to do quality work, Rob can be reached at gravesitepreservation@gmail.com or (339) 933-1000.

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Plot #47 The Andersons

John S. Anderson was born in Sweden in 1829, the son of Ambrose and Bertha Anderson. He married Mary Ann Rowe in Gloucester on August 17, 1863. He was a Mason and the symbol is on his tombstone. He died of stomach cancer in Gloucester on February 9, 1894.

Mary Ann Rowe Anderson was the daughter of Lancelot Kelly Rowe and Nancy Beal. She was born in Gloucester in 1845 and died there on May 7, 1922.
Ernest Anderson was the son of John and Mary Ann Anderson. He was born in Gloucester in 1873 and died there on September 17, 1875.

Etta Frances Anderson was the daughter of John and Mary Ann Anderson. She was born in Gloucester on May 7, 1882 and died there on August 15, 1882.

John Alfred Anderson was the son of John and Mary Ann. He was born in Gloucester on October 16, 1863 and died there on April 12, 1864.

Annie A. Anderson was the daughter of John and Mary Ann. She was born in Gloucester on November 27, 1885. She died in Gloucester on April 6, 1886.

Oscar F. Anderson was the son of John and Mary Ann. He was born in Gloucester in 1863 and died in Lynn, Massachusetts on April 3, 1948.

The gallery below shows what was done from June 2016 until September 2020 to repair the Anderson monument.

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Plot 58 08/30/20

The Hadleys have a pretty complete collection of monuments in their plot.  We have been working on them for the last three Sundays.  The Hadleys come from a prominent Guysborough, Nova Scotia family.  Joseph and his wife Annabelle are up and standing side by side.  William, their son still needs to be put in his base, but he is ready to go.  We found a tiny dirty little stone that we thought was a granite corner marker.  I was looking at it and decided it had writing on it. Little Goldie Adams has been excavated and scrubbed.  The D2 will need to do its magic, but she will be pretty soon enough.  George Adams is level and all parts of his monument are put together with setting compound.  His daughter Mabel steals the show with one of prettiest monuments in the cemetery.  She was quite heavy (not you, Mabel), but we have her level and erect.  

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Who is the mourning woman

Who is the mourning woman seen in Clark’s Cemetery?  She seems to be mostly interested in the Grant tomb, but was seen in various parts of the cemetery at dusk last night.  Two sisters shared some incredible sorrow.  Could it be one of them?  Margaret Grant Brown Simpson was the daughter of Alexander and Catherine Grant. She was born in 1844 in New Brunswick and married John Brown on June 6, 1861.  After his death she married Edward Simpson on October 12, 1893.  She died in Gloucester on March 13, 1921.  Her poor child was Nellie Brown. She was born in 1861 and died in Gloucester on October 27, 1862.  The death record is difficult to read, but it appears that she died from burns and hemorrhage and that she suffered for three weeks.  Nellie was a nickname.  Her real name was Mary L. Brown.

Margaret’s sister Mary also lost her husband and child. Mary A. Grant Low was born in 1834 in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and married Benjamin Low on April 2, 1860.  She died in Rockport on December 29, 1907 and left her estate to her sister, Margaret Simpson. Her husband Benjamin Low was lost at sea and her little boy, Thomas Sweet Low, died of brain disease when he was six years old.

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Willing to Try

Killing Japanese Knotweed with Coffee and Vinegar. Details Here

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Plot 102 Aiken Children

How we found them

This is how we found them July 2016. One was completely taken apart. Both were very dirty. They were put back together without setting compound. One base was way out of plum. A few weeks ago the Cemetery Restoration Partnership leveled. July 19th I was able to get back to them and do a permeant installation of all the pieces. One base is not plumb, but it is solidly in the ground.

Plot 102 owner name is Margaret Fleming.  She purchased the plot in 1862, the year her husband died.  There are several tombstones in this plot, including one that is illegible.

  1. James Thomas Fleming was the son of Edward Fleming and Rebecca Golden.  He was born in Shelburne, Nova Scotia in 1822.  He died in Gloucester on September 28, 1862.
  2. Margaret Anne King Aiken Fleming was the wife of James.  She was born to Isaac and Martha King in Duxbury, Massachusetts on June 6, 1819. She first married Captain John David Aiken on January 3, 1839 in Shelburne. He was lost at sea in the Bay of Fundy in 1842.  (Her son by Captain Aiken was John who was also lost at sea when the schooner “Grace L. Fears” went down in 1897.). Margaret married James Fleming after the death of her first husband.  She died in Gloucester on June 29, 1890.
  3. Willard Aiken was the son of John Pierce Aiken and Margaret Crosby Perry (1844-1916, buried on Oak Grove).  He was the grandson of Margaret.  He was born in Gloucester in 1862 and died there on September 19, 1866.  Other than a death date in the death index, I couldn’t find any records of his short life.   We only know of him because of his little tombstone.
  4. Lendall Aiken was the son John and Margaret Aiken.  Margaret Fleming was his grandmother.  He was born in Gloucester on November 30, 1868 and died of lung fever on December 29, 1870.
  5. Lillian M. Aiken was the daughter of John and Margaret and the granddaughter of Margaret Fleming. She was born in December of 1872 and died in Gloucester on August 19, 1873.  I couldn’t find any records of her little life.  Her little tombstone is just like her brothers.
  6. John Francis Aiken was the son of John and Margaret and the grandson of Margaret Fleming.  He was born in Gloucester on June 24, 1874 and died of cholera infantum on August 5, 1874.
John P. Aiken was the father of all four children.
After being set correctly. Next will be a good cleaning.
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Sunday 5/25

Work party 10:00 ~ 12:00 at First Parish and Clark’s

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Sunday 9/23

Tomorrow, 9/23 from 10:00 ~ 12:00 the Cemetery Restoration Partnership and Clark’s Cemetery Restoration crews will be in First Parish repairing a Dolliver headstone and in Clark’s work will be righting Anderson monument.  Please stop by to say Hi, volunteer for any amount of time you have, or to ask questions about what is going on in theses old cemeteries.

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I Found Sydney Woodbury

The grave marker for Sydney Woodbury is not too far from our Clark Family and it is on the main path.  It has been damaged and on the ground for a very long time.  I have tried for several years to find out if he died  at Antietam, since he died on the same day.  He did serve in the navy, but it wouldn’t seem likely that a sailor would die at the Battle of Antietam.  There is no death record for him.  I have researched his entire family, thinking that I might find a family tree in Ancestry with information. No luck.

Sydney’s monument has been reset and is looking good.  I decided to try again.  I thought the newspaper for Gloucester would have a list of war casualties, so I looked in the Gloucester Telegraph for the 17th of September, 1862 and the week after.  I scanned the lists of men serving and didn’t see him.  Then an article caught my eye and as I was reading it, Sydney Woodbury’s name jumped off the page.  The article was damaged in the middle, but the first paragraph was legible as was the part about Sydney.

The Gloucester Telegraph

Serious Railroad Collision

“A collision occurred on the Eastern Railroad at Wenham, a little before eight o’clock on Wednesday evening, between a train on the way to Newburyport, containing one passenger car, and a train of four cars returning from Portsmouth with about 200 persons who had been on an excursion to that city, under the direction of Mr. Perham.”

“The fireman of the excursion train, Sydney Woodbury of Gloucester, who has been employed on the road but a few days, was killed. – His head nearly severed.”

As the D2 cleaner takes effect in the coming weeks, his monument will be a handsome reminder of a young man lost in his prime.  It will give me something to talk to him about as I clean knotweed from the Woodbury Family Plot.

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