The welcoming sign
This is an account in the words of Dianne Sellick, the Society's president, of the restoration work done on the burial ground that was discoverd off Hardscrabble Road on the Summer of 2012. The actual restoration took place on Sunday, June 23, 2013 and was carried out by members of the LHS and others.
Our journey started last Summer, with the finding of the stone.
It brought together the Limington Historical Society, the Limington Wheelers ATV Club, Sara Estes, who found the stone, Wayne Holmquist, a grave dowser from the Casco-Raymond Historical Society, the most amazing man, and PRISM Paranormal.
Wayne came to Limington to see these sites, and he explained how grave dowsing worked. He held us all captive with his knowledge. He located five gravesites.
Stakes and tape were put up, and the ATV trails were re-routed by the club.
Vandals had repeatedly run over the sites; the stakes and tape we had placed to keep people off the graves had been run into the ground.
Still looking for information on the sites, we called PRISM Paranormal, to which they were able to offer us more pieces of the puzzle.
family graves sign
It's been almost a years' journey now, bringing many people and talents together.
The largest piece of the broken headstone, weighed approximately 75 lbs. Scott put the stone and the remaining broken pieces into a wooden box, screwing it all together. Then poured concrete into the bottom, holding it all together. The inscription remained intact at the top. Now it weighed 300+ lbs.
On Saturday, he had to get it into his Suburban by himself.
He opened up the back seat doors, ran a 4x4 plank across the seats, and out the other side. The wrapped a chain around that plank. Then he put another plank up at the rear, and made a rope saddle for the stone. He then got into the back seat again, attached a come-along, and eased it up and into the Suburban..
We couldn't figure out who these people were, and many of us researched it.
We called PRISM paranormal in, and they came up with some names, and Sharon researched for first names. They did learn that there were 40 graves down there, and that number didn't surprise us.
That is the reason we went with Little Ossipee Plantation Burial Ground for a name, for any other sites that might pop up.
Adding sand and soil
That Sunday was quite hot and humid. Mark started in the rain, taking the berm down so that we could drive in there with the stones and tools.
Mark started by covering the sites with sand, and then top soil.
At first, you could see where the dirt bikes had created a bank of top soil, bouncing off the stone. It was at least 2 feet high, and the stone was on that corner.
Mark took the bank down, and replaced the soil.
Scott and Martha put the stone in, and Scott and Greg graded and graded.
Lori and Scott put up the first fence, and grass seed was put down. Mark then asked Alison to go home and get his chain saw. He was going to drop logs around it. Our tape and stakes from last year, was run over again and again, right over the graves. Mark fixed that!
top soil replaced
Mark went into the woods, took down a few trees, pulled them out with the tractor, and put them around the gravesites. Now they would be protected from being driven over anymore.
The second site was graded by Martha and Greg, Scott and Martha set the stones, we put up a fence and seeded. Mark then cut more logs.
Scott and I both came away with such a sense of community. It wasn't only caring for our forefathers final resting place, to be restored and respected, but, a really great, great group of people. We enjoyed all of you! It may have been hot and miserable, but, it was very enjoyable with you all.
Gregg and Scott set a headstone
We had called Greg & Lori to investigate these sites last fall to help with our many questions.
Having a relationship with this hallowed ground, they returned to help restore it, out of the goodness of their hearts.
Mark and Alison, we learned so much about you and your club. We'd like to have you speak to the society some night. We learned about the very important work you do in the community, your mission, the care of the trails, the many tons, and I mean tons of trash you've cleaned up from our woods. I have a much clearer picture of what you do. I hope we can help you out with a project. We have community goals, and I respect what you're doing.
this headstone weighed 300 lbs
The repaired stone had given Scott quite a workout, getting it up into the Suburban on Saturday. Mark lifting it out with the tractor was a welcomed relief for Scott.
Martha and Scott reset some headstones
Our next dilemma was how to get it out of the Suburban, and into place. The rope saddle was still attached, so, Scott & Greg attached it to the tractor bucket, and Mark ever so carefully operated it out. Scott and Greg then removed the screws from the wooden casing, while it hung from the bucket. Mark moved it to its original spot, while Greg guided the headstone, still in the air.
The burial sites were beautiful when we were done. Knowing that their loved ones, so long ago, had lovingly put these souls in their final resting place, it was an honor to restore them.
We all got to know each other that day, and each others special talents.
Being in such a beautiful area, rich in history, we did find ourselves exploring around from time to time. Wondering how life had been back then.
Building the protective fencing
There was also our "focus group," that day, planning to keep this burial ground safe. The logs solved that!
I had made signs on stakes for the graves, and Alison said, "if you don't put them up high, they'll be vandalized".
Scott removed the signs from the stakes and put them high up onto the trees.
Hillary Clinton said, "it takes a village."
On Sunday, it was a group of caring people.
completed fence and protection logs
I wanted to thank Scott for all he does in supporting the LHS with all of his special talents and tools.
And thank you to Martha for always being there to offer a lending hand.
Thank you Anne for your computer skills and wealth of information.
And lastly, a special thanks to Fausto for making our website possible, and this piece.
Fausto is always working behind the scenes with his magical talents, and we appreciate him.