BURYING GROUNDS AT ISLESFORD
By Hugh L. Dwelley, 1999Lists taken from the tomb stones at each of the Islesford cemeteries follow. They are valid and complete only until the dates shown on each list. For more details about the cemeteries, read the narrative below.
Stanley/Hadlock Cemetery (5-20-1974)
Download "All Islesford combined" as a comma-separated text database file
Islesford's first permanent settler, John Standley (11/19/1735 - 5/7/1793), is buried near where he is thought to have lived on Maypole Point. His wife, Marguerite (LaCraw) [aka LaCroix --BK] Standley, may or may not be buried with him. Marguerite lived her last years with daughter Margaret Dolliver in Southwest Harbor.
The stone on John Standley's grave is of black slate and rather unique. It was placed there by a descendant, Belver Williston. In 1919, Vincent Bowditch recorded in his Journal:
On the way [to visit friends at the Maypole Cottage] we met Mr. Williston who called our attention to the new slate headstone made in the fashion which he had had made to replace the one put up many years ago to mark the burial place of his ancestor John Standley the former stone having been broken up by vandal fishermen years before. There it stands now on a lonely cairn seen through the fog in solitary silence & as one approaches he reads on the stone:
Note: John's descendants dropped the "d" from their name.
THE STANLEY/HADLOCK CEMETERYThe first cemetery on Islesford is the Stanley/Hadlock cemetery located on what was then Stanley land in the northwest portion of the island. The first burial there was of Phoebe (Rich) Stanley on January 23rd, 1830. She was the wife of John Stanley 2nd, eldest son of the original settler, who would be buried beside her in 1847. Also in 1831, one William P. Blunt, of whom little is known, was buried in the Stanley cemetery. The third burial, also in 1831, was of twenty-year-old Mrs. Lucinda Gott identified on Thomas Stanley's stone as "his consort."
This cemetery became the burying spot for the Hadlocks following Sam Hadlock's purchase of the western end of Little Cranberry Island from the estate of John Standley in 1803. The first Hadlock to be buried there was Sam himself in 1854. Stanleys also continued to be buried there until as late as 1935 when Epps Stanley's wife Belinda was buried beside him. One stone in this cemetery is for John Forham "Lost at Sea." Two or three others, apparently crewmen who died on Hadlock vessels, are buried there as well. Several Spurlings are also buried in this cemetery.
THE STANLEY/GILLEY CEMETERYThis cemetery is located by the Main Road very near the center of the island. It occupies a plot of land beside the old Stanley-owned Islesford Hotel that was torn down in 1920. It is in this area that the Gilleys - children of Sam Gilley and grandchildren of William of Baker Island - purchased lots from the Stanleys and built their Islesford homes.
The first burial is that of John Stanley 3rd (1789-1864). His wife Margaret (Stanley) Stanley was buried beside him in 1874. The first Gilley buried here was Sam's wife Emily (Stanley) Gilley in 1893. Samuel was buried beside her in 1906. Following Sam's death, Vincent Bowditch wrote:
There are changes (inevitable) on the dear little island. Good old Mr. Sam Gilley ("Grandpa Gilley') after a short illness died in the spring... The old man planted his potatoes and beans, took cold and then seemed to fade away fully conscious that his time had come: "I have been living a long time on borrowed time Doctor," he once said to me & he repeated it to his granddaughter Maude apparently telling her she must have the old house now, that she had "slaved" for him long enough & had been a good girl. Poor Maude, a sad outlook for her. She has had her sad romance apparently in life & feels sad and lonely now that her good old guardian has gone. I shall miss the old man's cheery greeting..."
Fernalds, Spurlings, Youngs and others are buried in this cemetery as well.
THE SANDBEACH CEMETERYThis is Islesford's newest cemetery. It is located inland of the boat houses on the Sandbeach Road not far from John Standley's burying place. An August 1913 entry in Vincent Bowditch's Islesford Journal reads:
Aug. 4. No. East storm in the morning, cleared in the afternoon so May, Nina & I walked up past the Life Saving Station & back past Marsh Head getting quite wet. They are cutting the woods on the way down badly and having planned a burying ground over to the left of the road to the station they find it too rocky so have transferred it to the Sand Beach. Yesterday I met Jim Sprague loaded with digging implements, ropes & etc. & upon asking him if he was going home had said "No, I am going to dig up Black & take him down to the other burying ground. They made a fuss about his being put in the Stanley ground near the hotel, so I am going to move him", - all said in his short matter-of-fact speech. Black died not long ago, the father of Ed Black who married Ethel Stanley.
It appears then that this cemetery was to have been located on the left on what is now called Lobster Boulevard. Instead, it was located at the Sandbeach. Both were Hadlock properties. Charles Black was the first burial when Jim Sprague moved him there in 1913. No single family has more than two or three plots in this cemetery and only a few of them (Fernald, Spurling, Phippen, Spofford) are old Island families. It is the only cemetery where lots can be purchased in 1999.
THE CATHOLIC CEMETERYThere were none of the Catholic persuasion living or dying on Islesford before Fred Morse came to the island and married Irish maid Mary Smyth in 1907. In 1909 Fred and Mary took over the old Stanley store and began raising a family. In subsequent years there have been additional Catholics in both the winter and summer populations. The Chapel of Our Lady Star of the Sea was built in 1942 and a small cemetery was located a way behind it at the end of what is known as Morse's Field. It is very near the Stanley/Gilley cemetery. The first burial there was of Fred Morse in 1929. Most recently, Irene (Morse) Bartlett was buried there beside her husband Frank in 1998.
list of persons interred at Catholic Cemetery by Mary Taylor
THE RHEES COTTAGE PLOT[From an email recv'd from Hugh Dwelley on 11 May 2000]
There is another grave on Islesford that I think we have not included. Helen Rhees Ham is buried on her own property at the back of the Rhees cottage.
[I've included her in All Islesford combined listing and comma-separated database file. --BK]
OTHER DOCUMENTSOther documents published by the Islesford Historical Society which may be of interest to genealogists include the following:
PIONEER SETTLERS OF THE CRANBERRY ISLANDS - The Gilleys of Baker Island and Islesford @ $6 ea
PIONEER SETTLERS OF THE CRANBERRY ISLANDS - The Bunkers @ $6 ea
PIONEER SETTLERS OF ISLESFORD - THE HADLOCKS @ $10 ea
The ISLESFORD JOURNALS OF DR. VINCENT Y. BOWDITCH may not be of special interest to genealogists except in providing numerous anecdotes about residents of the Cranberry Islands between 1894 and 1928. Four vols. @ $6 per vol.
Each of the above may be purchased from the Islesford Historical Society using this order form. Postage is included in the price for each item.
Other documents that are in the archives of the Islesford Historical Society and that may be of interest to genealogists include the following: