Rest in Peace Letterbox Series #1 LbNA # 16138
|Placed Date||Jun 28 2005|
|Location||Rt. 231, Freeport, ME|
|Found By||Babbling Brook|
|Last Update||Sep 5 2015|
Planted by MAC
Note: Box #7 is missing
This series is made up of a number of letterboxes located in cemeteries in the Western portion of the State of Maine. The series is put together to introduce the seeker to some of the wonderful art work and interesting history which can be discovered in the many cemeteries located around the area. Many of these cemeteries are seldom visited and it is hoped you will treat them with the respect that these final resting places of those who have gone before deserve. Buried here are those who carved out our towns from the wilderness, the early settlers, the sailors, and soldiers that fought for our freedom, as well as our own ancestors. Take the time to enjoy the journey, walk the graveyard, observe the artwork and read some stones where often an interesting story can be found.
These boxes do not contain stamp pads so be sure to bring your own. The stamps represent the more common images which can be found on marker stones in Maine. The meaning of the images is given below in particulars on the individual letterboxes. This image may or may not be found at the particular cemetery the stamp is located at. Images are often combined with others on an individual stone thus telling a story of sorts. A good road atlas for Maine should be utilized to find the town and the roads given to locate the cemetary.
#1 - In The Beginning. This marks the beginning of a journey in the West part of the state in which the history and pride of our towns is recorded in stone. From the intersection of Rt. 115 and Rt. 231 in North Yarmouth, head North 4.8 mi. on Rt. 231 to the Webber Cemetery on the left in New Gloucester. Park at the South end of the cemetery and walk down the gravel access road along this side. You will soon come to a stone wall which you will parallel. The marker stones on your right soon change to a uniform size and arrangement, this marking the Pineland Patients Memorial Cemetery. Those who died while in the care of the Pineland Hospital, previously known as the Maine School For The Feeble Minded, and whose bodies were unclaimed were buried here. In addition, the cemetery on Malaga Island, an Island for the poor and destitute, were dug up in 1912 and those remains were reinterred here. At the beginning of this cemetery, look to your left for a break in the stone wall next to a large Oak tree. Take this opening and go 12 steps forward. Look to your right for a large White Pine. Rest in Peace Letterbox #1 is hidden beneath some rocks, sticks, and leaves behind this tree at it's base.
#2 - Skull and Crossbones. The skull and crossbones represent the finality of death. This is one of the earliest depictions used when carved stones first came in to use in Maine. Previously a simple wooden cross or a field stone had been the grave marker of choice. From the intersection of Rt. 9 and the Elmwood Rd. in Pownal Center, head Northwest 0.6 mi. on the Elmwood Rd. to the Elmwood Cemetery on the left in Pownal across from the Pownal Elementary School. Park along the road and walk to the very back of the cemetery. In the far right corner is a dirt road with a cable across the opening. Take this in to the intersection with another dirt road and turn left. Take 7 steps and look to your left. Rest in Peace Letterbox #2 is hidden in back of a large rock beneath stones, sticks, and leaves.
#3 - Death Head. The death head represents the separation of the body and soul, acknowledging that they are separate and distinct parts of the whole. The skull represents the body and the wings the soul. These in time replaced the skull and cross bones as a popular and widely utilized early grave stone carving. From the intersection of Rt. 9 and Elmwood Rd. in Pownal Center, head Northeast 3.4 mi. on Rt. 9 to Cedar Grove Cemetery on the left in Durham. Park along the road at one of the openings in the fence and walk to the back right corner. Nearby is a large White Pine. Rest In Peace Letterbox #3 is hidden behind this tree beneath a flat rock.
#4 - Cherub Head. The cherub head represents the transporter of the deceased soul to heaven. It, in time, replaced the death head as a popular grave stone carving. From the intersection of Rt. 9 and the Richardson Pond Rd. and Rabbit Rd. in West Durham, head Northeast 1.7 mi. on Rt. 9 to Strout Cemetery on the left in Durham. Park on the roadside and walk to the back left corner. Rest In Peace Letterbox #4 is hidden behind and beneath the corner of the stone wall covered by stones, sticks, and leaves. Located at this cemetery among the many others is the burial site of an Unknown Confederate Soldier.
#5 - Winged Hour Glass. The winged hour glass represents the swift passage of time and the shortness of our life on earth. This depiction appeared about the same time as the cherub head but was much less popular. From the intersection of Main St. and Bow St. in downtown Freeport, take Bow St. 1.5 mi. Southeast to where it splits to Flying Point Rd. and Pleasant Hill Rd. Take the Pleasant Hill Rd. East for 1.1 mi. to an access road on the left to the Lane Cemetery in Freeport. Take the access road to the last entrance to the cemetery and park here in the parking area. Continue walking down this road, following alongside the cemetery until a corner is reached in the chain link fence which surrounds the cemetery. Rest in Peace Letterbox #5 is hidden in the remains of a stone wall located here, about 3 feet from a large Hemlock.
#6 - The Soul Has Risen. A hand with the index finger pointing upwards indicates that the soul has risen to heaven. From the intersection of Rt. 136 and Rt. 125 in Freeport take Rt. 125 North 3.2 mi. to the intersection with the Lunt Rd. on the right. Take the Lunt Rd. East 1.6 mi. to the Lunt Memorial Cemetery on the left in Brunswick. Take the access road which passes through a gateway and park at the end of it. Looking ahead into the woods line, you should notice a large White Pine next to a large Oak. Rest In Peace Letterbox #6 is hidden in back of and at the base of the Pine under sticks and leaves.
#7 - Guiding Hand of God. A hand with the index finger pointing downward from a cloud represents the guiding hand of God or the all knowing God calling the deceased soul to heaven. From the intersection of Rt. 9 and Rt. 196 in Lisbon Falls, take Rt. 196 South to just over the hill. Here, turn left onto Summer St. Take this for 0.1 mi. then turn left onto Maple St. Take Maple St. for 0.2 mi. and park on the right at the crypt marked 1907. Take the stairs along the left side of the crypt up to the Hillside Cemetery in Lisbon Falls. Rest In Peace Letterbox #7 is hidden in a hollow stump to your left at the top of the stairs.
#8 - Handshake. A handshake represents the welcoming of the deceased to heaven by God. If the sleeves are markedly male and female it can also represent a mortal marriage. The inscription should provide the clue as to which one it is. From Rt. 24 and Rt. 125 in Bowdoinham, take Rt. 24 Northeast for 4 miles to the 2nd intersection of the Brown Point Rd. on your right. Continuing on Rt. 24 watch on your left for a dirt access road leading up to the Maxwell Cemetery in Bowdoinham, visible from the road on a hilltop. Take the access road to the parking area. Standing facing the cemetery to your left is a curved line of large Cedars. Rest In Peace Letterbox #8 is located in back of the 6th Cedar buried beneath sticks, stones, and leaves at it's base.