(aka mainepatty) Bio below "Read More"
Just stone hunters and genealogical detectives.... finding stones of people's loved ones for them. (My grandson Anthony has become my official assistant. That's Anthony in the profile photo trying to photograph some hidden graves.) We pray for those who are grieving, that the Lord will comfort and heal you. We are dedicated to keeping people's memories alive. Rest in peace our sweet families - till we meet again.
I've been a member for several years but only started taking photos about April 2016. My grandson & I have explored and photographed many old cemeteries around Maine since then. Traipsing down dark paths through the thick woods, climbing hills, fighting black flies & mosquitoes, big spiders who guard the graves, annoyed people on riding lawn mowers, avoiding Pokemon hunters - while trying to ignore our fear of ticks - we attempt to document history and everlasting love.
I go prepared with my iPhone, headphones and my long cemetery playlist with such songs as Josh Groban's Dust & Ashes, the Tenors' Angels Calling, Wyonna's I Can Only Imagine, Peter Hollens' Loch Lomond & Misty Mountains, Disturbed's Sound of Silence, Croce's Photographs & Memories, REM's Everyone Hurts & Kevin Costner's The Angels Came Down. You need the right atmosphere for this type of work. And we aren't afraid of no ghosts. So far we haven't found any zombies either, but we will keep looking. We've recently ventured out to old cemeteries in New Hampshire in search of our ancestors & photographing other graves.
(Not related to Dale & Patti who have worked hard photographing Maine cemeteries.)
Aug. 2018. We were very excited to find out my 7th great-grandfather Ambrose Hunnewell had been an early settler on the Maine coast in the 1600s on the land now known as Hunnewell Point & where Ft Popham was built. This is next to the site of the Popham Colony. I had no idea I had direct ancestors in Maine (I'm originally from the Calif. desert). The only ancestors we found prior to this were some Dunbar cousins, early settlers 1700s, whose graves we already located & visited. I took 5 grandkids in 2018 to Ambrose's former land, had a picnic, explored the fort, played at the beach and said a prayer. I brought home a small container of the beach sand & a little stick (my part of the inheritance). It's going into our genealogical collection. :)
2018 -- Anthony & I, along with some of my other grandkids, my husband and a very large foxhound, took a long road trip to visit family and ancestors in several states. We visited the graves & home sites of different degrees of great grandparents in Illinois, Missouri, West Virginia, Nebraska and Colorado - 6900 miles. We listened to my new Josh Groban Bridges CD most the way, except we had to listen John Denver's Country Road at sunrise in West Virginia - it was essential. We thought about the hardships these pioneers had back in those days. We left flowers and love at their gravesites. My grandchildren sang Jesus Loves Me by the graves of my grandparents in the old churchyard cemetery where they are buried in Illinois. Such a rich history, such wonderful people, worked so hard to develop this place we call America - we are so blessed.
In Feb. 2019 we ended up in Hartford, CT with my daughter (who was scheduled to have brain surgery there) & 5 grandkids, exploring the Ancient Burying Grounds in the middle of this huge, old beautiful city. We visited the site where some of my husband's great-grandfathers of different degrees, some of the Puritan founders of the city, had been buried. This is a beautiful old cemetery with gravestones dating back to the 1600s. It is worth a visit, go a little later in the day to find parking. It's in the middle of the city - nestled between skyscrapers. It sits next to the gold skyscraper.
One quiet Saturday afternoon in our small town cemetery, Anthony & I were photographing the old section. Anthony said he thought he heard music. I thought he was hearing things. I looked around - didn't see anyone - then I heard it too. It was bagpipes - beautiful bagpipes - Amazing Grace - drifting across the quiet graves. It was mesmerizing and gave me goosebumps. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. We walked across the cemetery and found that on the other side - over the hill in the newer section - they were having a military funeral, with a bagpipe player. One of the most breathtaking things I've ever heard. A blessing from God. Rest in Peace with the Angels Brave Soldier.
Just a note of appreciation for my grandson Anthony, who is rapidly becoming our expert family historian. His memory for details is amazing. He is dedicated to documenting historical information for others. He loves history. And he's helped me clean encrusted old graves, pulled weeds off them, chased off spiders and has gone into places with graves I can't get to. He does this all with respect for the memories of strangers that others love. He's even made some grave markers with paint & Maine slate for a few unmarked graves. We've had some very memorable adventures together in the old graveyards.
When we get bored we go in search of old graveyards. We have certain cemeteries we are working on all the time. Between the two of us, we can photograph about 100 graves an hour each, on a good day. We get excited if we see a small old graveyard hidden in the woods. When we travel we just have to stop and photograph grave markers to show we've been there. I don't know why, we just do. We love the old stones, the beautiful flowers, the spectacular angel statues, the handmade stone & wooden grave markers, the autumn trees, the rolling carpets of wildflowers that often blanket the grounds, light rays of hope shining down from heaven on the gravestones, the quiet -- the reminder of our own history and mortality -- and the evidence of forever love left by families who never forget - even after you're gone. The reminder of eternity in our hearts & souls...
We appreciate all the volunteers who have taken the time to upload photos of our ancestors' graves in other places. Thank you.
Pandemic Update 7/29/2020
Since this horrible nightmare of a pandemic started... Anthony & I have continued to visit and photograph empty old cemeteries around rural Maine. Nice places to take walks too. No other people.
Our latest adventure was a small cemetery hidden in the Maine woods in Maxfield - Randall Ridge Road Cemetery. We drove through a somewhat creepy forest road & past a field of wildflowers to get to it. Beautiful little place with an abundance of deer flies. None of the memorials had photographs and we added many more memorials to this one. We had to cut back the forest that was wrapping its tentacles around a couple of the old graves on the tree line. They were almost totally hidden.
We also visited a cemetery in LaGrange where we cleaned off several old markers encrusted with that creepy stuff that grows on old graves. Originally I took the kids there to take safe walks, then we decided to take a few photos - which turned into photographing the entire cemetery (some of it had been done). Once we started - we couldn't stop. Many Civil War vets were buried there. One stone was fallen - upside down - it had a flag next to it - heavy but not too heavy. So we decided to flip it over. Did you know hornets build nests under gravestones? Umm.. we probably won't do that again. Fortunately it was a small nest.. and we had to outwit the remaining hornet to actually take the photo - but we did it! We were glad we did as the person was a Civil War vet. I wish the maintenance workers would flip over the other two huge markers that we couldn't read.... Why do they leave them upside down?
Oh - and we didn't plan on this - but I was forced to go into the city - well our type of city - Old Town - to get a new debit card. On the way.... there was this cemetery.... no one there... so we had to stop. Took some photos of beautiful old markers - and was glad we did because the ones in the system were taken back when they were all fallen over and broken. Someone had fixed them and done an awesome job.
Stay safe out there, wear a mask, it won't hurt you. I have asthma and I do it. I've found that masks also keep black flies out of your nose and mouth in the cemeteries. They kind of protect against mosquitoes and wasps - sort of.... Masks also protect your nose and face from skin cancer (which I've had before) - so they can be good. I wear them sometimes in the cemeteries even when there are no living people. I'm sure people driving by kind of wonder about that....
Be safe. This is very serious and dangerous. Anyone photographing old cemeteries can see the last fatal results of outbreaks of the past... all people with families who grieved their loss..
God bless, Patty
Anthony & I started photographing all the gravestones at the Hillcrest Cemetery, LaGrange in April before all the snow even melted during the beginning of the lockdown. Went from snow to a beautiful carpet of wildflowers- to autumn trees. Finished it - went on to do all of a small cemetery in the middle of nowhere in the woods in Maxfield (spooky, but beautiful place) - then on to do all of Lawn Cemetery in Guilford. We’re almost finished with it. Probably one more visit. We also did a few more at Elmwood in Guilford but that place is extremely difficult.
—- Hillcrest & Lawn have nice dirt roads for the grandkids to take walks on while we’re there.
On a good day - Anthony & I can photograph at least 100 (sometimes 300 photos) markers in an hour each. - depends on how many we have to clean. Lawn Cemetery has several old flat markers that have sunk into the ground - grown over by grass - can barely be seen. Those are & fun - because the mud just keeps getting on them when you clean.
We learned at Hillcrest that old grave markers that are flipped upside down may have hornets nest under them when you manage to flip it over to see it. Yikes. We went from snow, to flowers, to beautiful fall leaves - photographing in these quiet empty cemeteries during this pandemic.
And now winter is back. Again. I have a bunch of photos on my camera waiting to be edited & uploaded as needed. I checked & uploaded the phone photos first - saving the camera ones for last. That will keep me busy on those long snowed in days to come. Patty
The flower and scenery photos I leave as virtual flowers (with MP or PW on them) are photos I've taken around Maine. (Not for commercial use.)
** Any --GRAVESTONE-- photos posted can be used on your ancestry sites, shared with your family, FB, etc.. They are not for commercial use - they're gifts for the families and friends of the deceased. God bless ***
Search memorial contributions by Patty & Anthony W.