Cemetery Preservation Projects

WELCOME TO GCIHS CEMETERY PRESERVATION PROJECTS

 The Stanley Cemetery on Bulger Hill 1999 before conservation in 2014

The Stanley Cemetery on Bulger Hill 1999 before conservation in 2014

 The Stanley Cemetery on Bulger Hill 2014 after conservation

The Stanley Cemetery on Bulger Hill 2014 after conservation

The Great Cranberry Island Historical Society (GCIHS) completed two cemetery preservation projects: the Stanley Cemetery on Bulger Hill in 2014 and the Spurling Revolutionary War Cemetery in July 2016. This website presents thorough documentation of both the Stanley cemetery and the Spurling Cemetery.  A committee of descendants and concerned islanders saw these projects to fruition, preserving a total of 130 burials.  Click on the links in various sections to see how it was done and to explore the cemeteries’ histories. There are hundreds of photographs and detailed spreadsheets with data for each burial. (Contact us at info@gcihs.org for additional information.)

The Stanley cemetery on the southwest side of Great Cranberry Island in Maine began in 1838 as the Thomas Stanley family burying ground and continues to serve islanders today.  Of the seven graveyards on Great Cranberry Island, it was in the worst condition until a summer 2014 conservation project restored its dignity and beauty.  A committee of descendants and concerned islanders working under the Great Cranberry Island Historical Society saw this project to fruition, preserving 101 burials.  Explore the project through slideshows and documents in our research link.  Follow the news as it ws breaking in the News blog.  (Contact us at info@gcihs.org for additional information.)

The Spurling Revolutionary War Cemetery on the northeast end of Great Cranberry on the bluff overlooking Spurling Cove and the Town dock began in 1785 when Benjamin Spurling, Sr. and his wife Fanny (Guptill) Spurling buried their infant daughter Easter (Ester, Esther). The last known burial was in 1848. There are 26 known burials in this cemetery, but only nine headstones and five foot stones are visible even after a ground penetrating radar survey was conducted. Interestingly, two Revolutionary War veterans rest alongside a Loyalist on this hillside.  (The brick in the picture below of the restored Spurling cemetery is where the Loyalist is believed to have been interred in an unmarked grave.) This small cemetery leaves us with several unanswered questions. Find out about the project through our News blogslide show, and research links.

In October 2017, a granite marker was placed on the Loyalist’s grave, and a large granite memorial marker  inscribed with all 26 names was installed. On July 16, 2018, a small group gathered at the cemetery to commemorate the 26 souls and unveil the memorial marker.

 Spurling Revolutionary War Cemetery August 2015 - Before the project began

Spurling Revolutionary War Cemetery August 2015 – Before the project began

 Spurling Revolutionary War Cemetery February 2017 - just after the project was completed. (Photo: Josh Hastings)

Spurling Revolutionary War Cemetery February 2017 – just after the project was completed. (Photo: Josh Hastings)

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