The Butler Cemetery

Location: Off Route 209 (Dromore section) in Phippsburg, Maine.
This cemetery was established in 1791, in an era where it was common practice for families to bury the dead in a spot on their own property.

Butler sign 01_20

When we moved to this location in 1969 we were pleasantly surprised to find an old family cemetery out back. The oldest gravestone, for William Butler, dates back to 1791. The newest gravestone is for Harry Butler, the last of the Butler family to live on the property who died in 1967.

The graveyard was fairly well overgrown with trees and brush so we did some brush clearing to clean the place up a bit. Over the years we have returned on occasion to clean up brush and fallen trees & limbs.

In one of my visits to the cemetery in 2004 I noticed that the number of fallen and broken stones was increasing and it was time to get serious about restoring this historic graveyard to a more acceptable state. At about the same time, I came across a wonderful poem below that described my own thoughts and provided additional inspiration.
                                                                                                               Charles Main

THE RECORDING OF A CEMETERY
BY THELMA GREENE REAGAN

Today we walked where others walked
On a lonely, windswept hill;
Today we talked where other cried
For Loved Ones whose lives are stilled.
Today our hearts were touched
By graves of tiny babies;
Snatched from the arms of loving kin,
In the heartbreak of the ages.
Today we saw where the grandparents lay
In the last sleep of their time;
Lying under the trees and clouds -
Their beds kissed by the sun and wind.
Today we wondered about an unmarked spot;
Who lies beneath this hollowed ground?
Was it a babe, child, young or old?
No indication could be found.
Today we saw where Mom and Dad lay.
We had been here once before
On a day we'd all like to forget,
But will remember forever more.
Today we recorded for kith and kin
The graves of ancestors past;
To be preserved for generations hence,
A record we hope will last.
Cherish it, my friend; preserve it, my friend,
For stones sometimes crumble to dust
And generations of folks yet to come
Will be grateful for your trust.

Butler Cemetery - South Entrance

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