ancestryink fisherman

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Witch, or Beloved Wife??

In the Old Burying Yard in front of the First Parish Church of York, Maine stands a grave stone marking the resting place of Mary Nasson who departed this life in 1774.

Behind this beautifully carved stone with benevolently smiling portrait, a heavy rectangular stone lies horizontally over the grave, marking the place where 29 year old Mary lies beneath.

Why the extra stone?? 

With Halloween upon us, let's go with the popular, haunting version:  The stone slab was supposedly put there to keep the "witch from leaving her tomb."

Here is the real story, though:

Click for larger version - plaque outside cemetery walls.

In truth, Mary Nasson was just a well-loved wife and mother.  The Old Burying ground lies at the center of York Village, a place traditionally used in old New England towns as grazing and marketing grounds for livestock of local farmers.  Mary's considerate husband simply sought to spare her the indignities of roving sheep and cattle stomping about her final resting place.

With Hurricane Sandy upon us, I thought I would include this photo of the cemetery and the First Parish Church behind it, from yesterday - a truly gorgeous Fall day.  Probably the last view of colorful foliage, before the leaves are unceremoniously ripped from the trees by Sandy's high winds.

Be safe, all.

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