ancestryink fisherman

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

November 2nd. Put this special event at Penobscot Marine Museum on Your Calendar






The Penobscot Marine Museum is hosting a one-day event that combines the past and the future. 

The History Conference is best introduced in the Musuem's description from their website:

"For generations the resources of fish, wind and tide played key roles in Mainers’ lives. The Industrial and Technological Revolutions dramatically changed our use of these resources. What is the current state of our fisheries? Is there a new vision for Maine’s working waterfront? Can Maine lead the way in wind and tidal power development? This year we examine Maine’s history and future with regards to our resources of fish, wind and tide."

Visit their event page for further descriptions of their lecture series.

The lecture sessions are separated by 15 minutes breaks, and end with a beer-tasting from Marshall Wharf Brewing Co.

You can register for the event online.   

Entry fee is $50. for museum members, and $60 for non-members, with lower prices for teachers and students.

Once again, the Penobscot Marine Museum offers another interesting, fun and very relevant event -- this time for those fascinated by the history of life on and by the sea, and for those interested in the future of ocean resources. 

  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Slight Absence...

I have missed quite a few Maritime Mondays.  Life has been good and busy lately and in fact, with the completion of my local mariners writing project, I will admit to taking a little time away from dead folks and old records to be out and about enjoying life in a slightly different way!

However, in my ambles, there is always an irresistible cemetery to explore.  As I venture further out onto the Cape towards Provincetown, I am getting a good sense of the most prominent families that had settled in the area so long ago - sea captains, small town citizens, et al.

Last weekend, I visited the Swan Lake Cemetery of Dennisport.  Yes, this lovely old and very atmospheric cemetery (perfect for Halloweeners) sits on "Swan Lake."  Across the street is the cemetery annex, hosting newer burials.  But the original cemetery with overgrown grasses, crows, and burials dating back to the early 1800's, proved pretty interesting.

Here are a few photos:

This monolithic granite stone (center) is for the Wixon family.  The Wixon name was only etched at the bottom of the monument and the sides remained glassy and reflective.  The crow seemed to know how to stage a scene:

Wixon







The  next stone is unique.  Elijah Small must have been a local mariner and his final voyage from Australia to Hong Kong is etched forever in this ornately carved stone.  Quite beautiful.  There is something very touching about the "No Tidings."  How often this was the case, when a mariner was lost at sea.




Elijah Small 1834 - 1874





Those knowledgeable about marble gravestones may
understand the green coloring.  Normally I
would assume this is a discoloration due to
copper, but unless there are copper posts within
the monument, there is no evidence of it from
the outside. 


"And the Sea Gave up the Dead Which were in it."




















Following is a view of the cemetery on the hill, just as the light broke through the clouds:

Swan Lake Cemetery
Finally, at the far left of the cemetery facing into the woods, stood this tomb.  I have never before seen the words inscribed above the beautiful old door:  (click to see a zoomed image)


"Receiving Tomb  1880"


Here are some of the local surnames in the Dennis/Yarmouth/Chatham area:
Doane
Wixon
Small
Crowell
Thacher (no second "t")
Baker
Allen
Chase
Eldredge

It was interesting to discover that many of these family names are plentiful both in Maine, and on Martha's Vineyard.  And yet not so commonly found here in Falmouth, MA.

Happy Fall to all!  Cemeteries are the best places to do some serious leaf-peeping, so don't forget to visit one or two in your travels.