MV Obsession

My obsession with Martha's Vineyard.. phototography..genealogy and life in general and this and that…

Maine – Cemeteries and Meanderings Part I…

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My daughter Deb and I made a recent pilgrimage to Maine, not only to enjoy the beauty and crisp autumn weather but to visit the graves of our relatives.

Our first night was spent in Ogunquit at the beautiful Colonial Inn.

 

You cannot go to Maine, or Ogunquit and not do these two things… have lobster roll and maybe blueberry pie too, which we did at Barnacle Billy’s.  Yum.

 

…and walk on Marginal Way and down on the beach.

 

One of the main reasons for our trip was to visit this tiny little cemetery in Rome, Maine where my great-grandfather Joseph P Littlefield, my great-grandmother Martha Jane Ellis and their 3 oldest children (they had 8), Margaret, Adison and Atwood are buried.

My great grandfather Joseph P Littlefield was injured in the Civil War at the Battle of Cold Harbor, he was sent home to Maine to die, which he did, not only of his massive injuries but also of typhoidal pneumonia. His wife and the 3 oldest of his 8 children died within months of him from it as well leaving my grandfather Charles G Littlefield at age 9 the oldest of the five remaining children. A tragic story and once we learned about it felt compelled to find their graves and honor them. Their small plot is off the beaten track in Rome, Maine but Deb found it and we traipsed through the brush to get to it. Worth the trip indeed.  This was very emotional in that Joseph, Martha Jane, Margaret, Adison and Atwood have become very real to us and we feel very close to them.  We weren’t able to bring them flowers but left 5 pennies to indicate we were there and remembering them.

That’s Deb’s car parked on the side of the road by the telephone sub station box, the path to the cemetery is where the flag is.

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From Rome, Maine we headed to Waterville, Maine where my mother was born and where my above mentioned grandfather, Charles G Littlefield is buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery. Although my grandmother’s name, Albra Mae Littlefield is on the stone she is actually buried on Martha’s Vineyard with her third husband.

Also in this plot is my mother’s sister Tessa Mae Littlefield Robertson Poulin,  her husband Joseph Ezra Poulin, one of their daughers, Helen Brown and her husband Laurence Brown.

 

Thus ends our first full day in Maine and our cemetery visits.

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Author: mvobsession

I'm married, I have two daughters and two grandchildren and they all love MV. Enjoy my MV blog and contact me if I can answer any questions. This blog started out as strictly about Martha's Vineyard but over the years I've branched out to include other obsessions and interests. I enjoy photography and like sharing my photos here as well. Hope you enjoy :)

11 thoughts on “Maine – Cemeteries and Meanderings Part I…

  1. Looks like you are having a nice visit. I have never been to Maine but my husband and I have always talked about going.

  2. Maine is really nice, very beautiful, especially the rocky coast. If you get the chance you should go… go on now… go… 🙂

  3. What a wonderful, fulfilling trip! Your photos are gorgeous, too!

  4. How beautiful photos. We love to visit cemeteries. They always are worth for a visit, whether in Paris or in Finland, where they are well-cared for.

    Have a good day!

  5. Thank you for your kind comment. Cemeteries are really beautiful and peaceful (of course ..lol).

  6. I’m learning so much from you! Been to Portland recently and thought how nice it would be to see the are in spring or summer. So, Ogunquit is now on my -everexpanding- wish list. Thank you for this, your lovely photos and family history!

  7. And thank you for your kind words. I feel like I should be working for the Maine Chamber of Commerce 🙂 I love Ogunqut in any season although summer is super crowded. Keep me posted on your ever expanding list 🙂

  8. I found your web site while looking for more information On your great grandfather Joseph P. littlefield . I have a summer place on the camp road that goes beside the family cemetery I visit the family cemetery every year before Memorial Day to pay my respects to him and his family and to honor his service . I often wondered what was his life like. I’m the featured speaker at the Belgrade Me. town Memorial Service next week and I plan to include him I’m my remarks honoring his service to his country.
    Best Regards ,
    Pat

    • Thank you so much for contacting me. It means a lot to my daughter and I that you will be remembering him in your remarks. My family buried in that small plot has come to mean a lot to me, I am so glad my daughter found them and we both really feel a connection to them. Thank you again Pat. -Joan-

    • Patrick, it’s so good of you to visit them! We didn’t know about Joseph Littlefield’s story at all until a few years ago. He was wounded at Cold Harbor at the very end of May in 1864. He was shot through the left hand and had wounds from a shell across the lower back. They sent him home to Maine in August (I can’t imagine how painful the journey must have been) and he died at the beginning of September from Lumbar Abscess and Typhoidal Pneumonia (according to his 24-year-old doctor). Almost a month to the day later, his wife Martha Jane Ellis died, followed by their three oldest children. Margaret survived long enough to fill in paperwork to choose a guardian for the orphans, but basically, my great-grandfather Charles Littlefield was the oldest surviving member of his family the month he turned nine. Before Joseph signed up in the Spring of 1864, they were a hopefully happy family of ten. After October 1864, there were just five children left. Charles (9), Flora (6), Lorenzo (5), Ruby (3), Joseph (1).

      The family were farmers. Martha Jane’s father was Jonathan Ellis who is in the Tuttle Cemetery just a mile or two away from this one. The 1850 census has the two families right next to each other. Jane’s brother Robert is on the same page. I’m not sure exactly where it is, though. I found a deed that names who owns the properties it’s bounded by, but those are 1860 names, so … who knows?

      My guess is that they were poor and that the main reason Joseph enlisted was for the $300 signing bounty. (Why else would a father of eight who was about to turn 40 sign up for a war? It’s not like they didn’t know how horrific it would be by that time.) My guess is he gambled that the money would be worth it and that he either brought Typhoid home to the family, or his wife and three children succumbed to some other illness.

      (The Lorenzo Littlefield in this cemetery is the great-grandchild of Joseph and Martha Jane. Their son Lorenzo (our great-uncle) had a son he named Charles G Littlefield after his brother. That son had a boy named Lorenzo, who is the one buried here.)

      To my knowledge, three of the surviving children–Charles, Flora, and Lorenzo–went on to have children of their own, while Ruby and Joseph remained childless. Joseph was a town Selectman in Rome, though–he’s listed in the Rome Annual Report in 1913, which I found online.

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