Tuesday, 22 May 2018 09:42

More than 40 pauper graves uncovered at Ellsworth cemetery Featured

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ELLSWORTH - A project at the Woodbine Cemetery in Ellsworth to uncover pauper graves, sites set aside for those who could not afford to be buried, has surprised members of the board with just how many graves were discovered.

"When we first started," said William Clark, cemetery sexton and president of the Woodbine Cemetery Association, pointing to the a back portion of the graveyard, "it was this little path right here all of this was thick with growth, you couldn't see through here."

Up to 46 burial sites were found in that part of the property.

Now, Clark has a lot of work to do.

"It got neglected," he said, "neglected to the point of where it couldn't even find the graves."

Clark said the board had always known the caskets were there, but did not know there were that many. 

The sites were discovered because of the wooden caskets in them which caved in over time and created a depression in the ground.

14 are identified by existing markers placed at the graves, leaving 32 without a marker and no records.

Wooden stakes are the only thing to mark their location and remember them by.

"We know somebody is there, there is a human being in everyone of those depressions," said Clark.

He also said he felt the need to address the problem.

He is enlisting the help of trustees from the Hancock County Jail's service program.

"If I was them or any other person inside the Hancock County Jail," said Adam Kneeland, a jail trustee, "I would push to try to do this."

"It's a great opportunity and I think it's a great thing the jail is doing," he added. 

They are helping restore the surface of the graves and put up metal crosses on them. 

"That is somebody's final resting place," said Clark, "that needs respect."

The Woodbine Cemetery could use donations to help fund the project.

If you would like to help, you can send your donation to P.O. Box 1003 in Ellsworth.


Blake Lipton

Morning Anchor/Reporter
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Blake Lipton joined the ABC 7 and Fox 22 news team in January of 2016 and is excited to start his career in television as a morning anchor at our station!

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