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Heal Cemetery


        Heal Cemetery is in the woods off the Poland Road. It is on the 100 acre lot that John Heal bought from General Henry Knox in 1800 and sold to his son, John Heal, Jr. in 1818, for $1,000. It ran from the outlet of Norton Pond up what is now Martin’s Corner Road and almost 2,000’ down Rt 235. John Heal Sr. apparently claimed the land as early as 1788, and then Knox quieted his claim. 
        John was born in August, 1760, in Georgetown and in 1785 he married Elizabeth Hinckley (born June, 1763) in the same town. She died on May 6, 1817, and on October 13, 1817 he married Lydia Cooper (Nov 1778-November, 1859) who came from Cambridge, MA but moved to South Thomaston.
        The cemetery holds only one engraved stone, that for John and Elizabeth on one side and their first son, Josiah, ((1786-1805) on the opposite side. It is a very beautiful stone with a hand carved on the parents’ side, with the first finger pointing toward heaven, a sign that the soul has left the body for heaven. There is a great deal of detail, a pattern of dots after the parents names, textured stone around the hand, and a pattern of circles in the oval around the hand, and a star in a sunburst above it all.
        John had 12 children with Elizabeth and three with Lydia. After the first son, Josiah died at age 19 in 1805, John and Elizabeth named their last child, born March 10, 1806, Josiah. In the cemetery there are 5 pairs of field stones. We do not know to whom they belong but we do know that John and Elizabeth had at three children who died very young: John aged 3 years (1788) (the second John was born in 1793), Deborah (1791), aged 1 year and Kazia (1799), aged 3 years. There may have been others who died so young they were not named.
        The cemetery is in a pretty spot with a view of Norton’s Pond. Just a four minute walk away are the remains of John Heal’s house and farm buildings. It is hard to see what it once looked like as there are just a bunch of foundation stones now but it may have once been a Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn homestead.
        John Jr., sold the homestead farm in 1827. It had a number of owners each of whom struggled to finance it. In 1855, Andrew Pendleton, who owned the farm for about 10 years sold it to Ephraim Heal and Samuel Harwood for $1,600.00 Of interest in the deed is the section “reserving therefrom the land fenced out on which the school house now stands so long as it is occupied for a school house lot.” Ephraim Heal sold out to Samuel Harwood a year later and in 1864, Samuel sold the piece of land in the far northwest corner to District 14 for a school. He sold it for $10.00 with the stipulation that they “keep a good and substantial fence on the line between said lot and my land.” In 1894, Samuel Harwood mortgaged the land and in the deed refers to the “so-called Dosett School House,” but by 1929, when John Poland was leaving the lot to his ex-wife, it was called the “corner where the school house used to stand,” and the land had reverted to being a part of the original 100 acres. The spot where it stood is 2/10 of a mile up Martin’s Corner Road (originally called School House Road and then Wentworth Road) on the right on the lower side of the stone wall.
    
    In 1884, Samuel Harwood, and Emery Parker, who owned the abutting land, sold the flowage from Norton’s Pond to the owners of the Knox Woolen Company in Camden for $150.00 each. It would allow the water downstream to reach a certain height marked by a copper bolt in order to run the mill.
    This cemetery was never recorded and is now on two lots. The landowners kindly let us explore the area and clean the stone.

Article by Corelyn Senn
November 2014 
Originally published in
The Camden Herald





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