Back Country News, York, Maine

Written by Donald Junkins; from JFA newsletter no. 5, Winter 1991

New discoveries, repairs, cleanups, and loyal maintenance highlight the cemetery report from York, Maine. Since the August dig and rescue operation at the Garrison site (when the original granite posts were returned, and half of them replanted in their original positions surrounding the Alexander Cemetery, some startling information has been forthcoming from Roland Junkins' on-going research in York, and his rehabilitation of Junkins cemeteries.

The cemetery currently listed in the town records as Kingsbury (#62), to the left rear of Highland Farm on traditionally Junkins land (just down from the Garrison site about one quarter of a mile), turns out to be on the land that Alexander2 gave to his son Joseph3. The circumstantial evidence is strong that since this cemetery is located on land given to Joseph3, that he is buried there. As reported in Newsletter 3, Samuel4 is buried there. Probably as many as nine unlettered, ancient fieldstones have now been uncovered. Wire strands inside the trees bordering the edges of the cemetery go in, in some places, as much as ten inches. One stone, in perfect condition, was discovered six inches underground: Captain Joseph Junkins (Hepzibah's husband died August 18, 1856). Fractured stones have been repaired: Urania (d. Oct 1, 1838); George (d. Mar 1, 1828); and Pauline Kingsbury (d. Nov 18, 1851). Samuel's hand-chiseled headstone (4) has been reset solidly into the ground. The cemetery is located on the edge of an incline at the bottom of which is a brook, which flows into a pond. The pond was originally the water supply for Highland Farm (the pump house is still there). Over the years, it grew over with a lot of slash and poor quality pine and deadwood. As you now look out, you can see the pond as it looked originally to those who chose the location.

In the Sylvester cemetery (#30A), two graves have been found outside the boundaries of what we thought were the original lines. The cemetery is located on a knoll, two sides of which have boundaries of rough-hewn rocks. The land gently slopes down to a clearly defined stone wall, which is on the edge of Kingsbury Marsh. So, it's a promontory chosen for aesthetic value. Roland has cut out all the brush: "The best thing is that I found the original road into there, accessible by four wheel drive vehicle. Along with Sylvester and his little girl, Mary, are eight or ten other graves clearly marked by fieldstones, all of which were in some stage of discombobulation. I had to take them and reset them. One of the fieldstones stood up at least two and a half feet high. The cemetery had been abandoned for a century or more."

An ecological footnote: Hurricane Bob destroyed the road leading up to the Daniel Junkins Homestead. It is not possible any longer for even a four wheel drive vehicle to make the ascent. This is the road climbed after the conclusion of the August dig at the Garrison site by the group led by Roland Junkins to view the Daniel cemetery on the mount. When Roland and David Leck restored this cemetery last spring (first expedition in March when snow was on the ground, and a video is available of that expedition), they carried 13 bags of cement in David's truck. Now, the road has been cut away into deep gullies by the water that roared down the road during and after the hurricane. David and Roland got the good work done just in time.

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