Sue and I had a fantastic 19th anniversary while exploring the back roads of Berwick, Maine in search of her 5th Great Grandfather, Moses Noble.
While the photo above does give away the eventual outcome, it took us adventurers a couple of tries and a bit of research to find it.
Deb Sweeney (from http://www.genealogylady.net) had identified quite a while ago that Moses was buried off of Blackberry Hill Road in Berwick. I believe the information was gleaned from a book written in 1922 – Burial Inscriptions of Berwick Maine compiled by Wilber D Spencer Page 34 (with a list of Cemetery #18 on page 8). [Link]
As it so happens, a few weeks back Sue and I found ourselves in the area and dug in with both feet to see what we could find. I did try Google Street view for the road ahead of time to see what I could find but nothing stood out and of course, only half of the road was available.
Click Here to visit Google Maps.
We found Blackberry Hill road and drove its length. A few times. In some parts it is farmland while others woodland. It is about 4 miles in length total with a sharp turn at a crossroads at its center.
At the south end of it we did find a larger burial ground but no Moses (Just North of the Railroad Tracks). Cross referencing the names in it with those in Spencer’s book lists it as Clark Cemetery (Page 44). [Link to Find A Grave]
Other than that though, no sign of anything. We opted to try another method of searching – something a bit outside of the box. I checked the area for local Geocaches.
What is a geocache you ask? It is a hidden container that people use GPS coordinates to find. They often times bring you to interesting places you would never have gone to in the first place. (Check out Geocaching.com for more information. Caches have brought me near small pocket cemeteries before and as luck would have it, the one listed on Blackberry Hill road mentions nothing about a cemetery.
However… My app for it does not use Google maps but rather OpenMaps and low and behold… one of the roads at the aforementioned crossroads is listed not as Love Brook Road… but as Old Blackberry Hill Road! Score one for geocaching.
On our way to this road we found another small cemetery for the Grant family. I captured images of the markers and moved on.
Old Blackberry Hill Road (currently known as Love Brook Road) was in bad shape with a few homes scattered here and there. One caught my eye as I could see what looked like the remains of an old barn that could be very photogenic – but we moved on. By the time we reached the end it was nothing but thick woods with ATV trails on either side (that looked in better shape than the roads. Large no trespassing signs loomed to either side and we were dodging deep puddles and large boulders more than looking for signs of head stones. Did I mention the light rain we had all day?
At this point we were back at the crossroads as we had come in from the east and it was getting a bit late.
In the next installment we will visit the Historical Society, a homeowner along Blackberry Hill Road and review another search method to see if any of those leads pay off.