Artifacts

In this section we will display images of cemetery related objects and other memorabilia that have come to our attention. Contributions from readers are welcome. For instance, the casket plaque shown below turned up in the Orrs Island Cemetery archives.

Jordan Plaque


We have one occupant of the cemetery who lived in three centuries. William Gilliam was born in February of 1800 and died in April of 1902. He lived in his mother's womb in the in the 18th century, lived through the entire 19th century and died in the 20th century on April 4, 1902. His grave stone tells the story.

Old Bill Gilliams headstone

Recently Pem Johnson, one of "Old Bill Gilliam's" descendants, offered a picture of the gentleman himself, mounted on a bit of cardboard with an inscription on the front and back written by Bill's great grandson for the benefit for his daughter Marguerite who was Pem's mother.

See below:
Old Bill Gilliam
Old Bill Gilliam


The somewhat grainy image below was taken from a 1904 post card. It shows the approach to the bridge connecting to Great Island. The oldtimers called the hill from which this picture was taken "The Devil's Back". The northeastern tip of Orr's Island where the Devils Back was located was known as "The Byles" after the Byle family who owned that piece of the island and refused to sell to the Orrs.

Devil's Back Orrs Island






The cemetery was started on the property of William and Frances Orr in 1838. In 1855 the Orr's Island Meeting House was built on the Orr property and shared on a quarterly basis by the Methodists, Free Baptists, Calvinist Baptists and Congregationalists. The building was financed by the sale of pews and the pew holders became the propietors of the church. In 1856, William and Frances Orr deeded the cemetery property to the proprietors of the meeting house. In 1900 an additional parcel of land for the cemetery was deeded by Charles and Eunice Orr to the "Free Baptist Church Association. Copies of those deeds are linked here.

Articles and Old Photos

In this section we will display links to cemeterey related articles and old photos possibly of interest to to our readers. Again, contributions are welcome.

In the October, 2018 issue of the Harpswell Anchor was an article by trustee Doug Warren about the Orr's Island Cemetery. It is linked here, formatted for easy reading on a web browser display.

John Webster, a member of the Orrs Island Cemetery Association board of trustees, contributed the above image of a casket plaque that was found in the Orrs Island Cemetery archives. He wrote an article concerning it. Just click on this link to read all about it.

in 1958 there was a party for those residents of Orr's and Bailey islands who were over the age of 70 years. This artical shows a group picture and the write up. It is not clear what paper it appeared in. Contributed by Lorna and Jerry Stilphen.

An article appeared in 1987 marking the 60th wedding anniversary of Charles and Nellie Johnson. Contributed by Lorna and Jerry Stilphen.

Immediately below are some attendees at a picnic in June 1950 on the shore at Wilson's Cove (also known as Reed Cove), Orr's Island. Pictured, left to right, are Emma Dunlap, Martha Hillman, Effie Huff, Myra Stilphen and Ellen E. (Ella) Hanson. Next below, left to right, are Ella Hanson, Effie Huff, Emma Dunlap, Florence Hersey and Myra Stilphen. Contributed by Lorna and Jerry Stilphen.

Wilson's Cove Picnic 1
Wilson's Cove Picnic 2

In that same month, at least some of the same gang picniced at Fort Popham on the Kennebec River. Below are Martha Hillman, Myra Stilphen, Effie Huff, Ella Hanson and Emma Dunlap. Contributed by Lorna and Jerry Stilphen.

Fort Popham Picnic




In 1908 when the cemetery was 70 years old several of the women of Orr's Island formed a service club to provide funds for the maintenance of the Orr's Island Cemetery, which was suffering from neglect. The group was called "The Willing Workers". For 60 years the Willing Workers raised money for cemetery upkeep. In 1967 there was a newspaper article reporting the end of the organization. Contributed by Jack Sylvester.

Pictured below is Isaac Orin Linscott. It is unclear from the picture whether this is Isaac senior or Isaac junior. Isaac senior was born in 1854 and died in 1930. Isaac junior was born in 1890 and died in 1940. I believe that junior was known by his middle name, Orin. The print from which this image was scanned has the name "Isaac Linscot" penned on the back. One might conclude that this is likley Isaac Orin Linscott senior. Thus the picture is probably from the 1910s or 1920s. If anyone knows better please let the web master know. Contributed by Lorna and Jerry Stilphen.

Isaac Orin Linscott


James Edward Stilphen was born 4/17/1840 in Bath, Maine. He is buried at the Orr's Island Cemetery with the date of death unrecorded. Also buried at Orr's Island is his wife Mary Ellen Stilphen, born Mary Ellen Linscott on 4/5/1844, died 4/10/1918. They were married 3/5/1863 in Bath. Some of their descendants are still residents of Orr's Island including Jerry Stilphen and his wife Lorna (Johnson) Stilphen who contributed the below image.

James Edward Stilphen and Mary Ellen (Linscott) Stilphen



Adeline (York) Huff was born in 1853. She maried James Young Huff and died in 1932. She and her husband are buried in the Orr's Island Cemetery in the same plot as Charles, James V. and Lendal Huff who may well have been the sons of James Y. and Adeline huff. If anyone can add details of her life please contact the web master. The picture was contributed by Jerry and Lorna Stilphen.

Adeline Huff



The following picture of Lowell's Cove fish houses is well annotated, perhaps taken late 1930s to early 1940s. It was contributed by Jerry and Lorna Stilphen.

Lowell's Cove Fish Houses.



Here is another photo of the Lowell's Cove fish houses taken from across the cove, probably about the same time as the shot above. It was contributed by Jerry and Lorna Stilphen.

Lowell's Cove Fish Houses.



The below picture appears to be an image of a set of fish houses situated on the southwest end of Little Island in Lowell's Cove. They did not exist after the summer of 1949. If anyone knows more about them please contact the web master. Contributed by Jerry and Lorna Stilphen.

Little Island Fish Houses.