Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Early Graverobbing & Desecration in Westbrook

I found a very interesting blog by Suzan Norton which covers some of her genealogical research at the Westbrook Historical Society and in the Saccarappa Cemetery, which she states "has been desecrated numerous times over the years." This particular account is of some note because not only does it detail many small pieces of information about the daily life of Martha Roberts (b.1842), but also it remarks upon a most peculiar event following her death, in which her grave was opened and her body abandoned elsewhere.
Martha died at the age of 57. Her death was unusual as there was a certain amount of folklore that I have heard my whole life. She was dug up and her body thrown into Beaver Pond. It was never verified until I read the diaries of William Roberts, her brother in law (and 2nd cousin). He wrote one entry describing that he would be going to the cemetery to check to see if her grave was empty. He found in fact that it was an open grave. The following day, he was asked to go meet the sheriff. A body had been found and William was asked to identify it. William wrote that he could not identify it positively, however he had no doubt that it was her body. This was about eight weeks after her death. Perhaps he recognized the clothing. Someone had tampered with the body, but no person had ever been charged. I think it must have brought great distress upon the family.
Read full post here: [Source]
It appear that it is not only modern day fiends who rummage about disrespectfully amidst the tombstones -- this is something that has happened for centuries.

1 comment:

Westbrook Diarist said...

Suzan's blog is good like that.