Lincolnville’s Drinkwater-Field Cemetery

By Corelyn Senn | Apr 20, 2014
Courtesy of: Corelyn Senn The grave stone of Joseph Field.

As the first town road in Lincolnville, it makes sense that there would be several old burying grounds along the current North and South Cobbtown roads. North Cobbtown Road was the settled part of it in the early days and there are three known cemeteries there: Kendall, Delano and Drinkwater-Field. The last is the only deeded one, appearing in a deed from Ruth Knight Drinkwater when she sold the farm in 1885; “Reserving for myself the burying ground on the farm.” It remains in the deed to this day.

Wyman Drinkwater bought the 115-acre farm, running from Pitcher Pond to the Ducktrap River, whose barn and house cellar holes are still visible, from Thorndike, Sears and Prescott in 1834 after the breakup of George Ulmer’s estate. It was Lot 4 in Range F. He moved there with his wife, Elizabeth Bragy Drinkwater and they had two sons. In 1838, Elizabeth died at age 26 and was buried in the Ulmer Cemetery overlooking Ducktrap Harbor. A year later, Wyman married Ruth Knight to help him bring up the two small boys. Together, he and Ruth had eight more children.

We do not know when their burying ground was started or for whom. We know that Wyman died in 1882 and Ruth died in 1891 but both are listed as buried in Northport. So, who is buried in this cemetery?

The only identifiable stone is that of Joseph Field who died Oct. 25, 1885, age 50 years, 4 months. His stone, with its Masonic emblem, is very legible. We know that Joseph was raised just down the road on the farm of his parents, Edward and Hannah. Joseph later bought the land adjoining the burying ground and across from his parents, and lived there with his wife Almira for at least 10 years, moving to Route 1 in 1867.

Was this burying ground on Drinkwater land made for a neighborhood cemetery rather than a family burying ground? We have done a GPR study and dowsing and these show possibly 10 other graves. People remember seeing other gravestones there in the past. Whose might these be?

Almira Field died in 1870 and there is no record of her burial spot. A common custom was for the husband to be buried with the first wife and the fact that Joseph’s second wife, Laura, is buried in Maplewood gives credence to the possibility of Almira and Joseph being buried together here.

Edward Field, Joseph’s father, was a squatter, and by 1827, had homesteaded 25 acres near the cemetery. He loved this land and indentured himself to his wife Hannah in 1868 so that he could stay there even though she moved in with her son. In 1870, Joseph bought the farm to help out his parents and Edward moved in with him as well. Edward died soon after. Hannah died in 1885, just before Joseph. There is no record of a burial place for Edward or Hannah but it would seem feasible that they would be buried close to their beloved land.

George and Lois McCobb lived down the road, moving there before 1826 and keeping the farm until they died in 1878 and 1881 respectively. Lois was Wyman Drinkwater’s sister. Andrew (brother of George) and Almira (sister of Wyman) McCobb lived on the next farm for most of their lives but they are buried in the French Cemetery with marked stones. George and Lois, however, have no marked stones in Lincolnville or Northport cemeteries so they might have been buried near the farm where their daughter continued to live.

There are some small fieldstones in the burying ground. Could these be Drinkwater, McCobb or Field children? The only child whose death we know of is Evaline McCobb, child of Lois and George, born in 1844, who died in 1845.

Probably we will never know who is buried here but we can speculate on who loved the land along this road, from the Pond to the River and who made it their home and livelihood for so many years and who may have wished to have their remains here after death.

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