The Lady Knox Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution received a $2,000 grant from the Elsie and William Viles Foundation for work to be done at Tolman Cemetery on Lake Avenue in Rockland, according to a news release from the DAR chapter. Among other purposes of the foundation, founded in 1990, is to fund projects that promote and preserve Maine history and culture.

The grant brought the chapter to an initial fundraising goal that will allow them to receive $5,000 in matching funds that was previously awarded by the city of Rockland. The cemetery is the resting place for 24 men who served their new country during the Revolutionary War and 15 veterans of the War of 1812, according to the release. Family members of these patriots are also interred at Tolman. These were the settlers of what was called Blackington Corners, once part of Thomaston, later separated to become part of Rockland. Businesses and farms were started by the founders of the area. The names of these families are still prominent in mid-coast Maine: Achorn, Adams, Barrows, Blackington, Brewster, Brown, Calderwood, Dexter, Dinstow, Fales, Gardiner, Gregory, Arrington, Healey, Hosmer, Jennison, Keen, Killsa, Knight, McDougle, Morey, Mosman, Nutt, Packard, Rankin, Remilly, Robbins, Robinson, Shepard, Soule, Spear, Ulmer, Woster (Wooster) and Tolman.

A local Vietnam-era veteran brought to the chapter’s attention the declining conditions at this cemetery, Rockland’s oldest public burying ground. After a review of the situation and conversations with the city of Rockland, Chapter members launched a comprehensive project to restore and preserve headstones at the cemetery. The chapter is serving as agent for necessary repair funds estimated at $20,000.

Many grave stones at Tolman are cracked and broken; others have fallen to the ground and are overgrown with sod. Several of the stones, broken from their bases, are propped up against a tree or at another grave site. The 1993 listing of the cemetery provided by the Rockland Historical Society, shows that some grave markers are no longer present.

The chapter encourages descendants of those interred at the cemetery, area historic and veterans organizations, and citizens of mid-coast Maine to contribute to this project.

Donations, can be made to Lady Knox Chapter DAR and mailed to Treasurer Anne Maurais, 1044 Finntown Road, Warren, ME 04864. Note Tolman Project on the check.

The Lady Knox Chapter is a 501-c-3 organization. All contributions are tax deductible and a receipt will be mailed in return.