The Death & Resting Place of Deacon Gilman Lougee
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My 20-year younger friend is dragging me hither and yon for a photo shoot. The destination is somewhere on the coast of Maine, with out of season ducks being our photographic prey for the day. Maine Route 160 south and east out of Porter, Maine just across the Maine-NH border takes us to and through the town of Parsonsfield, Maine. Along the way, early in the day a loose but haltered horse greets us at a roadside mailbox. The horse bolts back and forth between the center of the road and the mailbox. We attempt to alert the owners of the mailbox to no avail. The nag followed us around the circular drive taking its position at the mailbox as we leave. Further up Route 160, at the top of a rise, a cemetery, inside a low stone enclosure, presents itself. My young friend has been this way before and is showing some hesitancy, babbling something about a stone killing someone, a little hard to follow. An old wind bent and scrappy apple tree prevents easy access. The quarried granite posts support rusted wrought iron fixtures and a gate. In the end, it is the rust and not the tightness of the ancient apple tree that prevents our using the gate. Before we back away from the gate and scramble over the low but wide stone enclosure my young friend scrapes away the detritus of time, covering a large granite boulder recessed between the cemetery gate’s granite posts.
“Dea. G. Lougee Was Killed By This Stone Sept 1788” is the stone’s chiseled proclamation.
The Lougee in question is Deacon Gilman Lougee. My young friend is sure that the stone breaching the cemetery entrance is the stone that killed the good Deacon Gilman. I am skeptical, holding out for a proximity explanation; “killed by” as in nearby.
We spend sometime wondering about the possibilities: lighting, falling tree, and, in a nod to the morning’s equine encounter, we even consider run away horse. The view off to the west from the cemetery, the White Mountains, Mt. Chocorua and Tri-Pyramid all the way around to the Presidential Range, culminating in the snow covered Mt. Washington, engages our photographic ambitions. At last we scramble over the stone walls and are back on our way to the coast of Maine.
Later, some scholarly research shows that that area sold as an intended township to one, Thomas Parsons and 39 associates. The group had the parcel surveyed into 100-acre lots. At that point in time, the township was called Parsonstown Plantation. Twelve families first actively settled it in 1772. On August 29, 1785, the town incorporated as Parsonsfield, Maine after Thomas Parsons, the largest proprietor. Additional genealogical effort yielded a reference to a Deacon Gilmore Lougee of Parsonsfield, Maine having died 29 September 1788.
A further genealogical notation: “Gilman was killed by a falling stone while at work in a clay pit.”