Clough Cemetery, West Gardiner, Maine

By Don Clough, West Gardiner, Maine.


In the late 1700's a man by the name of Isaiah Clough arrived in Litchfield to settle and bring up a family of twelve children along with his wife Mary. Isaiah purchased a large tract of land between the Hallowell Road, along the Collins Mills Road, to the so called Neck Road where the Quaker Church (Friends Church) now stands. The Clough's were of the Quaker faith. This tract of land was located in the town of Litchfield. In 1852 Isaiah petitioned the State of Maine, that the land in Litchfield he owned, be annexed to the town of West Gardiner due to the fact that Litchfield was not willing to receive them clear of the old Litchfield town debts. The Senate of the State of Maine on March 20, 1852 granted the annex of that portion of Litchfield to West Gardiner and thereby settled the dilemma. In the very early 1800's Isaiah and Mary had a girl child named Susanna. Susanna died in 1821 at the age of 8 years, 1 day. My belief is that Isaiah, being of strong will and kind ways, did not want to be seperated by a distant cemetery from his first born and undoubtedly decided to create his own cemetery on land he owned. On this land was a hill that overlooked the great fields to Cobbosseecontee River. What a great place for dear Susanna. There was, of course, no cemetery there so it would need to be started from scratch. I believe Isaiah recognized, as all creators of burial places, that a underground tomb would be the first matter of business because the ground froze in the winter making hand digging impossible and a tomb creates a non-freezing chamber for the body to rest until proper burial could be arranged, and also, in the reserve deed for the cemetery, the tomb is first.
In 1845 Isaiah and Mary lost two boys, Tobias died in October at 27 years and Orrin died in November at 12 years. This appears to be when the cemetery became a very serious matter. Now we have three children laid to rest with nine children remaining. It appears, according to all signs, that this was the time that a fence was erected, the burial areas created, and arrangements for grave stones and markers made. Just five years later in 1850, Greenleaf H. died at 21 years. In 1853 Alpheus died at 26 years. What a sad time those years between 1845 and 1853 must have been for Isaiah and Mary with the loss of four boys.
Births and deaths continued on as did burials in the Clough Cemetery.
I became active in the Clough Cemetery about 1980 when I was approached by Charles R. who lived in Gardiner and was a good friend and relative of mine. He came to me and asked if I would take over the care of the Clough Cemetery as he was ill and unable to do much. I made a promise to him that I would do what I could. Charlie died in 1989, the burden was mine.


I began researching the deeds in March of 2008. The restoration began in April of 2008
The Picture's below show the condition of the cemetery before I began.
These picture's were taken in the mid 1990's when the cemetery had not been attended to for 150+ years.

I can't believe my eyes. They have been here 165 years or more. They deserve much better. I will make it right.


A driveway, 550 feet in length, had to be built and a parking lot was added. A locked gate was installed to limit access.
Chris Berglund, owner of the surrounding property, was happily receptive.

Clearing the area for the driveway.

After 400 yards of gravel, alot of man hours, and the use of a Caterpillar bulldozer and a backhoe, the driveway was in.

Driveway entrance from the road after installation of the gate.

The parking lot. It did not take long for word to spread and many visitors have used this.


I just inspected and took flash pictures of the inside of the tomb. It is in perfect condition considering its 165 years of existence.
And, what a good find, the missing gate post.


Now the first thing to do was to find the stones and to mark them so not to damage them while working. Trees up to 2 feet in diameter had taken over this cemetery along with poison ivy and bees. It was in a very sad state of disrepair. We must carefully cut all the trees inside and 12 feet around the outside edge to allow the equipment to work there.

After clearing the trees and brush inside and out, we did not break one stone.

This picture shows the side layout of the stones. The tomb is located at the top of the picture under the mound. Thank goodness for the cemetery schematic Charlie had given to me. I do believe its origin was probably from Daisy Cannon. The area within the cemetery was much larger than what originally could be seen through all the growth. Now I was thinking, by the layout of the cemetery, the schematic was probably correct, but still may have had a little question. While my son Delbert was pushing a rod down through the years of erosion checking for more grave markers, he discovered a cinder block. Upon cleaning we could read Rose Clough - My Mother. Rose was Charlie's mother and he had clearly done this by hand. Rose's marker was exactly where the schematic indicated it would be. Thank you, this discovery validated the schematic. It was like unlocking a mystery. Twenty two have grave markers, Eight had none.

(Daisy Cannon - Child Unknown)

Daisy Cannon was the great-grand-daughter of Isaiah and Mary, grand-daughter of Charles O. and Vesta, and the daughter of Ebenezer and Sylvia Anna (Clough) Cannon. Daisy was a life long resident of West Gardiner living across the road from the cemetery. She not only devoted herself to researching her family geneology, but also kept a journal noting traits and personalities of some of the family members. I would like to thank Madeline Clough (widow of Charlie's son Everett) for giving me Daisy's journal and Charlie's Clough family pictures. This gave working in the cemetery a personal touch; they were no longer just early family ancestors, a name on a stone.
Daisy lived her life for others and without her written history of the Clough family we would have been lost in time.
Thank you very much Daisy.

The granite blocks used for a guard fence around the lot had to be removed and reset as they had tipped and fallen. Heavy work. How did they do it with just oxen?

The cast iron fence had been severly damaged requiring removal to my shop and many hours of extensive welding. We brought it back, assembled, straightened, leveled and secured it. After 4 coats of paint the fence came out quite nice. One 12 ft. section is missing. I hope to someday find a suitable replacement.

Memorial Day had arrived, the cemetery was now carpeted with Lily of the Valley and we placed a flowering plant on every grave. The cemetery transformation was fitting for this holiday.

Over the last 165 years I do not believe the grave stones had been cleaned. They were stained dark gray. We now had all the stones plumbed - it was time to start cleaning them. After researching the proper procedure for cleaning grave stones the work began. Hours were spent spraying, brushing and LOTS OF ELBOW GREASE.........why it would take us another 165 years and they might look half good. Time to hire a professional. Horace Stevens arrived with his secret cleaning solution and power washer. I could not believe under the years of sludge was beauty.
The following pictures speak for themselves:


I placed stones (above) and had grave markers made (below) at Staples Funeral Home for all of the unmarked graves.The above picture shows Caroline, Ira's second wife, and their two children Frankie and Etta. They are to the left of Ira's grave.

Susanna's grave site location was the only one not identified on the schematic, but Daisy's journal does substantiate she is buried in the cemetery. It would almost stand to reason she would have probably been beside her mother so her marker is placed to the left of Mary.


We were very lucky to find the original gate. Although badly damaged, we managed to rebuild it. The scroll on top of the gate reads "ISAIAH CLOUGH - 1875". Isaiah died in 1865. Mary or their children must have had this made in his memory.

A security system was installed and this completes the re-creation of the Clough Cemetery......for now. After the improvements made in the cemetery we are hopeful the town will accept it under perpetual care.

If my family ancestors are looking down upon this cemetery, I hope they are happy with the results of the efforts to resurect this hallowed ground. Now I can see why this spot was picked for these 30 resting souls.

Susanna Clough
Daughter of Isaiah & Mary
D-8/23/1821 - 8y 1d

Tobias Clark Clough
Son of Isaiah & Mary
D-10/9/1845 - 27y 3m 12d

Orrin S. Clough
Son of Isaiah & Mary
D-11/22/1845 - 12y 5m 2d

Emily Ann Clough
Daughter of Ira & Mary J. Clough
D-5/26/1846 - 8y

Sarah C. Estes Clough Hall
Mother of Isaiah
D-12/4/1848 - 96y 8m

Greenleaf H. Clough
Son of Isaiah & Mary
D-10/1/1850 - 21y 2m 18d

Alpheus Clough
Son of Isaiah & Mary
D-10/6/1853 - 26y 8d

Mary Jane Clough
Wife of Ira
D-9/19/1855 - 43y

Isaiah Clough
B-1/7/1789 Durham, ME
D-9/12/1865 - 76y 8m

Delia F. Clough
Daughter of Ira & Mary
D-4/11/1866 - 23y 7m

Vesta Ann Dyer Clough
Wife of Charles O.
D-3/27/1867 - 38y 7m 3d

Ulysses Lincoln King
Son of Artis King & Sarah Matilda Clough King
D-2/8/1869 - 11m

Augusta E. Clough
Daughter of Ira & Mary Jane
D-7/19/1870 - 20y 9m 16d

Frankie Clough
Son of Ira & Caroline

Etta Clough
Daughter of Ira & Caroline

Mary Haskell Clough
Wife of Isaiah
D-9/1/1880 - 90y

Ira Clough
Son of Isaiah & Mary
Husband of Mary Jane & Caroline French Clough

Cordelia C. Hathorn
Daughter of Isaiah & Mary
Wife of Rev. Samuel Hathorn
D-7/5/1886 - 70y 5m

Marinda Clough Trask
Daughter of Isaiah & Mary
Wife of Leander Trask (not in Clough Cemetery)
D-9/12/1890 - 65y 4m

Artis Lincoln King
Husband of Sarah Matilda Clough King

Leslie Hopkins
Son of Benjamin Hopkins & Emma Jane Clough Hopkins
D-5/20/1904 - 42y 8m 20d

Charles Osborn Clough (C.O. Clough)
Son of Isaiah & Mary
Husband of Vesta Ann Dyer Clough

Benjamin Hopkins
Husband of Emma Jane Clough Hopkins
D-12/1/1908 - 78y 6m

Caroline French Clough
2nd wife of Ira

G.H. Clough (Greenleaf Hartwell)
Son of Charles O. & Vesta Ann Clough
Husband of Rose King Clough
Father of Charles R.

Emma Jane Clough (Hopkins)
Daughter of Isaiah & Mary
Wife of Benjamin Hopkins
D-1/17/1922 - 90y 7m 25d

Sarah Matilda Clough King
Daughter of Isaiah & Mary
Wife of Artis Lincoln King

Rose Adelia King Clough
Daughter of Artis & Sarah Matilda Clough King
Wife of G.H. Clough (Greenleaf Hartwell)
Mother of Charles R.

Charles R. Clough
Son of Greenleaf & Rose Adelia King Clough

Baby Hartwell Jackson
Son of Dr. Amos Messer Jackson

Scott Jay Clough
Son of Donald I. Clough
B- 3/5/56
D- 12/23/62

What a beautiful, peaceful place for eternal rest!

The picture above is Don Clough the restorer of the Clough Cemetery. His lineal ancestry line being his father Irving Clough,
his Grandfather Melvin Clough, his Great Grandfather Rufus Clough and his Great Great Grandfather Isaiah Clough
builder & designer of Clough Cemetery.

Don Clough

519 High St.

West Gardiner, ME 04345


  EMail Me: Don Clough