Pleasant Hill Cemetery
Ernie Wood of the VFW places a flag at a veteran's grave at Pleasant Hill Cemetery
Pleasant Hill Cemetery is an historic burying ground originally associated with the Great Works woolen mill on Brattle Street, and dates to at least the mid-1800s. At least 27 Civil War veterans and those of two world wars are buried here, as well as many textile mill workers once employed at the Newichawannock Woolen Company. The Second Advent Society at Great Works had a small church opposite the cemetery and a bit downhill. The society was founded in 1870 by Rev. J. G. Smith and Rev. T. W. Piper and 15 original members.
At left is a map excerpted from the Atlas of York County, 1872. Many residents shown on this map are buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery. The cemetery and the church are near the top, on Wadleigh Lane, with the Academy Street below, and the Newichawannock Woolen Mill at the bottom. The railroad shown on this map was been replaced by Route 236.
Among the graves are those of many residents associated with the Great Works woolen mill, the remains of which stood for many years at the Brattle Street bridge.
Also buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery are members of the Williams family, descendants of Uriah Williams, a Black soldier who served in the American Revolution. The location of Uriah's grave is not known, but great grandsons George W. Williams (c. 1834-1897) and Augustus L. Williams (c. 1836-1899), who fought in the Civil War, are buried here. George's home on Drury Lane is shown on the map at left, and pictured in the photo here.
Williams family members worked at the mills at Great Works and on the railroad. One Williams family member may be shown in this photo showing fire brigade training at the mill in the late 1800s.
Mill mechanic Samuel H. Miller (1860-1937), is buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery
Three members of the Wiggin family also served in the Civil War and are buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery: lightning rod dealer George Albert Wiggin (1836-1911), carpenter James E. Wiggin (c. 1834-1889), and John H. Wiggin (1843-1910). In the 1870s, George, James, and Asa L. Wiggin (c. 1803-1877) all lived in houses still standing at Wiggins Corner near the intersection of Wadleigh Lane and Academy Street.
Wiggin lighting rod in the Counting House Museum collection donated by Nina Maurer and Scott Landis.
Some examples of the many Civil War veterans buried in Pleasant Street Cemetery are:
H. A. Bennett, Company K 32nd Maine Infantry
Richard W. Carpenter (1847-1922) Company B 27th Maine Regiment Volunteer
Charles H. Horne (c. 1839-1906), 2nd New Hampshire Regiment
Levi Howard (1829-1890), Member Company H 9th Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers
Ivory Pray (c. 1831-1880)
John H. Young, b. 1841, Company H 6th NH Volunteers
A significant number of 20th century veterans are also buried in Pleasant Street Cemetery. To name just a few:
Lionell Eugene Ball (1894-1958), Maine 2nd Lieutenant Air Service World War I
Raymond G. Beaven (1897-1975), SFC US Army World War I
Almond R. Besse, who died in 1940, Maine Pvt US Army
Edwin E. Boston (1895-1918), F Boston Pvt E Company 2nd Division BN USA
Alvin Carpenter, Corpl Company A I Batt Maine Infantry
Donald Carpenter (1937-1994), TSgt US Air Force Vietnam
Charles W. Clough (1897-1965), NH Pvt Company B 73 Inv World War I
Harold W. Clough (1925-1999) S1 US Navy World War II
Carroll E. Pierce (1906-1963), NH Tec 5 106 Mecz Cav Recon Sq World War II
Eli J. Tebo (1894-1965), Massachusetts Sgt 738 Company MTC World War I
Russell Clement Goodwin (1925-2002), U. S. Marine Corps, World War II. He raised Braemuir Polled Shorthorns on his dairy farm which is a landmark at the corner of Route 236 and Brattle Street, not far from Pleasant Hill Cemetery. The farm appears as the E. S. Goodwin home on the above map in the lower right-hand corner.
Other local citizens buried here include:
Richard M. Davis (1864-1962), son of tinsmith Joseph Porter Davis (1833-1904). The great downtown Fire of 1870 was said to have originated in Joseph P. Davis’s tin shop near Central Square. Richard's son, Linwood "Darby" Davis, (1907- 2008) lived to the age of 101. Darby was raised and educated in South Berwick and graduated from Berwick Academy. He was employed at the Rocky Gorge Woolen Mills at Great Works. Later he moved his family to the Lawrence, MA, area to work as a plant engineer for Malden Mills, where he retired in 1973.
Margaret Pollard Foote, local historian, (1834-1915), lived on Brattle Street near the woolen mill. Her home is labeled "Miss Foote" on Brattle Street, shown as the horizontal street near the bottom on the above map.
Estelle Garvin, (c. 1848-1872), died at age 24, followed by her husband, Alonzo Garvin (c. 1838-1877), who drowned at age 39.
Charles Keays (c. 1812-1879), was a stonemason who lived on Academy Street opposite the Federated Church today.
Frederick A. Webster (1851-1929), for whom Webster Street is apparently named. He was the “Local Agent for Stockbridge and Bowkers Fertilizers, Bowker’s Early Potato Manure, Bowker’s Corn, Grain and Grass Fertilizers,” according to the South Berwick town report of 1900. He also sold “Stoves, Ranges, Kitchen Furnishing Goods, Table and Pocket Cutlery, Farming Tools” as well as paint and “Furniture of every description.”
In the 1930s the Works Projects Administration (WPA) mapped the cemetery and noted graves of veterans. This map, held at the Maine Archives and posted online by the Digital Public Library of America, shows that the WPA counted graves of 27 veterans of the Civil War, three of World War I, and one of "Indian Wars," presumably in the West. The number of veterans buried since then is not known.
Pleasant Hill Cemetery is maintained by the South Berwick Cemetery Association.
(Summary by Wendy Pirsig from archives of the Counting House Museum. Research on Wiggin family provided by Nina Maurer. Updated December 2020.)