Part Of Ellsworth Gas Station Sits On Old Burial Ground
R.H Foster Energy has told the Ellsworth Planning Board that it would like to tear down and then expand the On The Run store at the corner of High and Elm Streets, but first the company had to do some preliminary work because of sacred items that once were under ground there.
In the 1800s there once was a Catholic church and burial ground where the current gas station - convenience store now stands.
According to an article published today by the Ellsworth American, state law says that before any work is done on a parcel of land that may have been a burial site, the owner of the land shall conduct "appropriate investigation to determine the existence and location of graves".
Looking at maps from back in that time, one can clearly see that a cemetery indeed was between the building where the cash register now sits and the building that recently housed a car wash on the existing property.
According to the article written by Steve Fuller, a company showed up back in November with ground penetrating radar and scanned the property in that particular area. Four "unidentified anomalies" in "narrow rectangular shapes, 5 to 6 feet long" where found where the car wash building once stood. The company stated that they only way to really confirm exactly what they are is by "direct observation."
So, back in December a forensic anthropologist with the Maine Medical Examiner's Office showed up to watch an excavator dig into the ground in that area. No graves or remnants of graves were found, and it was determined that a foundation of an old building that once stood there was the "unidentified anomalies." The inhabitants of the cemetery had been moved elsewhere.
Tomorrow night, the proposal by R.H. Foster Energy will go before the Ellsworth Planning Board, and now part of that proposal will include a small picnic area along with a sign that will explain the historic significance of what once stood there, and what was also underground.