A curious form of grave marker was produced in Maine in the mid-1800s. Consisting of large stone slabs usually held aloft by granite posts, these monuments resemble a billboard sign and have been named “Billboard Monuments” by cemetery historian and author Ron Romano. Rare and often overlooked, there are more than three dozen known to exist in Maine. One, for the Maxwell family, is found at the Riverside Cemetery in Ogunquit. Three, for the Hill, Hubbard, and Staples families are found in Wells at Ocean View Cemetery. They are featured in a newly-published book about these interesting monuments.
Ron’s third book, entitled “Billboard Monuments of Maine: A Collection of Rare 1800s Gravestones” provides a fascinating look at this intriguing form of gravestone. Rich with photographs, the book covers the majority of the Maine monuments and includes all four from Wells and Ogunquit. Ron weaves stories discovered about the families memorialized on these stones with information about the monument makers and some important issues of the day including Civil War service, prohibition, and epidemic illness.
Autographed copies of this book can be ordered directly from the author for $19.95, by check or PayPal. Those interested are invited to contact Ron at email@example.com for details. He will cover the packaging and shipping costs (a saving of about $4). It’s also available on Amazon, and when local bookstores reopen will be available there.
While in-person book events and cemetery walks are not yet possible, Ron is happy to answer questions about his new book, the monuments in Wells and Ogunquit, or any of the others in Maine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.