Pet semataries are everywhere, right? Maine can’t lay claim to the only one, correct? Well, maybe the only one spelled ‘sematary.’ You can have a regular pet ‘cemetery,’ but only Maine gets to claim the other spelling. (More about Bangor and Stephen King another day.)
Mackworth Island State Park
This particular cemetery is located on Mackworth Island. The island is home to the Baxter School for the Deaf and Mackworth Island State Park. There is limited parking. If you are turned away at the gate, a back-up plan is to go to Gilsland Farm Audubon.
The town of Falmouth map outlines the various trails and where to find the pet sematary and the pier. The fairy houses I leave to you to discover!
Part of the fun of a half day or so of wandering on Mackworth Island is to find, and help build, fairy houses. Fairy houses can only be created with found materials. Search the area for pine cones, shells, small rocks, and twigs. (Fairies live in harmony with nature, so they don’t rip trees apart or uproot plants. You shouldn’t, either.)
Litter is a ‘found material.’ Hopefully, there is not a lot around to use! This is more of a lean-to style.
But, back to that whole ‘pet sematary’ thing. Not that fairy houses aren’t a curiosity, they certainly are, but you showed up here expecting pet resting places, so here we go:
Percival Baxter governed Maine in the early 1920’s. He was particularly fond of the outdoors and set about creating ‘forever wild’ areas in Maine. Baxter State Park is the result of his accumulated 200,000 acre gift of land to the people of Maine.
He was rarely without a pet dog for most of his life. The memorial at the top is dedicated to his 17 Irish Setters and his horse, Jerry. Was this the source of the idea for the book? Inquiring minds want to know!
The cemetery itself is pretty beat up and not exactly easy to locate. But, if you are out on Mackworth, it’s worth poking around to find it.
Portland is just across the bridge from the island and you get some pretty neat vistas from various points on the trail:
Clamming in the mud flats with Portland in the background.
Fort Gorges and Portland Head Light viewed from the pier on Mackworth Island.
More Maine curiosities are around every corner of the state. We’re happy to share them with you! The largest statue of Paul Bunyon? Yup, that’s here. A Cribstone Bridge? Also in Maine. How about that prison store (the one with the Shawshank Prison vehicle parked outside)? More on that later!
Making a Maine Curiosities tour part of your vacation? Check out our availability here. We look forward to seeing you at White Cedar Inn sometime soon!