Stanley Cemetery's First Burial 1838 - Thomas Stanley III, age 25

Thomas Stanley III, 1838  - Willow and urn marker;  first burial in the Stanley Cemetery on Bulger Hill, Great Cranberry Island

The Stanley Cemetery - 1838

The first Stanley settler of Great Cranberry Island was Thomas Stanley. He was the son of Margaret and Sans Stanley. In 1792, the widow Stanley was deeded 100 acres of land on the south side of great Cranberry Island by Mme de Gregoire, granddaughter of Cadillac. Thomas Stanley and his wife Hannah (Manchester) raised their family on this land. When their grandson, the son of Thomas Stanley, Jr. and Mary (Lurvey) died on December 4, 1838, he was the first burial in the new cemetery on their land. This cemetery has been noted in deeds ever since as "the family burying ground."  It has been referred to over time as: Stanley cemetery on Old House Hill; Stanley Cemetery on Bulger Hill; and Stanley Cemetery #2.  For nearly two centuries, Cranberry Islanders from the Stanley, Gilley, Bulger, Alley, Richardson, Hamor, Spurling, Storey, Joy, and other families have been interred on this hillside. 

View of the Stanley Cemetery on Bulger Hill 2013

Information about each of the cemeteries on Great Cranberry Island was compiled by Leslie Victor Stanley in 1972. A year after Stanley's death in 1995, Bruce Komusin (1948-2015), GCIHS Vice President, transcribed Stanley's notebooks and made them available online.  Those interested in the Stanley cemetery in particular should read the introduction, and then refer to the sections entitled "Old House Hill" and "Stanley Cemetery #2".  (Sadly, Komusin's own Stanley cemetery webpage was never completed. It is also full of information and photographs.) Look at the cemetery committee's research findings and photographs in the Links and in the News sections of this website.