Mt. Pleasant Cemetary- Part One
Stephen King’s “Pet Cemetary” helped put Mount Hope Cemetery on the map.But there’s an equally fascinating burial site in Bangor that does not garner as much attention.Mt. Pleasant Cemetery is run by the Catholic Diocese. The site has moved and even been divided by an interstate during the last century.Today, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery encompasses nearly 70 acres, and includes some notable names in history.Joy Hollowell brings us a special report on Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.+++++”The Irish are the only large immigrant population that came to Bangor,” says Dana Lippitt, curator for the Bangor Museum and History Center.They came looking for timber jobs and brought with them a major stake in the Roman Catholic Church. “Almost doubled the population from around 4,000 to 8,000 in just a few years,” says Lippitt.Mt. Pleasant Cemetery was established back in 1836. A sign at the corner of Buck and West Broadway marks the original spot.When the potato famine hit, the number of Irish Catholics increased even more in Bangor. in 1854, the church started Birch Hill cemetery on Ohio Street. It’s believed the name was changed to Mt. Pleasant cemetery a few decades later. The Field family plot sits at the top of the cemetery’s hill. During the California gold rush, Timothy Field, or Teddy as he was known, pooled his money with some buddies and headed out west.”They founded Allison ranch,” says Lippitt. “They were going to sell it for $1,000 but nobody would buy it, so they decided to mine it themselves, and it was one of the richest stakes in California.”The most elaborate burial site at the cemetery is actually above ground. The Cassidy mausoleum was built in 1916. The family made its fortune in timber land as well as the former Eastern Trust and Banking company. The estate is now run by James Cassidy’s great nephew, John Cassidy the Fourth.”James, when he built it, laid out the requirements in his will that only lineal descendants of John and his wife, be buried here,” says Cassidy.That will, which was published in the Bangor Daily News in 1938, showed that Cassidy set aside $75,000 dollars in a trust to maintain the mausoleum. He also gave very specific instructions, including monthly masses and fresh flowers that would be changed twice a week.For nearly 50 years, Ray Fournier has been caretaker for the Cassidy mausoleum.”John Cassidy the Third was my best friend and hunting partner,” says Fournier. “And he made me promise that I’d, if I outlived him, I would still take care of the mausoleum.”John Cassidy the Third is buried here, along with 10 other Cassidy descendants. The 12th catacomb, as its called, is reserved for John’s last living grandchild. The mausoleum took two years to build. The outside is made of granite. Inside, there is floor to ceiling white marble, an alter and pews, a private changing room for priests and at one time, electrically wired in heating. “Oh yes, I used to come up in the winter on snow shoes to make sure that the heat was on,” says Fournier. “So I was glad when they stopped heating it (laughs).”Turns out heating the mausoleum was doing more harm than good, causing cracks in the marble. John Cassidy the Fourth admits he didn’t know most of his relatives that are in here, but says he, and his son, John Cassidy the Fifth, are proud to carry on the family name.”I’ve never experienced this outside of my family, so it’s a little awe inspiring,” says Cassidy.