Veterans Day Edition – Thank You for Your Service!

There is a monument at the Cape Porpoise Pier honoring soldiers and sailors who served in the American Revolution and a plaque in Cape Porpoise Square honoring veterans of WWII, Korean, and Vietnam conflicts. WWI Veterans were honored upon their return to Kennebunkport in 1919. An all-encompassing Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Eagle perches proud in the center of Dock Square. I’ve always wondered why Kennebunkport does not have a monument specifically honoring veterans of the Civil War.

Imagine my surprise to learn that there once was a bronze tablet honoring Civil War Veterans on Stone Haven Hill that has since been lost and forgotten. The Civil War marker was first unveiled in 1913. Stone Haven owner, Justin M. Leavitt, a member of Co I, 1st Maine Heavy Artillery and honorary member of Co. I, 1st Maine Cavalry Association, had charge of securing a finely lettered bronze tablet to embed in a boulder that stood on his property facing the road to Bickford Island. Company I Cavalry Association reunited around the monument with pomp and circumstance every fall. There were usually newspaper reporters there to cover the ceremonies. On September 8, 1915, a newspaper photographer was sent to capture an image of the reunion. Justin Leavitt appears at far right in the photograph now owned by the Kennebunkport Historical Society.

Civil War vet reunions continued at Stone Haven Hill until WWI paused the annual ceremonies. The reunions resumed after WWI and continued through the 1920s until Justin Leavitt got sick. Meanwhile, one by one the other aging members passed away. Stone Haven House burned on Aril 27, 1931. It had not been operated as a hotel for several years. Justin Leavitt passed away in the hospital after a long illness 3 days after Stone Haven burned.

I was talking to the current owners of the property last Spring. They showed me a boulder upon which a rectangle had been carved. The bronze plaque is now long gone but one can clearly see where it was once affixed. They were interested to learn about the reunions and wondered where the bronze plaque went. Do you know where it ended up? The Perry family and the Kennebunkport Historical Society would dearly love to see the monument replaced.

Cape Porpoise Harbor from Stone Haven Hill in the 1890s. Notice the boulder at center foreground. That was where the bronze tablet honoring members of Co I 1st Maine Calvary was later affixed.

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