Lady Knox DAR dedicates new grave stones at Tolman Cemetery

Fri, 11/20/2020 - 9:00pm

ROCKLAND — Lady Knox Chapter, NSDAR dedicated three new grave stones at Tolman Cemetery, in Rockland, in honor of Veterans Day. The new stones were laid in October as part of an ongoing project at Tolman.

The project began while Suzanne Shaub, formerly of Union, served as Lady Knox Chapter Regent. Shaub, along with veteran and Rockport resident Carl Mahoney actively promoted community education and awareness about the veterans and patriots of the American Revolution and War of 1812, buried at Tolman and sought community financial support for a new monument at Tolman. The project continued under Chapter Regent (2016-2019), Mary Kay Felton, who secured additional grant monies and got approval for a new monument and a bronze plaque honoring three additional patriots whose burials were not included on the original monument placed at Tolman in 1947. Felton also got approval to place a bronze plaque honoring Revolutionary War patriot, Isaiah Tolman.

Although Tolman is buried on Matinicus, it was he who dedicated a portion of his land to serve as the cemetery. The Cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places through the efforts of Shaub, Felton, and Helen Shaw of Rockport.

Shaw also oversaw the restoration of headstones at Tolman along with the professional services of Gravestone Matters and countless volunteer hours by members of the DAR, MOCA (Maine Old Cemetery Association) and the Rockland Cemetery Association. Brooks Monuments manufactured and set the new monument.

At the time of the dedication, there were two veterans and one patriot (provided civil service in support of the cause of the American Revolution) whose headstones were missing or damaged beyond repair. Joanne Richards, the current Regent of Lady Knox DAR, secured approval for two veteran administration headstones, with the assistance of Helen Shaw. Those headstones, one for Constant Rankin and the other for James Douglas, were placed in October and dedicated this month.

Because Oliver Robbins, Sr. was a patriot (civil servant) of the American Revolution, not a soldier, his marker did not come from the VA. Instead, the chapter arranged a new headstone, made from portions of the original granite marker that was removed from Tolman when the new monument was placed. Washington, Maine stoneworker, Jesse Casas, made the Robbins headstone. Bob Williams of Brooks Monuments, his nephew Greshom Williams, Jesse Casas, Norm Casas, Ian Casas, and members of the Rockland Cemetery Association set all three new headstones at Tolman.

The ongoing Tolman Project continues as Lady Knox chapter members are actively researching and assembling genealogical data on the veterans and patriots buried at Tolman. The research is part of a book being compiled by Joanne Richards as her Chapter Regent’s project.

Richards’ term of office goes to July, 2022. Richards intends to have the book published in time to distribute it to area historical societies and libraries before the end of her term, according to Lady Knox, in a news release.

For more information, contact Lady Knox Chapter DAR at For additional photos of the project, visit their website at