A Strange Burial.

This is not about a relative of mine but it is a fascinating story and gives one a glimpse into life in Downeast Maine in the 1870s. Captain Tristram Thirlow Corbett from Cutler had taken a load of local goods to the West Indies on the Lena Thurlow. There he loaded rum, sugar, and other products to unload at points along the New England coast. But, Captain Corbett’s wife died in 1873 at Aransas, Cuba.


Published in the Machias Valley News Observer. November 15, 2017. Compiled and edited by Valdine C Atwood. Published in a little booklet entitled “A Brief History of Cutler and Some Interesting Incidents” written in 1976 by the late Jasper Cates and Arlene Dennison.


6 thoughts on “A Strange Burial.”

    1. Yes, it is an interesting tale. And, a love story of a ship’s captain and his young wife who accompanied him to the West Indies. The story takes one back in time to glimpse lives on the seacoast of Maine and the reality of those families that took to the sea for the livelihoods. I was told that this was not uncommon when a loved one died at sea. If the rum supply was low, vinegar was used to take the body home. These were brave, strong people!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Found this old post, what a story! He lost his beloved wife, but didn’t have time to grieve with all the responsibilities he had. He kept her body in the most unusual way, and brought her home. Normally it would be a burial at sea.


    1. It IS a strange story. He lost his beloved in a foreign land and was determined to bring her home for burial. I expect that he was not all that different from residents of this area now (aside from the methods!). Families insist on burial in a family plot – so their loved ones will never be forgotten and there is a historical record. Cemeteries are great genealogy tools to find and name our ancestors.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, cemeteries are great places to track the names. However, I know that in Ireland a burial at sea is legal. There are some conditions, of course, but people can be buried at sea if they wish so.

        Liked by 1 person

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