Village Cemetery Archway

PROJECT COMPLETED OCTOBER 2021 with a dedication of the gateway to the citizens of the Town of Gray and their ancestors who reside here in May 2022.

Gray Village Cemetery’s northeast corner was once graced by a wooden archway flanked by a pair of open walkways. Gray Historical Society volunteers believe the structure was installed in the late 1800s, perhaps with Federal reimbursement funds given to the Town of Gray soon after the Civil War. The entire structure was apparently removed sometime in the early 1900s, though little is known and recorded concerning its eventual demise.

With the help of Gray residents, Gray Cemetery Association and the Gray Historical Society now hope to give a nod to Gray Village history by creating an archway of similar style very near to the original location. Two bits of evidence provide a glimpse of this past structure: a Warren Gilbert sketch of Gray Corner from Greenleaf Street in 1889 and a scale model of Gray Village built by Herb Snyder now on display at the GHS museum. Dick Skilling has designed an arched central gateway flanked by two smaller open walkthroughs for foot traffic. The vision includes long-lasting pressure-treated lumber posts combined with low-maintenance and environmentally sustainable AZEK cladding and elements.

In-kind donations of materials and labor are anticipated from:

· Dick Skillings, Steve Cobb, Galen Morrison [construction labor]

· Bruns Brothers [wrought iron gates]

· Gray Public Works Department [excavation & placement]

Gray Cemetery Association seeks the support of Gray residents for the balance of project costs estimated to be about $6,500 including material and signage.

Donations gratefully accepted. Checks may be made payable to:

Gray Cemetery Association
c/o Gray Historical Society
PO Box 544, Gray ME 04039

Archway Model

Dick Skilling created this mock-up of the archway project. Construction will begin with pressure-treated posts, then covered with AZEK exterior trim boards to closely resemble painted wood but with superior longevity.

The area above the center opening would be reserved for "Gray Village Cemetery" signage, while a plaque thanking contributors is planned for the reverse side of the ediface.