In Sight

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For many people, an abandoned cemetery is the place to spend Halloween night.

But not for Daniel Poulin, a Boy Scout in New Auburn’s Troop 153.

Poulin, 15, of Auburn sees it as nothing but a step closer to attaining his rank of Eagle Scout.

He originally didn’t know what he wanted to do for his required scout service project. Then one day he was out with his grandparents and they drove past a cemetery on Turner Street in Auburn.

His grandmother, Edith Lemieux, mentioned half seriously that the cemetery could make a great project. She really didn’t think he was listening.

But before she knew it, he was talking to his dad and the project was born.

Poulin hopes to have Briggs Cemetery, so-called because of the dozens of Briggs buried there, cleaned up by May.

That means bags of leaves to remove, brush to cut back, stones to repair and countless loads of loam from the city to fill in the rough terrain where the wooden vaults from the 1700s and 1800s have rotted away and caved in.

“I’m glad that it’s being cleaned up, but I’m disappointed that nothing has been done before this,” said Poulin on a recent cool day as he worked, cutting back brush and raking leaves with a handful of volunteers from his troop.

The family was unable to find out much about the burial place, other than that the city took it over 30 years ago and has been mowing the grass since.

They know only what they can glean from the gravestones. They have a suspicion that there are a number of veterans in the cemetery, but they can’t confirm it without records.

Whatever the mysteries, Poulin will have the cemetery spruced up by spring and he will be that much closer to his goal.

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