The Rev. Thomas Roby, as portrayed by Derek Dorr, was installed as pastor of the original Otisfield Meetinghouse in 1797. He was dismissed six years later for his “objectionable behavior.” Submitted photo

The Otisfield Historical Society plans to sponsor a guided tour of Bell Hill Cemetery, the town’s oldest cemetery, at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1.

The cemetery is located on Bell Hill Road, located opposite the Bell Hill Meetinghouse.

The program will begin with a history of the original meetinghouse, built in 1797. Because of its dilapidated condition it was abandoned and replaced with the present-day meetinghouse, completed in 1839, according to a news release from the society.

During the program, attendees will meet the Rev. Thomas Roby (portrayed by Derek Dorr), who was installed as the Meetinghouse’s pastor in 1797 and dismissed six years later for his “objectionable behavior.”

They also will meet George Peirce (portrayed by Jean Hankins), Otisfield’s first settler, who in 1775 arrived in the wilderness that became Otisfield, and Julia Ann Patch (portrayed by Maureen Mooney-Howard), granddaughter of Benjamin Patch, the town’s second settler.

A copy of Julia Ann’s 1824 sampler will be on display.


The program will highlight three additional families influential in shaping the beginnings of Otisfield. The Knight family members were the hard-working masons, carpenters, and blacksmiths.

David Ray, arriving in 1779, was active for 25 years in town governance and built his home, grist mill and saw mill on what is now the Rayville Road.

Nathan Nutting Jr., whose family first arrived in 1796, served as architect and master workman of the present day Bell Hill Meetinghouse.

Tours will last about an hour. Tickets are limited, cost $5 per person, and will be collected at the gate. Admission is free for children. To reserve a ticket, email [email protected] or call 207-423-1218.


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