Disposable Camera Tour
The 1863 Beebe Cemetery
Star Island, New Hampshire
Recently cleared of heavy vegetation, this family cemetery honors the remains of three daughter of on Rev. George Beebe, one of the last missionaries to the "shoaler" fishing villiage of Gosport, NH on the Isles of Shoals.
READ: The Tragic Tale of the Beebe Babies
Originally the cemetery was surrounded in an iron raining with an arched opening, seen here likely after the opening the hotel on Star Island in 1873. Note the mother and child in the center. (Photo Courtesy of Peter Randall Publishing, click to see more Gosport pictures.)
This shot shows how thick the undergrowth had become with cedars and lilacs that almost completely obscured the site. Here a connecting piece of the old iron fence is visible. The cemetery is at the far end of the island and the Atlantic Ocean is just over the end of the rocky ledge in the background.
Here the location of the Beebe Cemetery becomes clear. The Tuck Monument and the buildings of Star Island are visible in the background. The John Smith monument, also built during the Civil War by Rev. Beebe is out of frame to the right. (Click to see Smith Monument). Until the later 20th century the island was mostly bare rock as seen in this old postcard.
The moving inscription by Mitty Beebe, aged 7, reads: "I don't want to die, but I'll do just as Jesus wants me to." This obelisk memorialized all three Beebe girls who died of either scarlet fever or diphtheria within a month of each other in May and June 1863.
The headstones of three Beebe children are to the right of the obelisk - Jessie, 2, Minnie, 4, and Mitty, 7. The Beebe family moved from the island in about 1867 to Littleton, NH. Rev. Beebe's four surviving children sold the family land on Star Island to John Poore who bought out all but one native and built a hotel here in 1873. Although the original hotel burned, most of the surviving buildings that make up the current hotel date from this era.
All color photos by J. Dennis Robinson
Copyright © 2000 by SeacoastNH.com
For more on the story read: The Tragedy of the Beebe Babies.