Buck's Tombstone


Bucksport, Maine

In a cemetery on Bucksport's main thoroughfare, clearly visible just inside a wrought-iron fence, is the gray tombstone of Col. Jonathan Buck. Appearing on one side of the tomb is the dark image of a woman's stocking foot, a reminder of an 18th-century curse. During the Salem witch trials, all New England was caught up in the fever to exterminate witches. Colonel Buck, an influential resident and a member of the family from which the town took its name, decided that Bucksport should purge itself of witches also. He found a perfect candidate in an old, feeble woman, whom he had tried, convicted, and executed. With her last breath, she cursed the colonel and declared that when he died his tomb would bear the print of her foot as evidence that he had murdered an innocent woman. Colonel Buck, not one to tempt fate, cautioned his heirs to choose a tombstone unblemished in any way. Soon after his death, however, the shape of a woman's foot gradually began to appear on the marker. Dutiful heirs made many efforts to have it removed, but to no avail. Finally they replaced the stone with a new one. Within a few months, another footprint appeared, it could not be removed. When a third stone was put in place and yet another footprint appeared, the heirs gave up. Today the third stone and footprint remain for all the world to see.

Bucksport is located on State Route 15 and US 1, directly south of Bangor.