Montville is home to several large and historical cemeteries, some of which are showing signs of age.

Seven are officially overseen by the town, according to Hannah Hatfield, town clerk and Cemetery Committee president, and "more than that are privately owned."

But one thing is certain, she said, "they all have damage and have stones that need attention."

Recently Maritimes & Northeast Operating Co. — a branch of Enbridge Inc., a Canadian corporation which operates the natural gas pipeline that runs through Waldo County — decided to lend Montville Cemetery Committee a hand.

Each year the company holds a volunteer day in one of the towns through which the pipeline travels. The initiative is called Helping Hands in Action, and this year Montville was chosen for a day of community service.

"They contacted us and asked if we had any volunteer opportunities," Hatfield said.

On Aug. 16, the M&NOC office in Richmond brought several employees to North Ridge and Mt. Repose cemeteries in Montville to help clean and restore toppled headstones.

Along with several Montville Cemetery Committee members, the group tackled six fallen headstones at the two cemeteries. The stones were properly set and seven more stones were started for the Cemetery Committee to complete in coming months.

Volunteers also made and installed a new door for the vault at Mt. Repose Cemetery.

"It is fascinating  because the stones are all put together differently," Hatfield said. "You don't know what goes where until you start to work on them. Each one has a history."

Enbridge also awarded Montville a $1,000 grant. The funds were used to purchase a cleaning agent which safely aids in washing the stones without damaging the surface, M&NOC Volunteer Coordinator Phyllis Tenney said.

Area Manager Chris Drummey said, "For the past few years, local employees have assisted with three separate projects within the M&NOC operating area (south, central and north). In addition to Montville in the central area, we have completed HHIA projects in several towns, including Lisbon, Pittston, Sabattus, Searsmont and Somerville.

"The scope of work for each volunteer project varies from landscaping and painting to building/repairing infrastructure and trail clearing," Drummey said.

In an email to The Republican Journal, Tenney said, "I’m really glad that they are working at saving the history of the town, one stone at a time. Once they are gone and reclaimed by the earth, that piece of the puzzle is gone."

Hatfield said, "Working with the pipeline volunteers was such a win-win for for us. The program that Enbridge and Maritimes Northeast have for encouraging community service was a nice way for us to get to know more about the pipeline that runs through our town. And it introduced us to some of the great folks who maintain it.

"The historic preservation that we have been doing over the last three years with the cemeteries is such rewarding work," she added. "With three or four work days per year, we have straightened and repaired dozens of monuments in our historic cemeteries."