BELFAST — Belfast Cemetery trustees, the city’s Cemetery Department, and the Belfast Maine Historical Society will recognize a local Boston Tea Party participant in a ceremony Wednesday, Oct. 5, in Grove Cemetery.

A commemorative plaque will be placed on the gravestone of Belfast resident John Cochran as part of a movement sponsored by the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, a group dedicated to recognizing all members of the Dec. 16, 1773, protest event by the time of its 250th anniversary in one year.

The event will be open to the public, and residents and members of community organizations are invited to attend and perhaps say a few words, according to a press release from the Historical Society.

“We believe that the Boston Tea Party is the single most important event leading up to the American Revolution,” said Even O’Brien, creative manager of the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. “Its principles and values speak through the generations, and ideas of protesting against injustice and tyranny are things we all can relate to, even just shy of 250 years later.”

Since 2019, a total of 87 commemorative markers have been placed at graves of known Boston Tea Party participants buried within some of the state’s oldest burying grounds. In the months leading up to the 250th anniversary of the event, which will take place on Dec. 16, 2023, the group plans to place additional markers at the graves of all 125 known participants buried throughout New England and the U.S. For more information, visit bostonteapartyships.com.

What is known about John Cochran:

Cochran was born in 1749 in East Boston, then called Noddle’s Island. He came to Belfast among the first settlers in May 1770. Known as “Boston John,” he was a learned man, and many children came to his house for lessons.

He was already settled in Belfast in 1770 when he responded to the call to arms. In the early years of the American Revolution, he and other settlers of Belfast, refusing to take the oath of allegiance to England, were obliged to abandon their homes and return to Massachusetts and New Hampshire, where they remained until the war was over.

Besides taking part in the Boston Tea Party, Cochran also fought in the war at the Battle of Bunker Hill, receiving an honorable discharge at its close.

He was the last survivor of the 32 “Original Proprietors” of Belfast, meaning the first to have land deeded to them. The local Daughters of the American Revolution organization was first named in honor of John Cochran and they were responsible for placing his grave marker in Grove Cemetery.

He lived out his later years with a son on what is now called Crocker Road, near its intersection with Marsh Road. That road was originally called Cochran Road.

Cochran died Nov. 30, 1839, at the age of 90. His inscription reads: “He was one of the memorable Tea Party at Boston, Dec. 16,1773.”

For updates on plans for the Oct. 5 ceremony, contact Megan Pinette at info@belfastmuseum.org.