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Belfast stonecutters create Barnes headstone

Jun 03, 2018
Courtesy of: Douglas Coffin Kate Barnes’ headstone is of black slate from Monson; and her mother’s headstone, to the right, is of green slate. Both were carved by Coffin & Daughter Lettercutters of Belfast. The grave of Barnes’ father, Henry Beston, is marked by the large boulder with a bronze plaque in back. All are at the historic Chimney Farm in Nobleboro.

Maine’s first Poet Laureate, Kate Barnes, spent the last 30 years of her life in Appleton. She died in 2013 and was buried in the family graveyard at Chimney Farm in Nobleboro. Five years later, her grave has a proper headstone.

The headstone came about through the efforts of Gary Lawless and Beth Leonard of Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, who live at Chimney Farm — where Barnes spent childhood summers with her literary parents, Henry Beston and Elizabeth Coatsworth.

Barnes’ stone was cut by master stonecutter Douglas Coffin of Coffin & Daughter Lettercutters in Belfast; his daughter and business partner Sigrid Coffin carved the image of a spirited horse on the stone, taken from one of Barnes’ drawings.

Douglas Coffin, who also made writer E.B. White’s and composer Randall Thompson’s memorials, also designed Elizabeth Coatsworth's stone, which was carved by Sigrid Coffin. For more information, visit the Belfast business’ website,

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