The “Pitcherman” Haunting of Goose River Bridge

Introduction

The town used to be called “Goose River Village” way back during colonial times.  And when America declared Independence no one was happier about it than the guy who’s said to haunt this bridge.

The Story

The haunting of the Goose River Bridge isn’t a scary one.  In fact, it’s haunted by a pretty happy guy who only wants to offer people who pass by, a pitcher of beer.

The man’s name is William Richardson, and he was about as Patriotic as they come.

During the days of the Revolutionary War, which lasted around 7 years, the British used to anchor off the coast of Goose River, what we now know as Rockport, and they’d plunder the entire area for anything they could get their hands on that could help them defeat the revolting colonists. Locals who weren’t at war were generally women, children, and the elderly, so they had to be resourceful with their efforts to keep the British in check.

On one particular day an American Privateer named Sam Tucker had managed to secure a British ship containing a huge load of precious tea.  With a British Military ship in hot pursuit he came upon a tiny fishing boat captained by William Richardson.  Richardson led Tucker into a narrow channel at Goose River to hide out until his pursuers left the area.  But the British wouldn’t relent.

Tucker began to panic but Richardson told him to chill out, relax, wait until the next storm rolls in. Sure enough, just like any Mainer would expect, the weather shifted and a storm rolled in.  It got foggy and allowed Richardson to lead Tucker out of the area without being detected by the British warship.  By the time the fog cleared Tucker was well on his way to Boston with the load of tea he nabbed from the ship he captured.

William Richardson suddenly became a home town hero.  He was already a staunch patriot, but this act of courage made him a household name in the tiny town of Rockport.

When the war was finally over and the British admitted defeat, Williamson could be seen celebrating throughout the town, holding a pitcher of beer, singing, laughing, and dancing. When he came up onto the Goose River Bridge he saw 3 men heading his way.  Continuing on with his celebrating he approached the men to share the good news and one of them hit him in the head with the butt of their rifle, and left him to die there as they walked off. Since then there have been a lot of changes. The town was renamed to Rockport and the Goose River Bridge was replaced … but one thing remains the same…

William Richardson has never left.

He’s been seen by many people over the course of the years, right here in the general area of the Goose River Bridge; many times on the old bridge, itself and now that there’s a new bridge in its place, some say he’s taken a liking to it. He shows up with a pitcher of ale in hand and he’s very eager to share. He’s been known to appear at a distance, but disappear when approached. And he’s been known to peer into car windows of those enjoying the solitude of, what the townspeople call, “Passion Pit” – which is just below “Lovers Lane” here near the bridge.

Getting There

The Goose River Bridge is located on Pascals Avenue not far from Route 1.  The original bridge was destroyed back in 1946 when a tractor trailer truck slammed into it, and the whole thing, including the truck, crashed into the river below. It was initially rebuilt as a wooden structure but then rebuilt again into this steel structure we see today.

Directions: The Gooseport Bridge is located off of route 1 in Rockport, in Knox County. From US Route 1 in Rockport: At the juncture of US 1 and ME 90, turn east onto West Street. Turn left on Pascals Avenue and you will come to the Goose River Bridge (which will take you to Main Street).

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Sarah Ware and the Haunting of Silver Lake

Introduction Over 100 years ago a murder took place here that was so brutal its victim has never been able to rest.  Today we tell you the story of Sarah Ware and the haunting on the shores of Silver Lake.

The Story On the night September 17, 1898 Sarah Ware was making her way home by foot through the fields and streets of the tiny town of Bucksport when tragedy struck and she was never seen alive again. 2 weeks later she was found in an open field. She had been so beaten and brutalized her head fell off her body when it was picked up to be put into a wagon to be transported into town.

Although there were suspicions that one of the local men in town was a prime candidate for Sarah’s murder, the case against him took so much time to bring to trial that key evidence was lost and witnesses recanted their stories against him.  The case against him was dropped and Sarah’s murder was never solved.

Who was Sarah Ware? Sarah was a 59 year old divorcee in 1898, a time when failed marriages were blamed entirely on the wife. She had grown children who had married and moved away, an ex-husband and his extended family – all who still lived in the same town as her, and no family support structure to help her through the hard times of being a single, financially destitute, woman with no established means to support herself.

Life was very hard for a single woman with limited means. Sarah depended on her neighbors in a tiny town where everyone knew each other, during a time when being associated with someone who was divorced wasn’t exactly great for their social reputation.

Sarah moved to Maine from Nova Scotia and her ex-husband’s family was actually from the town of Bucksport, and highly regarded within the community.  So even though she had lived there a number of years, raising their children, reestablishing herself as a single woman was doing so among her husband’s peers, more than her own.

That said, Sarah made her way as best she could.  She took odd jobs cleaning people’s houses and providing childcare services to whoever would hire her.

Mysteries of the Murder Who killed Sarah Ware? That’s what everyone wants to know.  Who killed this woman and why?

If you read write-ups in blog entries or websites that tell her story, you’ll likely read that Sarah was a “woman of the night” or a “prostitute” but in historical documentation this isn’t supported all that strongly – or at all, for that matter. In highly researched documentation you’ll find that Sarah was a hard working woman who was prone to getting taken advantage of financially, and being stiffed for the jobs she’d done for people in town – mostly men.

On the night of her murder it was thought she was out and about collecting payment for the work she’d done in the previous week, and she’d arrived at one particular residence where she encountered trouble. This was the Treworgy residence.  It was the home of a divorced father whose ex-wife left him and left their 2 young girls behind for him to raise.  Sarah had worked here, at length, before quitting for not being paid, and some say, because the man of the house kept hitting on her and she wasn’t interested.

William Treworgy was known to be a guy with a really short fuse, a hot temper, and he would have been the last stop on Sarah’s way home.  He also became “Suspect Number 1” when a bloody hammer with his initials were found with a bloody tarp, and witnesses came forward and told police he paid them to move Sarah’s body.

The Haunting of Silver Lake So why would Silver Lake be haunted?

One of the more obvious reasons this lake might be haunted is because it’s man-made and was put into place after a cemetery had already been established on the land that’s now covered with water.  The graves were supposed to have been removed and reburied up on a hill overlooking this lake in the 1930’s, but there’s been this undying rumor that all the grave markers were moved, but not necessarily all of the bodies.

That said, more to the point of this blog entry; Sarah Ware’s murdered body was found not too far from the water’s edge, and you can walk a trail from Silver Lake that leads you closer to the exact location. But more importantly, her headless body was originally buried in a pauper’s grave at Silver Lake.

The story is that her body was moved along with all the others, and placed in Oak Hill Cemetery in town, to rest for eternity behind the graves of her mother-in-law and father-in-law in her ex-husband’s family plot, along with their daughter.  But not everyone is convinced this actually happened, since her original place of burial was less prominent than those with headstones and clearly visible grave markers. There have been many witnesses who have come forward over the years who have stated they’ve seen her wandering the edge of the lake, or simply gazing out over it, still waiting for her killer to be brought to justice.

Conclusion Sarah Ware’s murder has been officially, and legally, considered unsolved, but the facts of the case still stand:

William Treworgy was the prime suspect because;

He knew Sarah Ware very well, given that she worked as a sort of live-in nanny for his children for an extended period of time, and they didn’t part ways on particularly amicable terms.

After her body was discovered, a bloody tarp was found next to a bloody hammer with his initials carved into it.  And since Sarah’s head was clearly struck repeatedly with a blunt object, the hammer became a primary piece of evidence.

Witnesses came forward and told the police that he paid them to help him move Sarah’s body

By the time the case against him went to trial – years later – the sheriff and undertaker had already died, and a bunch of witnesses had either moved or had died.

A couple of those key witnesses were even thought to have been murdered before the trial.  One was actually beaten to death.

Sarah’s head was of the utmost importance to the case so it was kept as evidence in a lock box and basically forgotten about for the next 80 years.  Someone came across it in evidence lock-up and the discovery caused quite a stir amongst the present day population. It was finally allowed to be reunited with her body in her final resting place.  The trouble is, Sarah’s head is thought to have been buried in the wrong location – a original place her body was buried – in a pauper’s grave.  But, it’s thought her body was moved to another location within that same cemetery and her head was actually buried in a family plot in a completely different cemetery.

It’s no wonder why Sarah Ware might not be at rest, and why she could be haunting the edge of Silver Lake.

If you’d like to visit Silver Lake to try and catch of glimpse of Sarah for yourself, THIS IS HOW YOU GET THERE:

Put 362 Central Street – Bucksport, Maine into your GPS.

The road to Silver Lake Trails can be found just before this building.

DIRECTIONS

From Main Street in Bucksport, turn onto Central Street (beside MacLeod’s Restaurant and across from Fort Knox Park Inn). Follow Central Street approximately 1.8 miles and turn left into the parking area of Bucksport Public Works (362 Central Street). Follow signs for Silver Lake Trails to the left of the blue buildings and down a dirt drive to the parking area for the trail network. A kiosk with a trail map marks the trailhead.

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