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History

 

1830 is the reported date inscribed on the corner stone of the Winter Street building {white building in photo on right} which housed "Burpee Undertakers", the original location of the business founded by Nathaniel A. and Samuel H. Burpee.


The Burpee brothers originally operated a livery / blacksmith business, and having the carriages in which to transport larger items, often assisted families transporting the casketed remains of their deceased loved ones to the cemetery.

Early funeral records show this business evolved to include washing, dressing and laying out (or casketing) which took place in the family home. Often the deceased individual was first placed on a draped Gleason Board, while the casket was constructed, lined and made ready.

Eventually, Burpees provided chairs for guests in the bereaved home, horse-drawn hearse for transfer to the cemetery and hacks in which the family and clergy rode.

In 1872, Edgar A. Burpee, Nathaniel's son, joined the funeral business and was soon appointed President of Rockland's first funeral establishment. He continued operation of the funeral and furniture business until selling to R.M. Leach, May 25, 1919. Mr. Burpee died just seven days later, June 1, 1919.

The first paragraph of his obituary published in the June 3rd, 1919 edition of the Courier-Gazette, aptly indicates the high esteem in which Mr. Burpee was held.

Mr. Alden Ulmer, who began training as an undertaker with Edgar Burpee in 1897, continued with the Burpee business after the sale in 1919. John O. Stevens
served as
manager of the combined Burpee businesses until 1935, at which time the funeral business was separated from the furniture business, under the new ownership of Stafford Congdon.

In 1938, the funeral business moved from its original Winter Street location, to a newly renovated facility at 110 Limerock Street. Mr. Ulmer continued in his association with the business and Mr. Arthur Andrews took up residence in the funeral home.

Barrett M. Jordan, whose boyhood home had been across the street from the Burpee Funeral Home, purchased the business in 1954. As was the custom of the day, he operated the funeral business as well as providing ambulance service to Rockland families until 1981.

In February of 1983, Walker C. Hutchins and Scott E. Kinne, both licensed funeral directors, formed a partnership and purchased the Burpee Funeral Home. The name of the business was changed to Burpee-Strong Funeral Home. This was done in an effort to not only maintain ties with the past, but to also show a forward progression through association with the Strong Funeral Home of Damariscotta.

With Mr. Hutchins as resident funeral director/manager and after extensive renovation, the business was officially re-opened in a dedication ceremony / open house, held Sunday, June 19, 1983. Over the next several years, due to the service provided by the entire Burpee-Strong staff, that business grew, earning a reputation for providing personal attention to detail while giving families unique and creative options.

On January 20th, 1998, Mr. Hutchins became sole owner of the business. In the spring of that year, another renovation/expansion began at the Limerock Street location. This provided additional parking, handicap accessibility, bathrooms, an additional family room with kitchenette for refreshments, new operating room and garage.

Mr. Hutchins began negotiations in late summer of 1999, for the purchase of Carpenter Funeral Home, which had been owned and operated by Melvin E. Carpenter at 306 Broadway, Rockland, since 1970. At the time of Mr. Carpenter's death in 1996, that business had been sold to a Texas based conglomerate. December 27, 2000, Mr. Hutchins purchased the Carpenter Funeral Home, returning that business to local, family-operated ownership. The operations of Burpee-Strong and Carpenter Funeral Homes, were merged at the 110 Limerock Street location, under the new name of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home. The business has continued in a forward motion, serving more area families each year. Proud to have continued the same caring service begun by Nathaniel and Samuel Burpee, continued by those professionals named in this brief history; Walker Hutchins with his daughter J'Anna Hedrich and the staff family at Burpee, Carpenter and Hutchins Funeral Home, stand ready to serve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

 

110 Limerock Street | Rockland, ME 04841
Phone: (207) 594-4212
(800) 590-4212 | Fax: (207) 596-0755 | Email: wecare@bchfh.com

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110 Limerock Street | Rockland, ME 04841 | Phone: (207) 594-4212 | Fax: (207) 596-0755 | Email: wecare@bchfh.com