STOCKTON SPRINGS, Maine (WABI) Charlie Smith has a long lineage in Stockton Springs.
"The roots are deep, they're wide, but they're all right here. And I'm lucky that way," says Smith.
As Vice President of the Historical Society, he enjoys the obligation he feels he has to preserve the history of those who have lived there.
"I just never stop until I'm satisfied that I'll never find it," says Smith.
He isn't kidding. This isn't the first time he has been involved in unearthing a grave.
"If this stone is down, it's been a long time," he says.
It makes sense, but it's a sad reality.,stones can fall and break and get lost, usually thanks to Mother Nature.
"You'll see stones laying on the ground and after a time, you'll see them getting grown over," he says.
Charlie suspects under the thorns of the rose bush that wasn't supposed to be growing there, he will find something.
"There's little question, in my mind, this is her burial spot. The only question I have is, did she have a stone? We have found something," says Charlie.
It's a triumphant moment for Charlie.
"When I look at the ones I do find locally, I feel their stones should be repaired because they're veterans. They carried the burden of war, every one of them," says Smith.
But this is only one puzzle he's been piecing together.
"I'm doing a project now where I took my grandmother's history book and alphabetized the 105 names in there of men that went off to the Civil War," he says.
He found a list of army and navy volunteers from Stockton Springs.
"But as I dug into to it, my 105 names has grown to 120 and my goal was simple. Find out where they're buried. And it hasn't been simple at all," says Smith.
He's found about half of them.
"The last two were in Snug Harbor, Staten Island and Michigan," he says.
Charlie says he can track his own family members from Stockton Springs back about six generations, with many being veterans going back to the Revolutionary War. This could be the root of his love for history and respect for other veterans.
"I played bugle and buried the ones coming back from the war. I never saw the war theater. Everyone of them saw it. Everyone of them was at the front at one time or another. So their stones deserve to be preserved and upright and readable," he says.
It really isn't surprising he has as much respect, if not more, for the lesser ranked fallen veterans and their families, like Jacobs and the appreciation he thinks he would have for restoring his wife's headstone.
"The guys with the supplies, without them, nothing works. He played an important role. I got to imagine that he'd appreciate it," he says.