I am blow away, 21 followers! Now I do look at the stats but this is more fun to see your lovely faces, fancy pictures and more. Welcome to you all!!!! Let’s talk about cemeteries!
I have always loved going to a cemetery and searching for ancestors whether my own or someone elses. I started a blog: BJM’s Cemetery Discoveries because I was feeling guilty about hoarding these photographs that I had taken over the years of cemeteries for myself and others. Now I could have uploaded to a variety of sites like Tombstone, Internment, Find A Grave but I got intimidated by the rules!!! Hmmm…maybe it was just laziness on my part…HA!
However, this trip to Massachusetts and Connecticut has made it a confirmed fact! I am now over the edge and obsessed!
Most of the cemeteries I have visited have been in very good shape. However, I ran into some sad situations in Massachusetts and Connecticut. My friend Rose Miller from the Granville Public Library History Room said that there is no money for cemeteries.
I have learned that the cemetery association jobs are part time and if there is snow on the ground the work stops till it melts. The cemetery association shuts down during the winter and the workers are laid off till the thaw. So this means that some cemetery offices, associations do care and others need help from the community. This information came from the Evergreen Cemetery Office in NH.
The man who is in charge, called me a few days after I had returned from my trip. I had called a good month before my trip but it took him that long to get back to me. He said he was trying to catch up. He was very helpful as we talked. He was very concerned. He looked up other names for me and didn’t find the ones I was interested in. So that helps. So be patient! Call even farther in advance. The individuals who do these cemetery jobs that I personally met or chatted with were in my opinion very dedicated and interested in taking care of the cemeteries.
My observation is that once a stone breaks or topples over and is on the ground the process of disappearing begins as the leaves, debree and grass start to take over and bury it. I tried prying some up in this condition but there is no way I could budge them without digging them up. So that means a very labor intensive effort. They are also heavy like the one stone in the Peru Center Cemetery. It was so wedged into the ground and heavy, it would have taken a shovel and digging to dislodge it.
|Face down so you cannot read them, fast disappearing|
When traveling how do you carry tools. Well you don’t airline security will take them away. I do put clippers into my checked bags and they leave them alone. So this means you have to buy them when you get there and leave them behind?
|Wedged at the pins here and pushed up against the base!|
|The head is at least an inch or more into the grass!|
The above stone was so heavy the potential for injury to myself was great. So I backed off. This is going to take several strong people to dislodge and move. The face is down so you can’t read it!!
On this trip to Massachusetts and Connecticut I had decided that if I stumbled on or came upon a cemetery I would try to stop and take a few photos of it and give an idea where it was located and how big it was. Now some cemeteries show up on maps but not all of them like Map Quest, Yahoo or Google. Even Google Earth doesn’t have them all.
So I called these Quick Stops in Cemeteries and I made up a short form to fill out to keep track. I also made up a list so I could check it off. See an example below. Here is the list:
4. Defunct Elm Street Cemetery in Springfield – moved to Springfield Cemetery 1848, MA
This list above changed a lot during the trip because of time mostly.
The most important focus was to document the really critical cemeteries that I wanted to visit and so I made up a bigger two page form and attached print outs from Find A Grave or other sites that I found a list of burials targeting the ancestors I was most interested in. No, I didn’t fill out the whole form as I had intended but I did get quite a bit of information as to the name, when I photographed, how big it was, location, parking options, published lists of the burials and where to go for those. Again, see below for an example.
Here is one of those cemeteries that I did mention but didn’t add photos to the post. This is the Walnut Grove Cemetery in North Brookfield:
|Walnut Grove, North Brookfield, MA|
|Impressive Monument in Walnut Grove!|
|Well cared for – Walnut Grove.|
Here is the list of those cemeteries I seriously visited, photographed and maybe a video was done!