Category Archives: Restoration

Teddy’s Story: Decoding the kanji stones

This week’s guest post comes from Kristy Lommen whose website serves as a tribute to the Auburn area’s Japanese communities, both past and present. Over the past year, Ms. Lommen worked with Yoshiko Kato to decode as many of kanji stones as possible before they faded away. Here is one of their discoveries:

Photo courtesy Kristy Lommen

When Yoshiko Kato visited the cemetery to translate the kanji stones, I was particularly excited when she reached the fourth marker in the first row. Although the family surnames had been previously translated from most of the stones, this particular stone was marked on our transcript with only a mysterious, black question mark. We had, at that time, not even the least idea who might be buried in that grave.

Yoshiko kneeled in front of the marker, leaning forward and backward alternately in order to make sense of the nearly illegible marks. She resorted to using a finger to attempt to trace the kanji, gleaning by feel information that proved to be too faint to read by eye.

At this fourth stone she almost immediately announced that “Sato” was the family name, but the given name seemed to puzzle her. She was expecting a traditional Japanese name, but after studying the writing for some time, she reached a different conclusion. “Teddy,” she said, rocking back on her heels. “You know, like a teddy bear? It says Teddy. Teddy Goro.”

Photo courtesy Kristy Lommen

The image that “Teddy” brought to mind was that of a child, perhaps even a baby, who tragically passed away early in life (as was too often the case for the children of Auburn’s Japanese families).

A few steps away from Teddy Goro’s grave was another Sato marker. From this gravestone Yoshiko was able to read “Junko” as the given name and October 9, 1931 as the date of death. Were Junko Sato and Teddy Goro Sato related? On that sunny afternoon when Yoshiko visited the cemetery, there was no way to know.

Photo courtesy Kristy Lommen

Subsequent research eventually answered our questions about the Sato Family. We discovered that Komakichi Sato arrived in the United States in about 1907. He first settled in Tacoma and established himself there as a businessman—he operated a laundry in the city’s downtown district. His early days were otherwise shrouded in mystery.

There is some indication that he may have had a family when he lived in Japan, and that some of his relatives may have come with him to the United States. He was perhaps even widowed by the time he came to Tacoma. Nevertheless, we do know that he married Sayo Naikaido sometime around 1921. Their first child together was a son named Buell Kazuro Sato. Just over a year after Buell’s birth, Sayo gave birth to a second son, Crayton Akira Sato.

Sometime after Crayton’s birth, Komakichi turned the laundry business over to a young relative, Tatsuo Sato. Komakichi and Sayo then moved on, eventually landing in Auburn, Washington, where the family made their living by farming. They can be found there in the 1930 Federal Census with their older boys and two younger children, daughter Lena and son Yoshi. Sayo must have been pregnant at the time the census-taker visited the family. She gave birth to a daughter, Junko, on June 4, 1930.

As we learned at the cemetery, Junko passed away on October 9, 1931. She would have been a 16-month-old toddler. She was probably walking by that age and learning to talk too. She was certainly developing her own personality and learning, as toddlers do, to charm both beloved adults and total strangers. Her loss at such a young, enchanting age must have been a tragic blow to the family. Unfortunately, losing children early in life wasn’t unusual in those years, and, no matter what, life went on for the surviving family.

Two years later Sayo gave birth to another son, James. Daughters Reiko and Mitsuko followed in 1935 and 1936 respectively. Finally, on March 20, 1938 Sayo gave birth to her last child: a little boy named Teddy Goro. This little brother was, tragically, almost exactly the same magic age as Junko had been when he too died of unknown causes and was buried in the Auburn Cemetery.

Like all of Auburn’s Japanese, the surviving Sato Family was sent to internment camps in 1942 after the outbreak of World War II just a few months earlier. The Satos were sent first to California’s Pinedale Assembly Center before being sent on to Tule Lake.

After the war, the family did not return to Washington; perhaps they didn’t have the means to re-establish themselves there. Instead they put down roots in Hayward, California. They were there in the 1950’s when, after more than 40 years in their adopted country, Komakichi and Sayo Sato were finally able to petition for U.S. citizenship.

Komakichi, regrettably, lived only a few years after this momentous event. He died in California in 1958; Sayo passed away there in 1974. Both are buried in Mt. Eden Cemetery in Hayward, California.

Although Junko and Teddy Goro’s family longer live in Washington State, it’s comforting to know that their family, including some of their siblings and many nieces and nephews, continues to live and thrive even today. I’m sure both Junko and Teddy hold special places in their memories.

———-

A sincere thank you to Kristy and Yoshiko for their work in discovering this story behind one of earliest Japanese families in Auburn. For a more general overview, please see a previous Beyond The Ghost article, Auburn Pioneer Cemetery: a tiny cemetery with many stories.

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Filed under Commentary, Restoration, Symbols, Travel

Illegible headstones? There’s an app for that

For those of you heading out on vacation this month, don’t forget that cellphones aren’t just for taking pictures.

Popular consensus seems to be that cell phones are far too prevalent in daily life. Tweeting, texting, music, surfing, games – the list is endless. Some might even say phones have become more toy than tool.

Aside from basic functions and some photo capabilities, it’s certainly not much help in old graveyards, right? Well, if John Bottorff has anything to do about it, cell phones might become a genealogist’s best friend.

Bottorff, the owner of Objecs, LLC, has developed three, cell-phone readable tablets suitable for both the new and old, illegible gravestones. Called the Personal Rosetta Stone, these tablets store selected personal data via RFID technology and are mounted on the gravestone. By touching the stone with an NFC-RFID enabled cell phone, genealogical information is then uploaded to the viewer screen.

What is RFID technology?

According to Technovelgy.com:

“RFID (or Radio-Frequency Identification) refers to a small electronic device consisting of a micro chip (carrying up to 2,000 bytes of data) and an antenna.

The RFID device serves the same purpose as a bar code or a magnetic strip on the back of a credit card or ATM card; it provides a unique identifier for that object. And, just as a bar code or magnetic strip must be scanned to get the information, the RFID device must be scanned to retrieve the identifying information.”

Earlier this week, I caught up with John to find out more.

RFID in tombstones? How did this get started?

Well, like many new business ideas, it branched off from something else. A Portuguese client thought our object hyperlink products might be useful for identifying the crumbling, 600-year old tombstones on his property. Ultimately, he wanted to share this information via cell phone. This was easy enough to do since European mobile devices are automatically configured to access information via hardlinks.

However, it’s a different story here in the U.S.

Why? Are American cell phones different?

American cell phones are typically locked and providers don’t offer NFC-RFID enabling at this time. At least not yet. Eventually, the technology will be incorporated and there are some who do have it now, but these are the geeks who bought the equipment overseas and brought it home. However, our tablets do work with all Internet enabled phones, but only NFC enabled phones can use our wireless touch technology.

Keep in mind, that the information can also be pulled manually.We know a third-party vendor that developed an app for iPhone users – yes, there’s an app for that. But it’s not ours.

When do you see our phones handling this technology?

I anticipate this happening around 2010.

How does the RFID chip get into the tablet/headstone?

There’s a way to embed the electronics but it’s a trade secret on how the stone mason carves it all in. I can’t elaborate any further.

The tablets have some kind of engraved symbols. Can you explain these?

We designed the Rosetta Stone to be an artifact, meaning the customer can choose symbols that best defined a person’s life. For example, we offer the scales of justice describe a judge, a badge to signify a policeman, or a sailboat to describe someone who liked sailing. At this time, we have a library of about 800 symbols, many of them developed through customer feedback.

What’s the most unique symbol?

The jail cell symbol (Check out #70 on the symbols list).

So, the customer picks a tablet, chooses the symbols, and then what?

The tablet and chip tag are then set into the headstone. Later on, a genealogist with an enabled cell phone camera and internet connection, could take a picture of the barcode (in this case, the tablet). This action triggers a link and redirection of the phone’s web browser to the desired URL target and related database information. (Here’s a more detailed explanation)

Your website mentions three types of tablets. What are they?

The three types are Millennium, Century, and Decade.

The Millennium class is the longest wearing because it’s made out of granite and the Century class is made from travertine stone. While the Century type is specifically designed as an indoor family heirloom, it can be used outdoors. The third is the Decade, a metal, polypropelyne (thermoplastic molding) marker. These were what we originally mailed to our Portuguese client.

What unexpected surprises have you encountered?

Actually, it’s the market. We initially approached this product assuming that our customers were the 55- and older, genealogy-oriented market. We’re now finding out that the age bracket is actually lower, ranging from 40-year olds, down to even 20-somethings.

What’s been the reaction from genealogy societies?

There’s been little to no reaction from genealogy societies. This has been surprising considering the amount of data out there that could be put to wider access. Perhaps there is a lack of knowledge about the product or skepticism about whether the particularly small, local info would even be worthwhile entering in this database? I don’t know.

What message are you hoping to send with this product?

It’s important to identify your place in time, regardless of who you are or your life’s story. Future generations are going to want to learn about the past and this is one way of helping them out. Today’s barber might not think his work is important but three generations from now, another barber might disagree.

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Filed under Commentary, Restoration, Symbols

Now this is a properly cleaned headstone.

Hannah and Lyford

Whoever cleaned this headstone knew what he/she was doing. Simply gorgeous.

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Filed under Restoration, What's In a Name?

Cemetery fundraising ideas

Dredging up ideas to raise cash for cemetery repairs and maintenance is an ongoing challenge. Here’s how the Ray Township Historical Society in Michigan is doing it via several fundraisers for Procter Cemetery.

http://www.voicenews.com/articles/2015/04/30/life/doc55426e1b6c37b321696723.txt

 

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Replacing Damaged Civil War Headstones

Allan Day

Note: This is the second half of Tuesday’s post, Tracking Down Civil War Veterans.

Congratulations! You finally figured out the veteran’s name on that severely damaged headstone way over in the far ends of the old cemetery.  Now it’s time to finish the job by replacing the marker. It should be a piece of cake, right? After all, the Veterans’ Administration has that nice web page about how to go about obtaining a replacement stone.

How hard could it be?

Well, if you’re a family member of the deceased (and this includes both immediate and extended), all that’s needed is completion and submission of VA Form 40-1330. As long as the stone is damaged and unreadable, the VA will pretty much warrant its replacement.

The challenge comes when the family is no longer around to submit the replacement application, a situation David Waggoner and his wife, Barbara, know all too well. They’ve been working with Linda Hjelm to re-discover all the Civil War veterans buried in Hillside Cemetery up in Issaquah, Washington.

So far, they’ve found approximately 17 veterans, and David believes there are still several more out there.

However, “If there are no family members in the area, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist,” says David. In cases like this, he recommends checking local historical society records as a way to track them down, noting that this method paid off for 9 of the damaged stones.

Currently, David’s only received one replacement stone (see the photo at the beginning of the article). It’s a small victory, but David’s determined to obtain as many as he can. To that end, there are a few tricks he’s willing to share with those of us who might feel a little overwhelmed at the thought of taking on the VA behemoth.

Tips for completing the VA Form 40-1330

  1. When signing the form, attest that it was completed to the best of your ability.
  2. If no immediate or extended family members are around to submit the application, include a statement to that fact.
  3. Include a photo of the marker that clearly shows the damage and illegibility of the headstone inscription. Keep in mind that the VA does not consider a stone illegible if there is any lichen or moss on it. If this is the case, consider using a good cleaner or two, and move on to the next headstone.
  4. Send in the request, and keep your fingers crossed.

Tricks for adding ‘oomph’ to the request

Want to make a bigger impact? David suggests getting someone who’s directly connected with the VFW, American Legion, or Disabled Servicemen of America, etc., involved in the request because it tells the VA your group is taking the replacement seriously.

“Because I’m associated with a local VFW post and am a veteran service person, this designation’s been very helpful in expediting matters,” he says.

Another suggestion is to add a letter of support from local elected officials. For example, David writes a cover letter from himself (as a VFW member), and obtains a second cover letter from the mayor to attach to the application.

Right away, the VA is put on notice that this request should be taken seriously.

One final trick is to have a local funeral home attest the document and request that the replacement stone be sent there, and not to the researcher’s (or family’s) private residence, for proper storage and preservation until the actual replacement ceremony can occur.

Why?

Because it shows your desire to respect the stone through proper handling versus simply storing it out in the dusty corners of a garage or tool shed.

Appeal the initial rejection

Unfortunately, the VA often rejects the original request.  When this happens, don’t give up. Instead, consider sending an appeal that includes a statement regarding the amount of due diligence completed on the family, and why you had no luck finding them.

Next, get someone who’s connected with the VFW (or who is a local elected official) who can attest to your appeal if you didn’t do this with the first submission.

Ultimately, if you…

  • Do your due diligence,
  • Are persistent,
  • Use the local historical society and mortuary funeral home to find family members,
  • Clearly communicate the purpose of behind the application and why it’s being done, and
  • Don’t take the first rejection as gospel,

…There’s a decent chance of getting a spiffy replacement headstone.

Nevertheless

Still, more times than not, the VA will say no to your request/appeal. What then?

Well, just because you can’t get a new stone doesn’t mean the original can’t look as good as possible. In Hillside’s case, Eagle Scouts come in to clean and straighten stones under the supervision of cemetery restoration experts.

And lest the Girl Scouts feel like they’re missing out on all the fun, David adds that, “We’d also love to work with the Girl Scouts. The research, tracking, maintenance, restoration–it’s a wonderful learning experience.”

Success!

You did it! You successfully negotiated with the VA and now there’s this beautiful replacement headstone just waiting to be set into the ground. So what do you do with the old one?

Destroy it, of course. A good sledgehammer should do the trick nicely. And since many cemetery headstone re-setting projects have teenaged Eagle Scouts helping out, I’m sure they’re more than thrilled about this part of the task.

But I digress.

Burying the old headstone in the veteran’s grave is a big NO. Instead, the VA directs that the original must be completely destroyed, down to the pebble level.  Why? Well, what happens if someone digs up the grave and finds the second stone or if flooding causes the second stone to re-surface?

There’d be a lot of interesting questions swirling around if that happens.

Of course, the best thing about the reduction-to-gravel process is that when it’s complete, you can either toss the remains onto the grave or instead of concrete, use it as fill to help support the new stone when it’s placed.

It’s certainly a nice way of honoring the original stone.

If you do use the gravel, keep in mind that 1/3 of the stone goes into the ground while 2/3 remains above ground. Use a level to keep the stone straight throughout the process of putting into the dirt, pebbles, and water. Tamp it all down, rinse and repeat.

Then take a moment to admire your work.

P.S. #1. Many thanks to David and Linda for taking the time to share their hard-won expertise with the BTG readers. If any one else has some good hints that we missed here, please feel free to share them in the comments section.

P.S. #2. Ever wonder where the veteran headstone marble is quarried? Check out the profile on the Granite Industries of Vermont.

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Tracking Down Civil War Veterans

Hillside cemetery

Now that the snow and ice are finally beating a retreat, it’s time to start thinking about how to handle all those cemetery clean-up chores. Whether it’s hiring a herd of goats to clear out the underbrush, washing the stones clean, or calling in an expert for a day (or two) of hands-on restoration, I think everyone will agree that there’s never a shortage of things that need to be done where historical cemeteries  are concerned.

And if there’s ever been one on-going restoration/genealogical task, it’s the deciphering of all those illegible headstones to discover who’s really hanging out under there.

Several weeks ago, I had the unique opportunity to speak with Linda Hjelm and David Waggoner who are hard at work locating the Civil War veterans buried in the Hillside Cemetery in Issaquah, Washington. Linda figures out the names and hunts down the history while David and his wife Barbara, help with obtaining replacement markers.

Despite the worn out stones, transposed date of birth/death dates, and misspelled names, they’ve tracked down over 17 Civil War veterans at Hillside, and believe there are still more out there. In this post, Linda generously shares with BTG readers some of her hard-won detective wisdom.

Step 1: So who’s on the stone?

This is just common sense, yet before a search can get underway, you have to know who’s out there. Sometimes the headstone’s tipped so badly, the only way to get an idea of the name is to take as many pictures of it from as many angles as possible, and then use the zoom feature (either on the camera or through your computer’s photo program) to figure out the letters.

If the letters prove to be almost illegible, Linda suggests making a rubbing (using tissue paper and some sidewalk chalk) to make the letters ‘pop’ more.

Step 2: Prepping for the Plunge

Here’s Linda’s primary secret to researching that too many people (including yours truly) fail to keep in mind: There is NO replacement for looking at actual records, especially when you’re searching online indexes. Why? Because the quality of an online index is based on someone else’s typing skills.

Specifically, you might have the right person, but whoever entered the information into the index may have transposed death dates with birth dates. Be prepared to step away from the computer, roll up your sleeves, and get your hands dusty.

Step 3: The Deep End of The Pool

Now comes the fun part. You’ve got the veteran’s name and the burial site, so what’s the first step toward finding out more about your man? One or more of these hints should help you strike gold.

  1. Got a nice chunk of information on your veteran? Try using the paid military records search feature on Ancestry.com.
  2. Want to dig a little deeper? Search the 1890 Veterans Census site on Ancestry.com that shows both Union and Confederate soldiers and their widows.
  3. Don’t want to pay the Ancestry.com fee? Complete a family search on the Latter Day Saints (LDS) website. It’s got probably the biggest number of genealogical records out there, and it’s free.  Note: LDS also has family history centers scattered around the world which can come in handy if the information you need is on their microfilm. Right now, they’re in the process of digitizing it all, but if you have to go to the centers, you can rent the film at a low cost for a specific period of time.
  4. Check the May 31 issue or prior, for local Memorial Day newspapers that run the names of all the vets both living and dead. Many times, the papers even run photos of the veterans.
  5. If the Memorial Day papers don’t pan out, make a note of the death date and then pore through the local papers’ obituaries. Linda says she checks each year’s issue to see what came out prior to Memorial Day because many times, the families come back to put flowers on the graves and the newspapers mention those who came to visit.
  6. Check the state census records because some states take a census more than once a decade. Note: Just because a state says they don’t have a particular year’s census doesn’t mean you should stop looking. It just might be mis-filed. Linda remembers discovering an original census in a library.
  7. If the veteran comes from a small town, check with the local historical society. Perhaps there are some old letters or photos that could shed some light on the person and his family.
  8. Finally, if you discover that the veteran was born and raised in a particular town, see if there are any churches that date back to his time. There may be a chance that the vestry has family baptismal, marriage, and/or death records you can search.
  9. Last but not least, Google the name when all else fails. You’ll be surprised what comes up.

So now that we’ve gotten some new hints on how to search out veterans, let’s ask the most interesting question of all. Just what was it that got Linda started down this path in the first place?

The answer: A mystery.

The Hillside Cemetery Board was already researching faded headstones when a member decided to add in the overlooked Civil War veterans. The spark that hooked Linda was the enigmatic Charles Swartwood. “I couldn’t figure him out,” she said. “All the military records I’d seen for that time are on 5×7 cards that are pre-printed and done by hand, except for Charles’, and his records are typed. Perhaps he was a member of what passed for the CIA in those days.”

She’s still determined to find out.

P.S. Don’t’ forget to check back on Thursday when BTG readers can read some of David Waggoner’s tips on how non-families can get a veteran’s replacement headstone from the Veterans’ Administration.  Hint: It’s difficult, but not impossible.

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Just a reminder…

Restoration

Folks, don’t forget to check in this coming week for an interview with an intrepid researcher/restorer that snagged me some great How To tips. In fact, there are so many, I’m splitting it up into two posts. Look for the first one on Tuesday and the second on Thursday.

The first will cover how to research faded or illegible names on headstones. These are hints that are so obvious, all the historians out there will probably say, “well, duh!’ And while the focus is specifically for Civil War veterans, the hints are also helpful for any kind of name search.

The second article offers hints on how to get a replacement veteran’s headstone from the VA when you don’t have the family’s permission. Nope, it’s not always easy, but it’s still do-able.

See you on Tuesday!

 

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No. Just, no.

Duct tape usefulness reason #832

Duct tape usefulness reason #832

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Filed under Damages, Restoration

Broken stones and how to repair them

Broken headstones

Now that spring is finally in the air (multiple friends on the East Coast are now reporting crazed robin behavior), it’s time to begin thinking about possible stone repairs.

But before heading down to Home Depot for some cement mix, consider these factors: Proper and long lasting stone reconstruction of headstones depends a lot on the local climate. Is the environment humid? Pounded by scouring, dry desert winds? Or steadily worn away by damp, incessant drippy rain? Then there is the stone itself. Is it limestone? Sandstone? Granite?

Here are a couple of posts by Jonathan Appell to help you plan out the best way to restore the old stones in your historic cemeteries.

Broken Stones

Stone Infill

Enjoy, and if you want to show off the results of your repairs, shoot me an email with some photos. BTG would be happy to showcase your work.

 

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Countering those funny looks

Use this the next time you run into someone who gives you a funny look when you mention you like cemeteries.

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Restoration: The Voodoo Priestess of New Orleans gets a facelift

Marie Laveaux

Before restoration

Marie Laveau’s crypt, arguably the most visited place in all of New Orleans besides Café du Monde, has received a facelift just in time for Halloween and All Saints Day.

Restoration efforts costing approximately $10,000, have provided a protective fence, fresh plaster, and a new roof. In addition, several rounds of soaping, scrubbing, and rinsing cycles were needed to completely remove both the pink paint that has covered the site since December, 2013 and the years of graffiti X’s marking the spot.

Scribbles_ML

Why all the X’s?

Years ago, a rumor started floating around that if people wanted Laveau to grant them a wish, all they had to do was visit the grave, draw an “X” on the tomb, spin around three times, knock on the tomb, and yell out the wish. If the wish was granted, they had to come back, circle their “X,” and leave an offering.

Now the tomb has been restored to pristine condition and there are security cameras installed around it to ensure it remains that way.

After restoration

After restoration

 

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Filed under Damages, Restoration, Snapshot Stories

Restoration Idea: Goats in the graveyard

Before goats

Photo courtesy of Goat Browsers

A couple of weeks ago, BTG showcased a fun article about a community that decided to use goats for clearing a vegetation-submerged cemetery.

Well, it appears that others are getting keen on these 4-footed weed whackers as the go-to solution that’s both environmentally friendly and economically practical. This week, the Gloucester Historical Commission of Gloucester, Massachusetts, announced that they’re also hiring some goats. The job duties are simple. Eat through the vegetation clogging the edges of the First Parish Burial Ground, one of the oldest Puritan cemeteries in the country.

Considering the costs involved with hiring a landscaping team to bring in the specialized equipment, goats are becoming a terrific clearing option for cash-strapped preservation societies. So I decided to catch up with Al Dilley, the owner of Goat Browsers, in Glasgow, Kentucky, for a little Q&A.

After goats

Photo courtesy of Goat Browsers

Q: Why goats?

A: There are seven good reasons why.

  1. They eat 8-12 hours a day.
  2. They like steep slopes and uneven terrain, areas that are difficult for regular machinery to reach.
  3. They’re browsers and enjoy snacking on such things as poison ivy, honeysuckle, wild rose, blackberry brambles, kudzu, privet, or Chinese wisteria, for starters.
  4. They’re quiet and won’t disturb the neighbors.
  5. They don’t burn fossil fuels, and their only emissions are natural fertilizer.
  6. They’re non-toxic and pose no threat to the local water supply.
  7. They’re fun to watch.

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Cute face. Bad ass vandal.

groundhog

My newsfeed is often littered with various stories about 2-legged, human vandals who think it’s funny to explode bombs or do doughnuts in the cemetery.

Note to the morons doing this: It’s disrespectful, criminal, and definitely not amusing. Any idiot can destroy.

Anyway, then there’s the rare article about a different kind of vandal.

Earlier this month, a man walking his dog in a Salem, NY cemetery, discovered a leg bone right outside a woodchuck den.

According to the article: “The curator of Bioarchaelogy at the NYS Museum in Albany also looked at the bone and advised it was an artifact consistent with having been found in the cemetery. She further observed copper staining on the bone most likely from a button. Authorities were advised it was not uncommon for woodchucks to wreak havoc on cemeteries, unearthing remains.”

Apparently, the woodchuck wasn’t going to let a little thing like a grave get in the way of his new home. After all, it’s all about location, you know?

Here’s a 2013 video from another cemetery in Cortland, NY showing damage from the holes (with the culprit making a lurking appearance toward the end).

 

Then there’s the one about missing headstone flags in 2012. In yet one more NY cemetery, (is it me, or is it just something about NY cemeteries?) a rash of flag thefts alarmed officials so much that they put up a camera to catch the bandit in action. Instead of catching some punk teenagers out for fun, they discovered the cemetery was home to a woodchuck with a taste for flags.

Yup, woodchucks and old cemeteries are just not a good combination. Almost makes one long for the good old days when all a woodchuck did was chuck wood.

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Call the restoration expert

After the weeds are whacked, the woodchuck holes filled in, and the bushes pruned back to manageable proportions, it’s time to tackle the difficult part of cemetery restoration; the headstones.

While the first instinct may be to power wash and/or bleach the stones, either one of these choices can do more damage than good. Ditto for wire brushing. Then there’s fixing the actual stone, which may turn out to be sandstone, granite, marble, or not even stone at all (zinc carbonate, anyone?).

Faced with these challenges and wanting to do things right, the volunteers for Demersville Cemetery in Montana decided to bring in Jonathan Appell, a restoration expert to teach them how to re-set broken headstones and conserve the ones still in good shape.

According to the article in the Daily Inter Lake highlighting the cemetery restoration, “…Demersville is the earliest established formal cemetery in Flathead County (MT) and provides a free history lesson of the valley. It was started on land donated in 1890 by four families of the long-since-vanished riverboat town of Demersville, and sits about 2 miles from the original townsite. The gravestones are a who’s who of Flathead pioneers, with names such as Foy, Terriault and Coram carved in stone.

Many railroad workers killed during the construction of the railroad are buried there, including Japanese workers whose tombstones — in a far corner of the cemetery — have Japanese writing on them. A number of Kalispell’s early-day Chinese residents also are buried there.”

Considering the history of the town, it’s a worthwhile project.

To get a little taste of what Demersville volunteers got to experience with Jonathan Appell, check out the video below. To learn more about one option for washing stones, check out this popular post: Wash a stone, restore some history.

 

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Restoration Project: Parsil Family Revolutionary War Cemetery, NJ

Over in Millburn, NJ, a massive cemetery restoration project is currently underway.

Thanks to the combined partnership of the Rolling Hills Garden Club and the Millburn Township, the Parsil Family Revolutionary War Cemetery is slated to receive more than $20,000 in tender loving care.

Restoration goals include:

  1. Re-setting and bracing collapsed stones,
  2. Stone wall reconstruction,
  3. Entry gate repairs,
  4. Iron post re-settings, and
  5. Landscaping/soil work

Once these tasks are done, the garden club also hopes to plant a number of bushes and flowers within the site to highlight its attractiveness.

“The cemetery was originally owned by the Parsil Family, who had two of its family members fight in the Revolutionary War and two in the Civil War. Captain Thomas Parsil was killed in the Battle of Connecticut Farms in 1778, according to Petrucelli and Meyer’s research. Nicholas Parsil died in 1780 in the Battle of Springfield. Both men are buried in the cemetery. Edwin and Samuel Parsil fought in the Civil War, but research did not show whether or not they died in battle.

“We have two Revolutionary War and two Civil War soldiers buried there. Other towns do things to honor their soldiers. So Millburn should too,” said Sharon Petrucelli, historian and past-president of the Rolling Hills Garden Club.”

Read the rest of the article here.

 

 

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Need help clearing out the brush? Consider the 4-legged, hairy weed whacker

goats

It’s one thing to tackle the weeds in a tiny garden, quite another when it comes to clearing out masses of overgrowth in a say, a forgotten cemetery. While some communities have volunteer groups, like the Newcastle Weed Warriors, that are ready to do battle, others are not quite so fortunate.

One cemetery owner had a marvelous idea. Why not hire some goats to do the job?

“Using goats to clear land is creative and also is more environmentally friendly than other practices, such as machinery or herbicides. Another huge plus for using goats is they don’t require workers’ compensation coverage. Goats also can get into places where heavy equipment can’t,” reports the Park City Daily News.

Indeed. Goats are known to taste practically anything and everything in their search for culinary delights, in addition to climbing trees, or even pushing through fences to get at a particularly tasty treat.

goats_2

As a result, there are currently, 16 beasties munching their way through the overgrown Covington Family Cemetery in Kentucky. They should be ready to turn the place back over to the 2-legged species in about four weeks.

Read the whole article here.

 

 

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Can you help save Flight Lieutenant George Arthur Marrows?

An appeal asking for more information about Flight Lieutenant George Arthur Marrows appeared in yesterday’s Gainsborough Standard.

Courtesy Gainsborough Standard

Courtesy Gainsborough Standard

Flight Lt. Marrows was the pilot of a Halifax bomber which took off from RAF Breighton on 7th June 1944 to bomb rail communications. It crashed near Bretigny-sur-Orge killing all seven crew. All are buried in Bretigny-sur-Orge Communal Cemetery.

The local restoration society would like to repair Flt. Lt Marrow’s headstone in the Gainsborough cemetery as it’s broken and the inscription is very difficult to read. Anyone with information please visit http://www.friendsofthegeneralcemetery.com.

Read the entire article here.

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Newcastle Cemetery update

Many of you have read my earlier posts on the Newcastle coal miner’s cemetery located just outside of Seattle. Here’s a link to a news video highlighting the site and the $9,500 grant given to help clean and restore the broken headstones. Congratulations, Newcastle!

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Scaring up more cemetery repair funds

Flickr photo by borman818

 

This past August, BTG posted an article on how cemeteries could raise extra maintenance and repair funds. Some of these ideas included growing special heritage roses, art exhibitions, and Living History Performances. Today, we stumbled across two more interesting ideas we’d like to share: 

Idea #1: In Cumberland, Rhode Island, local middle school athletes are competing in a pledge drive to raise money for the Elder Ballou Historic Cemetery that will go toward cleaning up the site. And what do the kids get for doing all the work? Well, they get to wander through the cemetery the day before Halloween, listening to scary, and maybe not-so scary, forgotten stories from a local park ranger. 

Idea #2: Capitalizing both on the idea of cemetery tourism and the American love of road trips, Hillsdale.net reports on the nation’s first historic cemetery tour that covers the entire state of Indiana and ties in with several local autumn festivals.  Talk about good planning! 

“Over 50 miles will be covered along the trail that utilizes historic Route 6 (The Grand Army of the Republic Highway) as the connector for the two counties and will eventually makes its way toward Chicago in the future. Proceeds raised from the Trail will in part go to the historic cemetery conservation in DeKalb and Noble Counties. A host of other activities will be taking place during the month such as the Apple Festival, Pumpkin Fantasyland and the known Owl-o-ween throughout Noble County. Foil impression art workshops of historic monuments will also take place, along with other speakers on historic cemetery topics throughout the month.”

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Back to normal in New Orleans?

New Orleans puts on a show

 

Almost two years ago, we posted an article about the state of repairs to NOLA cemeteries post-Katrina. Some cemeteries, like Metairie, seemed to weather the storm just fine while other cemeteries in the outlying poorer areas weren’t so lucky.     

Five years after Katrina, news crews have returned to document the city’s slow but inevitable rise back to its feet. While the focus is rightfully on human survival and individual initiative over government red tape (also known as SBA disaster recovery loans) there are also cemetery volunteer efforts that shouldn’t be forgotten—specifically from Save Our Cemeteries.     

Save Our Cemeteries (SOC) is a New Orleans based organization dedicated to preserving and restoring these Louisiana historic sites. After Katrina hit, they posted a website updating the public on which cemeteries were being cleared and which sites still needed help. At this time, they continue to offer tours, lectures, and volunteer cleanup programs. Some of their previous efforts included cleaning up this long-neglected potters field.     

SOC’s fundraisers are also popular. How about the annual 5K Run Through History? There are few chances to race through a cemetery for a good cause and this is one of them. Those seeking something less sweaty can indulge in the All Saints Soiree—A Masked Ball and Silent Auction. All proceeds will go toward historic cemetery restoration efforts.     

So, does this mean that in the past five years things are finally returning to normal in this city? Well, maybe not completely, but each passing day seems to bring yet one more positive confirmation that NOLA is alive and well.     

Just as it was before Katrina, certain cemeteries were deemed off-limits because of crime. This has not changed. Recently, one bemused graveyard rabbit posted a reminder on his blog that tourists should not randomly wander in St. Louis 2 unless they want to part with their wallets and cameras.     

Corruption, beginning at $350 a pop, also seems to be roaring back in true Mardi Gras style. Last weekend The Times-Picayune reported that city employee Alma Gardner is accused of:     

Mishandling payments and improperly hiring at least one man, purporting to be her grandson, to dig graves in three publicly owned burial grounds. According to a the city’s municipal code, city employees cannot be involved in contracting or brokering gravedigging services, as [she] is accused of doing. The new testimonies suggest that Gardner, who has served as Interim superintendent of cemeteries since shortly after Hurricane Katrina, may have been a habitual offender.”     

Laissez les bon temps roulez  (again).

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Scaring up cemetery funds part deux

Just as little something to consider when planning a Living Performance venue.

We received an email yesterday from the people organizing the Living Performance fundraiser at Saar Pioneer Cemetery (mentioned in Scaring up Cemetery Funds).  After four performances (two on a Saturday and two on a Sunday), enough money was raised to pay for both cemetery maintenance AND a book on the cemetery itself.  

So be careful. You may end up making more money than initially planned.

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Scaring up cemetery repair funds

Mary Anderson: Salvation Army Member

This past April, the Veterans Administration announced that it will, “use up to $4.4 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program to repair and preserve historic monuments and memorials at VA-operated national cemeteries…” This is good news for our national cemeteries what about for everyone else? All too often, local cemeteries are forced to think more creatively in order to find sustainable sources of maintenance funds.

However, some of these ideas can be quite intriguing.

In 2009, Atlanta artist Cooper Sanchez held a one-day (or rather, one night) art show at the historic Oakland cemetery. This is just one of several lectures, shows, and walking tours frequently offered to help drum up community support. Not wanting to be left behind, Seattle’s Evergreen Washelli accepted submissions this past spring for up to six solo art shows to be held in its Columbarium. 

Some cemeteries simply combine volunteer green thumb talents with a love for local history. The next time you’re in your local library, check out the Fall, 2009 issue of Country Gardens. On page 30, Cemetery Survivors details how Jane Baber White rejuvenated the 26-acre Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, Virginia. Once a forgotten site filled with overgrown shrubs and weeds, the cemetery is now filled with an amazing variety of heritage roses (approximately 60 types) ranging from the old-fashioned, 19th century to the 1950s favorites.

Living History performance at Saar Pioneer Cemetery

Another popular way to raise both funds and community interest is with Living History performances. Last weekend at the Saar Pioneer Cemetery in Kent, Washington, the Book-It Theatre and Living Voices highlighted the lives of several fascinating pioneers buried there.

Of course, another option is to find grant funding. Seattle cemetery volunteers and historical societies are fortunate to have potential funding from organizations like Humanities Washington and 4Culture. Not located in Washington? No worries. Check out possible grants at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Sometimes, there really are piles of cold, hard cash lying around for someone to pick up. How about tapping into those unclaimed bank or trust accounts? We commented about this on our Facebook fan page a while back but it’s worthwhile mentioning again. Seems like an Allentown, PA cemetery received almost $28,000 from old trust accounts. That’s a tidy little sum. What kinds of old accounts is your state hanging onto?

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Any volunteers?

Flickr photo: superhua

 

This week, some readers asked about specific cemetery volunteer work needs. After shooting out a few emails, I found some sites that would love extra help in surveying, research, maintenance, or even conservation skills. And while only a few sites have responded at this time, I do anticipate others coming forward. Once that happens, I’ll update this post. 

Saar Pioneer Cemetery, Kent, WA: Karen Bouton did a magnificent job in cleaning both the grounds and the stones on this site, but it’s tough handling this all by herself. If you are interested in helping, please send an email to: skcgswebmaster@yahoo.com

Fall City Cemetery, Fall City, WA: Ruth Pickering, President of the Fall City Historical Society, is looking for volunteers skilled in site surveys or historical research. There might even be some conservation needs. Her eventual goal is to plan a cemetery tour highlighting the interesting life stories of the early Fall City pioneers. Contact email: fallcityhistorical@juno.com 

Tolt Historical Cemetery, Carnation, WA: Isabel Jones, President and Director of the Tolt Historical Society, is looking for a few good volunteers that might be able to help with restoring/maintaining several of the broken and worn stones at the site. A previous post shows the need in more detail. Contact email: isabelj2@juno.com

Newcastle Coal Miners’ Cemetery, Newcastly, WA: Pam Lee, President of the Newcastle Historical Society, welcomes potential volunteer help – especially from those with grant writing, webmaster, record organizing skills! If interested, drop in to say hello at one of the Newcastle Historical Society monthly meetings. When?  The first Thursday of every month from 4.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m. Where? The Newcastle City Hall Community Room. Note: April’s meeting will be Thursday, April 8

Washington State Paranormal Investigations & Research isn’t just about the extraordinary. They also take cemetery restoration seriously with their ‘adoption’ of a tiny, overgrown site called Hillgrove Cemetery. Located near Sea-Tac airport, this privately-owned cemetery is the final resting place of many Highline pioneer families. More than 350 people are buried at Hillgrove. Veterans interred there are from the Civil War (both North and South), the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and Korea. Enthusiastic volunteers willing to prune, weed, rake, and more.  Interested? Contact Patricia at Patricia@wspir.com to sign up for cleanup date announcements.

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Hands-on preservation

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Before

Knowing how to properly restore vandalized headstones is a primary concern for those caring for older cemeteries. However, finding the right instructor can be a challenge. This past summer, Todd Scott, Preservation Architect for the King County Historic Preservation Program, attended a hands-on conservation workshop taught by Jonathan Appell.

Recently, Beyond The Ghosts… caught up with Todd to find out more.

Question: Your title is Preservation Architect. What does a Preservation Architect do?

Answer:

I’m primarily involved with two Historic Preservation Program activities:

First, I work directly with property owners and/or contractors on various preservation projects involving King County landmarks. This can also include reviewing and recommending various preservation project proposal requests to the Landmarks Commission. 

Second, I provide technical assistance and education to historic property owners who want to know how best to maintain their sites. I’ll also handle questions from people wanting to preserve historic resources that aren’t necessarily a designated landmark.

Question: Tell us about cemetery preservation conference you attended in August?

Answer:

Sure. This past August, I attended a regional headstone conservation and repair workshop in Coos Bay, Oregon. It was co-hosted by Marshfield Pioneer Cemetery and the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries. Jonathan Appell was the speaker.

Cleaning

Question: What was it about? Continue reading

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Lending a helping hand

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Temporary repairs in Mount Si cemetery

Cemetery restoration projects typically fall on the shoulders of either a few volunteers or a local historical society. Access to public funds is challenging; securing reasonably priced preservation expertise, daunting. However, King County, Washington is looking to change this approach through a new program called, “Historic Graves and Cemeteries Preservation Initiative”.

The program is designed to:

• Raise awareness of the state of local cemeteries;

• Provide public information and outreach;

• Survey active, inactive, and abandoned cemeteries;

• Determine priorities for preservation and restoration.

Last year, Lauren McCroskey, Chair of the King County Landmarks Commission, formally introduced the Initiative. Here is an excerpt of her remarks. Continue reading

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Repairing the stones

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For those unable to attend any of the Stones & Bones presentations, a pdf link to the damage/repairs section of the talk is below. Anecdotal notes are in the tiny, comic-strip conversation balloons on the upper left hand corner of the slides. Move the mouse over the balloon to make them appear.

Stones & Bones pdf…Damage and repairs

 

And don’t forget to check back this coming weekend when the King County public works efforts for cemetery repair will be posted.

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One for the genealogists

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Halloween is fun.

Between trick or treating, anticipating unique costumes (I once saw someone dressed as a flower pot), house decorations, long-suffering pets in cute getups and children double-whammied by excitement and sugar highs, what’s not to like?

And while I don’t write about ghosts or vampires, this year will be a little different as I’d like to quote a funny anecdote. It comes from one of the most helpful reference books on my shelf; Sharon DeBartolo Carmack’s, Your Guide to Cemetery Research.

—————-

Zombies In The Cemetery Continue reading

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Decoding the kanji stones

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Japanese kanji-style stones

Japanese kanji inscriptions

 

In the September 24th posting on Weathering, vandalism & maintenance, I wrote about some cleaning options that could be useful for most cemeteries, with the exception of Auburn Pioneer. In this particular site, the lichen and moss add a unique Buddhist zen aesthetic to the delicate cement markers. Rather than destroy both the marker and the writings, the caretakers would prefer finding someone to copy the old kanji inscriptions for translation before it disappears forever. 

Kristy Lommen, one of the webmasters for the Auburn Pioneer cemetery website, is working with a Japanese translator on doing just that. She discusses the challenges and progress further in her guest post below. Continue reading

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Stones & Bones presentation schedule

The following dates and locations have been scheduled for Stones & Bones: Discovering secrets in King County’s oldest cemeteries.  All events are free and open to the public.

Date:                     October 16, 2009
Time:                    11.00am – 1.00pm
Location              Bellevue Regional Library

Date:                   October 18, 2009
Time:                   3.00pm to 4.30pm
Location:           4326 – 337th Pl SE, Fall City
With:                   Fall City Historical Society &  general public

Date:                     October 31, 2009
Time:                    10.30am – 12.00pm
Location:            Seattle Public Library, Main Location, Microsoft Auditorium
 This event will be hosted by the Seattle Public Library’s Special Collection

Date:                     November 5, 2009
Time:                    4.00pm – 5.30pm
Location:            13020 Newcastle Way, Newcastle, WA‎
With:                    Newcastle Historical Society & general public

Events are sponsored in part by 4Culture, Allied Arts Foundation & Seattle Public Library Special Collections

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Weathering, vandalism & maintenance: Part V

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Newcastle Coal Miners' Cemetery

Newcastle Coal Miners' Cemetery

Weather, vandalism and maintenance are the three biggest challenges facing old Pacific Northwest cemeteries. Unlike the granite headstones that are seemingly impervious to practically anything except an earthquake, sandstone carvings do not endure rainy winter seasons very well. In many cases, intricate carvings are melting away while marble is only slightly better at handling industrious molds and lichens.

Black Diamond Coal Miners' Cemetery

Fall City Cemetery

Black Diamond Coal Miners' Cemetery

Black Diamond Coal Miners' Cemetery

Naturally, the original wooden markers stood little chance of enduring the local climate. Most rotted away after only a few years’ time, leaving little trace of the burial site while ground heave from occasional frosts, have left their mark on the later plots. Continue reading

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Carvings and symbols: Part IV

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Names and dates are important facts for any researcher but on a headstone, the variety of carvings and symbols can build out a more complete story.

Double-headed eagles…

32 Degree Mason, Lakeview Cemetery

32 Degree Mason, Lakeview Cemetery

Knights in weathered armor…

Knights of Pythias, Newcastle Coal Miners' Cemetery

Knights of Pythias, Newcastle Coal Miners' Cemetery

…olive branches and oak leaves, scallops and axes. All of these are mysterious symbols to visitors unfamiliar with the metaphors.

During the late 1800s, the Pacific Northwest offered a unique opportunity to start fresh in one of the last frontiers. Civil War veterans, Scandinavian fishermen and loggers, Welsh miners, Japanese farmers and others, placed their bets and came west.

Newcastle Coal Miners' Cemetery

Newcastle Coal Miners' Cemetery

Yet while this was their chance to start over for something better, it did not mean the traditions or familiar language of one’s homeland were forgotten. Continue reading

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Vandalism…

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The Pacific Northwest is not known for its kind winter weather and cemetery headstones are all too familiar with its vagaries. Weeks of rain, floods, high winds reaching up to 90 mph in some years, even snow. Any headstone not made out of granite can expect to be worn down rather quickly and certainly the original wooden crosses would not have lasted much more than a few seasons.

But sometimes, we give nature a helping hand. Below are a few of the sights that are all too common these days.

It ranges from spray paint…

Auburn Pioneer Cemetery

Auburn Pioneer Cemetery

To the broken, in-ground stones….
Newcastle Cemetery

Newcastle Cemetery

To those missing for decades…
Saar Pioneer Cemetery

Saar Pioneer Cemetery

 

 4culture_black

 

 

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Wash a stone, restore some history

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Steven Willis (before cleaning)

Steven Willis (before cleaning)

One of the biggest challenges facing cemeteries today is how to properly clean and restore old headstones to their original beauty. Recommendations can run the gamut from, “Give them a good bleaching,” to wire brushing.

Others simply aren’t sure, preferring to leave the stones as they are rather than run the risk of further damage.

However, Karen Bouton, Saar Cemetery Project Coordinator and member of the South King County Genealogical Society, has spent many hours successfully restoring headstones in Saar Pioneer Cemetery with a simple, yet effective method that’s explained in her guest post below. (All photos were provided by Ms. Bouton).

Steven Willis (after cleaning)

Steven Willis (after cleaning)

Thinking about cleaning an old headstone?

I thought about it too and was scared to death that I would ruin the delicate sandstone material but since so many headstones in the Saar Pioneer Cemetery were quite unreadable, I had to do something. Continue reading

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Why Visit a Cemetery?

HG_Whyvisit

In my time spent researching cemeteries, I’ve noticed that there is an either/or reaction once people realize what I do. Either they find it incredibly fascinating or they look at me as if I’ve suddenly sprouted two heads. Why is it that cemeteries can draw in some people, yet repel others? After mulling this for a bit, I’ve concluded a few possible answers.

Cemeteries used to be an integral part of community life. Now, this is no longer the case as people scatter farther away from their original roots than their parents or grandparents could have ever imagined (Millennials notwithstanding). Carriage ways, or even walking paths and benches at particularly peaceful spots, were part of many cemetery designs. The Tikhvin Cemetery, located in St. Petersburg, Russia, is one such example.

Today, except for places such as Arlington National Cemetery, or Pere Lachaise, cemeteries are the outcasts in a culture obsessed with perpetual youth.

Another deterrent would be Hollywood, where the more gruesome a film, the better – especially if a decent return is to be had at the box office. Horror films successfully tap into our collective subconscious fears of death, what lies beyond (or even beneath, for that matter). Just consider The Omen, Halloween, Bram Stoker’s Dracula or even, The Addams Family. For some, there is too direct a tie between horror films and cemeteries.

Although in all fairness, Hollywood shouldn’t be held completely responsible, considering what a well-written book can do to one’s sleep patterns. I still believe that Stephen King pales in comparison to that battered copy of Sleepy Hollow in the downstairs bookcase. And it’s kind of ironic what a curse vivid imagination can be once the lights are turned out. That scratching at the window? If you’re lucky, it’s just a burglar. If not, it may be something rising from the Blair Witch Project.

Primal fears do have that tendency to emerge where unexplained bumps in the night are concerned.

Sometimes though, not even the warm light of day can chase away uneasy feelings, and I do believe there are cemeteries too eerie to visit at any time. The spookiest I’ve ever visited, was the Cementiri del Sud-Ouest in Barcelona, Spain. A wander in the old section caused me to stop researching cemeteries altogether for several months until I could finally shake off my case of the heebie-jeebies. Vandalism, blazing-eyed feral cats, and gloomy statues all combined into a feeling of sullen unwelcome for anyone disturbing the malignant pall.

Girl_WhyVisit

Yet laying aside the primeval for the pragmatic, lack of visitor interest also occurs because a cemetery is abandoned, even though these can be the most fascinating. Perhaps the caretakers moved away. Perhaps the maintenance funds ceased. Or perhaps the community involved, quite literally, died out. Whatever the reason, abandoned cemeteries do tend to attract their own kind of guests ranging from overgrown weeds to wild animals (both the four- and two-legged kind), naturally leading to personal safety concerns.

One of my earlier blog posts on Highgate Cemetery in London, noted a significant problem with clogged overgrowth and tombstone defacings during the 1960s and 1970s. More recently, the BBC ran a piece about a Romanian Jewish cemetery belonging to a diminishing elderly community. Unfortunately, it too, had been vandalized.

These factors may seem to support not meandering through one’s local graveyard – yet there is a resurging interest in doing just that. Dr. Marilyn Yalom’s, The American Resting Place: Four Hundred Years of History Through Our Cemeteries and Burial Grounds, is a recent publication detailing over four hundred cemeteries, memorial parks and graveyards throughout the U.S. Some readers have even recommended using it as a kind of travel guide into the American past.

For me, an historical cemetery’s appeal is the unique opportunity of seeing a snapshot of time, complete with all the trappings of historical and social customs, before it disappears through neglect or destruction.

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Cemetery Repairs in New Orleans

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Before Hurricane Katrina happened, travel to New Orleans typically included a visit to one of the famous above-ground cemeteries, so integral to the culture of this low-lying city and nicely framed by this Studio Red Dot podcast.

A BBC slide show shows the damage from Katrina also affecting the above-ground cemeteries while concerns for outlying areas, focused on the below-ground cemeteries.

By 2005, no one really knew the full extent of what happened until Save Our Cemeteries, Inc., posted a webpage listing the destruction being cleared in various cemetery locations.  One in particular, Metairie, appeared to have weathered Katrina well enough with the location itself, rather than the actual tombs, experiencing the most damage.

Three years later, the ruins linger, although the voyeuristic demand for “disaster tours” thankfully seems to be dwindling.  What is not yet fully known, is how much more damage Hurricanes Gustav and Ike may have added – particularly in the cemeteries as these were not necessarily a cleanup priority in Katrina’s aftermath.

As of September, 2008, hurricane season is still going strong and it remains to be seen what will be the final outcome on these historical sites.

 

(c) 2008 by G.E. Anderson

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