Monday, June 21, 2010

A Cemetery Walk

OK, not exactly a seasonal or holiday event, but a fun and interesting spring doing for us nonetheless!

Our local historical society and theatre troupe got together to put on a "Cemetery Walk" for our community. The cemetery is just a few blocks from our house and DH and I usually go through it on our walks. Besides the wonderful peace and quiet, the cemetery is interesting because it is so old and full of history.

Often we pause and read a grave-stone here and there. We see many from the Civil War and even before. We see elaborate monuments to obviously wealthy people and others that are barely readable anymore.

This cemetery is typical for New England and a lot of people enjoy walking through them in order to get that sense of history. They don't make tombstones like these anymore! DH and I are always especially struck when we see the graves of children -- often they are in the same family and died the same year, most likely from some epidemic. I am always horrified to think of what those parents went through; they are no different than us.

Beyond these curiosities is the history behind the cemeteries. We have not lived in this town for very long, so I know little about the local history. I figured this was a good chance to learn more. My oldest daughter agreed and came along.

The historical society set up a "check-in" booth and only asked for donations. After that, we were split into two groups and guided to pre-determined grave-sites. Of course, these kind of things often attract senior citizens, but there were other children in the crowd and among the actors, including one of DD's good friends who played the violin.

This woman represented the daughter of a man made famous for his microscopes:

A railroad and newspaper man:

This guy helped build our local high school:

These two were a riot -- esp. the guy on the left. It's hard not to forget their story. He played a man who, at 83 years old, walked 28 miles to a 4th of July picnic. Other details of his life were equally impressive:

This woman was married to one of the richest men in our town. They built a local mansion that is now a gorgeous bed-and-breakfast:

This girl had an important father and brother -- but I can't remember why, LOL:

This man was an artist and, the poor fellow, lost 3 of his 4 young children in the same year:

You never know what you might see in an old, New England cemetery . . .