Tuesday, October 11, 2016

31 Days of Halloween: Local Cemeteries & Headstone Rubbings

When I was a kid, my dad would take us up to California Park to pick wild flowers on the morning of Memorial Day. We would spend all morning picking indian paintbrush, sunflowers, black-eyed susans & bluebells. We would put them all in a big bucket, drive back to town & head up to the town cemetery for the 21 gun salute & Memorial Day service. When the service was done, we would put flowers on our family member's graves. But something that still sticks out in my mind is that daddy would put flowers on all of the vet's graves. He would put flowers on the graves of people his parents knew. Sometimes he would just put flowers on graves that didn't have anybody visiting them. I once asked him why we did that, year after year & he said, "Everyone deserves to be remembered."

I know that it probably seems spooky to some to walk around a cemetery. It might even seem disrespectful, but I assure you that is never my intention. I love seeing the old stones & thinking about who the people might have been. I love walking around the peaceful grounds. I love the history of cemeteries. I hope you enjoy this visit as much as we did.

Evans Cemetery

The Evans Cemetery has been owned by the city since the early 1860's. At one point, the cemetery was called Boot Hill. In 1911, the cemetery was vandalized & 20 of the nicest stones were destroyed. While wandering around, the earliest date we found was 1873. I have to say, this is a particularly beautiful property. It's thick with trees, winding paths & there were so many birds flying around!

I did a few rubbings of some of the more beautiful stones. This is a great activity to do with kiddos on a visit to a cemetery. All you need is a crayon & some tracing paper. Some light rubbing with the long side of the crayon & you have a memory of your favorites stones. 

I loved the starburst design on this stone.

The final product

Linn Grove Cemetery 

The original town cemetery was called Union Colony Cemetery & was located on the hill where the University Center is located now. The first burial at Linn Grove was in 1918 when 148 people died of influenza. Before going to Linn Grove, I did a little research to find out if there was anyone of historical significance buried there. I found that Nathan Meeker & his family are buried at Linn Grove as well as the only lynching victim of Greeley, Wilbur French. This is also the final resting place of Benjamin Eaton, the Farr family & members of the Monfort family. 

I was was most interested in looking for the marker of a mass grave of ten circus men that died when their train caught fire in Windsor in 1884, but, unfortunately, we never found it. 

Linn Grove is especially beautiful & peaceful. There is a small pond that had two swans living there when we visited. We sat by the water for almost 20 minutes, just enjoying the crisp, fall day. I would highly recommend checking this unique location out if you want a peaceful walk in a beautiful setting. 

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