There’s just something about fall that seems peaceful. Well, this fall is slightly different for me, as I’m getting married in a mere 5 days!
*breathe in, breathe out*
Despite the upcoming nuptials (Which reminds me, there will be no new blog post next week. I do hope you can make it without my Garrison Keillor-esque rambling for a week.) I still keep finding myself in need of those few lovely breaks that fall so often brings. Sunday my fiance and I went to an orchard and sat down to enjoy a donut and cider. I also enjoy that every day on my way home, I pass this tiny cemetery. It’s on a grassy hill, very close to the road, and contains only a handful of stones. Many are faded beyond legibility and others are falling over. Most are simply, white, rounded stones. I always find this little nook of the township interesting, but in the fall, it just feels different.
I’m not the only one who enjoys a walk through a cemetery on a lovely fall day, though. This past Saturday the Whaley Historic House Museum partnered with Glenwood Cemetery for a walking tour that focused on funerary art. The intricate designs on the headstones and monuments all have different meanings and it was a fabulous lesson in both history and art! Well, the day was so lovely that I just had to take a few snapshots. Now, I’m not a professional (although an iPhone has a lovely way of making you feel like one sometimes), but I thought you might enjoy taking a peak at the fun we had.
One of my favorite things to do in a cemetery is to look at the dates. As an historian, I just can’t help myself. I’m always looking for the oldest stone. Nothing I’ve seen so far, however, has beaten the oldest stone I’ve ever seen. In Salem, Massachusetts (yes, THAT Salem) the Old Burying Point Cemetery holds the grave of Richard More, an original passenger on the Mayflower! The cemetery was established in 1637, although the area had probably been used as such for ten years before this.
So, it could be a combination of people desiring something a little more spooky than a nature hike around Halloween and a desire to get out into the brisk fall air that attract people to cemeteries in the fall. Maybe it’s the haunting feeling that you can’t help but experience as you imagine the lives surrounding you that draw people through the gates. Whatever it is, cemetery walks are particularly popular during the month of October.
So, what’s the oldest cemetery you’ve ever been to? What’s the oldest date you’ve ever seen on a headstone?