Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Local Cemetery Tour

If cemetaries wig you out, this post may not be for you...

Me?  I've long had a love for old cemeteries.  I love reading the old headstones and piecing together families, and looking at ages of the family members, and wondering what happened in their lives.  Why?  No idea.  I am not a history lover, except, it appears, I do love the history of my house.

Anyway, I decided to see if I could find the grave of Buck, the guy who died in my house. (I can hear it -- a collective groan by all my friends and relatives.  I'm weird.  I know that.  I'll own it.)   His obit listed the cemetary, so I got in my car and headed north.  It didn't take me long to get there -- 20 minutes maybe.

I waltzed into the information office, and handed them Buck's obit, and asked if they could help me find his space.  They were extremely helpful, and when they learned why I was looking for it, they thought it was cool.  In no time I was outfitted with maps:

And then I was in my car, following John ("Community Service Counselor") in his golf cart out to "Section S".  Who knew I would get an escort?  Sweet.

Although several sections of this cemetery are quite old, there aren't any of the cool statues and monuments that old cemetaries usually have -- that was disappointing.  All the headstones are the flat ones that facilitate mowing.  I guess I "get" that, but I think it's sad.  It's certainly boring.  (As an aside, a friend of mine restores old headstones in cemeteries for his job -- I would love love love to go to work with him one day!  He gets calls from all sorts of really old cemeteries...)

At any rate, in no time at all we were at Section S.  It was blistering hot out -- and I didn't bring a hat with me -- I didn't really plan on doing this yesterday.  Maps in hand we ventured out into the sun on the crispy brown grass.  Looking .... looking ... and then we found it.  Or, them, as it turned out:

Here's Buck's:

Then I saw Nettie next to him -- I didn't know if she had passed or not (obviously, yes.)

And then, sadly their son was next to her; he was only 31.

Some random observations...

I think it's sort of odd that only the birth and death years are listed, as opposed to month/day/year.  But I suppose it's less expensive.

I guess Nettie didn't have middle name.

John and I decided that when Scott Jr. passed, his parents' headstones were updated so that all three matched; seeing as how they are identical both in design and weather-wear. 

We figured Scott Jr. wasn't married at the time of his death, since no space was left near him for his wife. 

Buck's headstone has a Mason (or Shriner, depending what website you read) symbol on it:

I tried to research that symbol but all I could find is that it is a crescent moon and a scimitar (sword.)  Well yeah, I can see that.  Not exactly helpful.

Nettie's has a symbol from the Order of the Eastern Star:

Information on this symbol was readily available.  The point that points down represents the Star of Bethlehem.  The symbols within each point are emblems for the Biblical heroines Adah, Ruth, Esther, Martha and Electa, whose stories inspire character building lessons. 

I found this text online about OES:
What It Is: The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both women and men may belong. Worldwide, there are over 500,000 members under the General Grand Chapter

Eastern Star is a social order comprised of persons with spiritual values, but it is not a religion. Its appeal rests in the true beauty of the refreshing and character-building lessons that are so sincerely portrayed in its ritualistic work. A deep fraternal bond exists between its members. It is the wholesome relationship of sisterly and brotherly love brought about through high principles exemplified in our lives which makes us near and dear to each other.

While this is an Order composed of people of deep spiritual convictions, it is open to all faiths, except no faith. The personal welfare of our members is vital to all of those in the Eastern Star, and it is considered a privilege to help another member whenever we can.

The Order of the Eastern Star (OES) is a female companion organization to Freemasonry. Men who are Master Masons may also join.

There was one big family headstone:
(Sorry sis, don't mean to freak you out.)
And here's a photo of all 4 together:
And that, my friends, ends your local cemetery tour.


Anonymous said...

I love this! What a cool trip. You're not weird, you're interesting and one of my favorite people! I really enjoy cemetary tours & family histories too. Thanks for the info on the Eastern Star, I learned something new and think I'll do a bit of my own research.

~ Cole

Leigh said...

Very interesting post. One of my other interests is genealogy, so I appreciate the tidbits you've discovered.