Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Pioneer Cemetery

I just read a post on my mother-in-law's blog FlitzyPhoebie about her mother and how the world is sometimes a lot smaller than we think. You can read it here. She also shared some pictures of cemeteries on the prairie in Montana. It reminded me of right before I got married two years ago and Hannah, some girls from church and I went camping at Sunlakes in Eastern Washington.

In a nearby, secluded, town we saw a sign leading to a pioneer cemetery. We decided to try and find it. We turned down a bumpy dirt road and headed off into a golden grassy field. We got to the end of the road and saw nothing. We thought perhaps we had missed it so we turned around and headed back continuing to look. We still saw nothing. We drove back and forth a few times and just as we were about to give up I saw a metal gate overgrown with grass and dangling on its hinges. Then I saw the tip of a headstone sticking out of the grass a short distance away. I exclaimed that there it was. We stopped and walked through the old broken gate.

We really had to search for headstones because the grass was so tall. Many of the headstones were flat on the ground. We all spread out and with our heads focused on the ground we searched. When one of us would find a headstone we would call everybody over and we would read it together. After a few headstones we realized we had only seen infant graves. Everytime we came across a new one it was another infant grave. They all had died in the 1800's. We did find just a few adult graves. The oldest person who was buried there had been in their 70's. All of the rest of the adults were middle aged. There were a few graves as well that were marked but had no names or information on them.

We thought about who these people might have been and the fact that their graves seemed to have been forgotten. The grass had grown over and they were left in the middle of the prairie. We thought about all the babies that had died and were very thankful that we had the medical knowledge that we have today. It was a nice little adventure but also a touching experience as well.


Mom said...

Both your pictures and Bonita's pictures reminded me of the cemetary at Bodie. PTL for John 3:16 for the believer in Christ!

Bonita said...

I think experiences like this are so significant. We feel such endearment for those left behind in forgotten graves. And, yes, I'm always touched by the graven words "infant", and nothing more. The earth holds so many stories. Thanks for visiting Flitzy, Annie...and Kathy too.

rachd said...

Do you ever wonder about the families that had to leave their loved ones behind when they moved on? Particularly the infants? How hard that must have been.

mreddie said...

I have often wondered just how many pioneers were buried in the old West without even a marker for their final resting place. And even thought of the family that had to leave their loved one there out in the middle of nowhere. ec