Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday -- My First Cemetery Adventure as a Volunteer

Last week you may or may not remember me being all a 'twitter' because I had no satellite or dsl modem thanks to the lightening. We also lost the a/c for a few hours. Boy -- did it get hot in here! Stupid lightening! 

Good ole @mitz said "@gen_freak That sounds like a day to get out of the house and do some grave yard hunting." What a great idea! I remembered that there were a couple of photo requests on Find A Grave at a cemetery in this area.

According to Find A Grave the Upton Cemetery was about 5 miles from my zip code just off the highway. So I grab my camera and jump in the car and head down the highway. (That sounds like a song.)

I drove down the highway all the way through town and didn't see one cemetery! So I turned around and came back through. I stopped at two different convenient stores and a funeral home and no one knew where this cemetery was. I know, can you believe that a funeral home did not know where a local cemetery was?!

Finally I stopped at the IGA and asked someone in there.  They said the only cemetery they knew of was right across the street behind the barbershop. So I head across the street and there I see right along the barbershop is a little narrow street disguised as a parking lot. The cemetery was on Lima Street, 3 miles from my house!

So I drive down this narrow little driveway called Lima Street until I saw a gate and a big field behind it -- this was a cemetery -- I wanted to cry.
Piney Grove Cemetery
I still didn't know if I was even in the right cemetery, you can't read the sign. I ventured through the weeds and the mosquitoes in my flip flops (I swore I would never do that again) to have a look around. 

I took a photo of the second thing I saw that made me sad (the first being the condition of the cemetery).
These four unmarked headstones. One is being pushed out by a tree root and the two in the back are crowded with weeds and tree overgrowth.

Then there was this unique little grave marker.

After I left I found out that the Upton cemetery I was looking for was a small family plot right smack dab in the middle of this bigger cemetery called Piney Grove.
Upton Cemetery
There are 12 graves within this small area and it is also in sad shape. I went back there  yesterday, this time wearing long pants and my chuck Taylors. I finally found the headstone I was looking for, but I had to scoop out a layer of muck to be able to read it.

Next time I will go in more prepared, with a squirt bottle and whatnot. Seriously thinking about packing a rake.


  1. Despite the sad condition of the cemetery, I think your photos are beautiful. I especially like the last photo -- it's wall-worthy! It is so sad to see the small cemeteries deteriorate and go uncared for. This one looks like it was once a very beautiful place.

  2. Your photos are great Leslie! I just saw a headstone with solar lights on it the other day and I had to stop and stare because I had never seen one before.


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