A couple of weeks ago, I drove a friend visiting from out of town to Tilghman Island. As we were passing through Sherwood, my friend spotted a cemetery. On our way back home, I pulled off the road so we could check it out — it was St. James Cemetery*. I was shocked at what we found.
The cemetery was completely overgrown, which isn’t too terribly shocking. The reason why it troubled me is that many of the graves we did find were really recent. We saw several graves from the 1990s to as recent as 2008. It was really sad to see them in such a state.
Grave from 1999
Grave from 1992
At first, I thought this cemetery was one that I’d been unable to find before, while fulfilling FindaGrave requests in the area last fall. Turns out this is a completely different cemetery. None of its graves are listed on FindaGrave yet. I hope to return when the weather is colder and the greenery has died back a bit. We briefly skirted around the perimeter of the cemetery on this excursion and got bitten by who knows what in the process.
We couldn't get back to these graves without walking through knee-high weeds to get there and we weren't dressed for the occasion this outing.
* I found the St. James Church on the Maryland Register of Historic Places (link opens PDF). I don’t recall seeing the church, but we weren’t looking for it either. There appeared to be a private residence bordering the cemetery, not a church. There were several tumbling-down shacks in the vicinity. I didn’t find anything else about the congregation on the web — maybe it’s no longer active. This could explain the sad state of the cemetery…
I had looked up Ernest on FindaGrave previously, when I was investigating him. No pictures of his tombstone were available, so I requested one. On Sunday, a kind volunteer ventured out to take a photo for me at Land’s End Cemetery (on Hawleyville Road!) in Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut.
One interesting date discrepancy — this tombstone says that he died on February 20. His obituary, however, ran on February 19 and indicated that he had died the day before (February 18).
As you can see, the same marker also contains information for Cornelia. She lived until 1975, so perhaps this stone wasn’t carved until that time. Whoever ordered the stone probably wasn’t around in 1905 when Ernest died. I’m guessing they had the wrong information regarding the date of his death.
E. Atwell Hopkins, Stevensville Cemetery, Kent Island
I snapped this photo because of the jazzy way this gentleman’s name was carved onto the stone at an angle, but then I did a double take when I tried to read the name. No, it’s not “Eatwell Hopkins.” It’s “E. Atwell Hopkins.” Unfortunately, the person who cataloged this stone on FindaGrave made the same mistake I initially did. I sent them a correction.
For this Tombstone Tuesday, I give you still more graves associated with the Friends Album. As I mentioned in my post earlier today, I’ve found several memorials on FindaGrave associated with the Youngs, Morrises and Morrells. A kind volunteer in Connecticut even posted some photos for me minutes after I requested them this weekend. Here are the links:
If you have an interest in cemeteries and gravestones (and let’s face it, who doesn’t? ;) ) then I suggest you check out the blog A Grave Interest. Two of blogger Joy Neighbors’ posts this week were really interesting to me. The first on Celtic crosses was very informative. I even forwarded it to a friend who has a tattoo of a Celtic cross gravestone (!). Today’s post on daffodils in cemeteries and their symbolism is very timely and sweet.
Back to the Granary Burial Ground in Boston, where this tombstone can be found (click the picture for a larger version):
Here’s the FindaGrave record for (the Rev.) Dr. (Mather) Byles, who starts off the list (be sure to check out the note left by a visitor to this page; also note who created this record). Here’s the record for Azor Archbald, whose tomb is pictured.
Equally as impressive are Laurel Hill’s marketing efforts. Now that I’m on their contact list, I get invitations to their events, and they are numerous. This past Saturday, they held an event about “The Victorian Celebration of Death.” A variety of tours centering around different themes are offered throughout the year. Example: “From Able-Bodied to Disembodied: The Athletes at Rest in Laurel Hill (Tour & Watch Phillies Game).” They even have their own Boneyard Bookclub. Philadelphia’s not too far from me and I hope to make it to the cemetery to see my ancestors’ gravesite and to attend one of the events someday.
By the way, 2011 marks the 175th anniversary of the cemetery and they’ll be holding a birthday gala later this month.