Monday, September 7, 2009

Field Trip #3 Graveyard

So here is a confession for you. I love graveyards. I love walking through them, looking at all the gravestone styles, thinking about the history and lives that have gone before me. I love doing little math problems in my head to see how long people lived. I love moving the leaves and weeds away from old graves to reveal their names to the world again. I love reading the old names that aren't heard much anymore: Prudence, Horace, Constance, Judd, Jedediah, etc. I love how time slows and ebbs in a graveyard.

My kids and husband think that I am a bit strange in this way, but they play along and go with me to graveyards. They even have learned to like them, too. Of course, I have found over the years how to make it more interesting to them. I have taught them how to tend graves, walk through a graveyard properly, and do grave rubbings. 

Today we went to a new (to us) graveyard called St. John's in the Wilderness. What a nice church graveyard. We saw some new styles of gravestones, and the family plots were laid out with little rock walls around them. Everything was green with trees and moss. It was lovely.

There were a few graves like this one. All were circa 1880-1900. I think perhaps the enclosed area was a flower bed for the loved ones to tend.  Does anyone know differently?

Timothy doing a rubbing of a grave

We loved this sign.

This graveyard had a slave and freedmen graveyard, which led to a lively discussion on segregation even after death in olden times.

We also talked about the difference in extravagance of the slaves' stones versus that of the white people's stones.

All and all, another great field trip of discovery.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. I'm surprised, actually, that here in the South the slaves and freedmen could belong to the same church as the white people, let alone be buried in the same graveyard, albeit separately. As for me, I'd prefer a very simple gravestone. No, make that donating my organs to others and my body to science. Love, Mom

  2. Wow!! How interesting!! What a really neat idea!! I hadn't thought to do that with my kids, looks like we might have a field trip in the making!


  3. Well, I thank you for helping me view graveyards in a different light! :) Blessings...

  4. I always enjoyed taking walks in the graveyard where a lot of my ancestors are buried in Pennsylvania. It was quite and restful...the closest thing to a 4mph society I could find. That was before my CW days. BTW, CW has a few graveyards.



  5. That looks llike a beautiful graveyard.

    A lot of geocaches are hidden in cemeteries....that might add a new element to your old pastime.