Mary & Norm’s splendid adventure

Armstrong Cemetary
Armstrong Cemetery

My good friend Mary (she calls me bro, I call her sis) has been talking to me for quite a while about taking a day and driving around visiting graveyards. If you have followed this blog for any amount of time, you know that along with picture of barns, I love to take pictures of graveyards. Mary loves graveyards as well. So, on Friday we finally took a day and visited five or six graveyards that were established in the 1700’s and 1800’s. Most of them were in Warren County.

We had perfect weather for the visitations. It was sunny, with a light breeze, and the temperature was in the mid-seventies. Since most of our travel was on county roads rather than State highways, we were able to drive slowly and enjoy the scenic countryside.

Our first stop was Armstrong Cemetery. The graveyard was established in 1848. Like all of the places we visited, Civil War veterans are buried in the grounds. Mary and I concentrated on the gravestones of the less recent departees.

The picture above is just one small group of stones that I photographed on Friday. In all, I took around seventy pictures, and two or three short videos. I’ll be using graveyard pictures in my posts for a few days at least. There will be at least one picture from each of the graveyards that we visited.

Most of the pictures that I took were of individual stones that caught my eye. I spent a bit of time trying to decide if I should use any of those individual stone photos in my posts. Part of me felt that I might be invading the privacy of the families of the departed by publishing pictures of the stones. Then, I thought, these stones were erected in a public graveyard, and were meant to memorialize the occupants of the graves. So, I may be using pictures of individual stones in the future.

One last thing. You may wonder why we love graveyards so much. Well, I know that Mary and I agree on the fact that they are places of peace. I also feel that they are places where you can connect, in a small way, with history. The history not only of the people under the stones, but also their families and communities. It can take some imagination, but for me it is worth it. This is the point where I should plug Edgar Lee Masters’¬†Spoon River Anthology. Penn State had a PDF version of the book that you can download, and there is also a free Ebook version through Project Gutenberg. It is a great read.