Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sarah Has A Date

 The weather was beautiful, the ground was soft, and it was a great day to hunt for fragments. Susan found most of the pieces of Sarah Romine's marker last year, and last Sunday she found the piece with the year of her death.  We think this stone is on Sarah's grave, but there is no base to match it to; only the sunken ground where someone was buried. These pieces are legible because they have been in the ground, protected from the weather for much of a century, and they will have to be re-buried after a small marker is set to document this grave.

They should all be as lucky as Sarah.  This little pile of bricks was under a stone that has been removed from its grave in the first row next to a farm field. Yuccas and Easter flowers show that people are buried here, but most of the markers are gone.

Some of them are stacked up and the locations for them are lost to the ages.

This base is just barely visible, but at least it still marks a place.  Most of the stones in the Rawls' Cemetery are marble, and many of them sat in sandstone bases. Some, like Sarah's were just placed in the ground with no base. Tractor-mounted mowers performed most of the destruction in this cemetery more than fifty years ago.  We have been beating back the jungle a bit, cutting trees, and marking the rows. Many of the people buried here still have family in our neighborhood, but the descendants, for the most part, are blissfully unaware that their family heritage has slipped away.  Susan gets inquiries from people occasionally for help in finding relatives buried near us, and it is gratifying to help others who are interested in genealogy and family histories.


Joel T. said... is a site to help collect information on grave sites. Iowa has a couple of websites to collect pioneer cemetery information.

I took several pictures in the early 90s from a couple of century-old cemeteries and now the stones are missing. There's a long story on that one but it's my mission to scan up these photos and upload so that the internets will never forget.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

This poor cemtery really is a disaster, and it never was properly documented before it was demolished. Susan hopes to salvage a bit of information and put it on the internet. She uses Find A Grave and Ancestry. We looked at another cemetery the same day, and it is missing several stones since it was catalogued in the 1980's by a Hamilton County resident. I always wonder what the lawn mowing crews do with the stones that disappear. Do they haul them away after breaking them and throw them off a bridge or into a dumpster? It's a darn shame.