Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Lives of Mackinac!

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This is the arch over St Anne’s cemetery on Mackinac Island ---you know me and cemeteries, right?

Well, it was a very cold afternoon, and I was in the company of The Hubster and Jill on our long walk about after my last workshop on Tuesday afternoon –and here we were.

There are three separate cemeteries on Mackinac Island, with St Anne’s coming into view first on the route we took.

It had me wondering – were these full time residents that are buried here? Or part timers who had summer homes and chose to be laid to rest in the place they loved most? 

Probably some of both.

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Fort Cemetery, Mackinac Island

There is an old military fort on the island, but it wasn’t open for touring yet ---but this humble site caught our attention, and our hearts.  Those who have served our country in ANY century have sacrificed so much.

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History of the Post Cemetery

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Many of the stones say simply “US SOLDIER” because the original wooden markers deteriorated along with the name and rank, leaving no mention of who it was that was buried in this space.  Row after row after row of just “US Soldier.”  It was a humbling experience.

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Family members were also buried here.

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Cemetery Marker for 16 year old Allen Henry O'brien.

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Mrs Mary, wife of Major William Henry.

One of the largest markers in the small Post Cemetery--

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In Memory

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Never Forgotten

Okay, I know it’s kind of odd to some, but I like to read the names and the dates and ponder about this person and their life.  Acknowledge them.  Say "Hello!"  How different are our lives, yet how much the same?

I’ve been out for my walk this morning.  I know this post is late, but it’s been a crazy morning and I have to allow for some hiccups now and then.  In fact, my summer posts when I’m home may be coming a bit later in the morning because I’d really like to get out earlier for my walk.  Usually it is blog first thing – but I’ve got to beat this NC heat that is on its way – the humidity is already crawling back up out there ---so don’t worry, posts will still come! 

If you are on the west coast, it likely won’t affect you at all, but my east coast readers who like to breakfast with me with their morning cuppa may just have to peek back a bit later in the morning to find me.

Walk done, I’m ready to tackle the studio!  Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

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  1. I also love to stroll in cemeteries and read the names and dates -- such stories are harbored there! Sometimes I borrow interesting names for my writing.

  2. I too love the old cemeteries but unfortunately, I sometimes get a bit touched when I read the ones relating to the children. I do think about them and whether they suffered with some unfortunate illness. (Old softie at heart, that's me). Glad to hear it's getting warmer in your neck of the woods and that you are managing to get all your steps in. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to the next quilt cam.


  3. Anonymous10:46 AM EDT

    I too love old cemetaries. So much history. I always wonder about their stories and part in local history. I have found the grave markers so unique and some with the amazing artwork. I feel the same about vintage quilts.

  4. Anonymous11:05 AM EDT

    We used to live right down the road from an old Civil War era cemetery. It was a quiet place to go for a family walk. We would talk to our kids about why there were so many babies and children buried there and how our lives today are so different from our ancestors.
    Melissa in TX

  5. MNPennyQuilts11:36 AM EDT

    Our own backyard butts right up to a cemetery that dates back to the early 1800's. There is certainly a sense of curiosity of how others walked, what they saw and felt in our own backyard. Will be watching to see if we are meeting tomorrow night in your studio for quilt cam. Have a great day :)!

  6. You give so much of yourself to others, don't be concerned about later blog posts. I think most of your readers won't mind if you take that time to take care of you. I'll be happy to read your posts at any time of day!

  7. I love to follow your travels. Cemeteries have fascinated me since I was a kid and my girlfriend and I would ride bikes to the local cemetery to read the names and imagine what the people might have been like. So glad you enjoyed Mackinaw Island. I was able to tour the fort, but missed the cemetery when I was there. It is a beautiful place no matter the weather.

  8. Love traveling with you thru the posts. I know about that hot summer heat in Florida...we go to NC to get cooler!

  9. I too like wandering thru old grave yards looking at the grave stones.

  10. It's hard to say, but having buried my daughter when she was a tiny infant, only 17 days old when she passed, I feel a connection to the mothers past who also lost children either in childbirth due to stillbirth or other childhood illnesses we take for granted today. Sometimes I touch the headstones and my heart goes out to them, and I just want to let them know that this much later...I understand, that someone understands what that was like for them, as if they too, would know what it was like for me. We share that bond.

  11. I've been able to take the carriage tour around the island and they take us through the areas where you show pictures today. Those cemeteries are very humbling. But I can fill a couple things in for you. Yes, you do have to be a full time resident to be buried in St. Anne's cemetery. And for a fun story, when they built the arch, they forgot to build it high enough to allow for a driver on the carriages, the carriages can't even go through the arch, they have to go around. I believe the first one buried in St. Anne's was a child.
    The military cemetery is one of 4 where the flag is allowed to fly at half mast all the time.

  12. Bonnie, you'll definitely have to check out some of the cemeteries while you're in England. They're fascinating, and very old.
    Melissa in SW GA

  13. I understand, too, Bonnie. My first son was stillborn in 1967. There's a real connection to other mothers that have suffered this same loss.

  14. I can spend all day in a cemetery. Strolling through and reading the names and, like you say, imagining their lives. At the cemetery my father is buried in there are a handful of graves of people that all died on the same day back in the 1800's. One family looks to have buried 5 of their children that day and it makes me wonder what could have happened on that day.

  15. Cemeteries are one of my favorite places to visit too. Even as a child, I always felt at peace when visiting a cemetery. Now, I work on my genealogy and have come to rely on the information on those stones in the cemeteries. You may want to go to www.findagrave.com when you visit an area. At Findagrave, you can look up a certain cemetery and then read the information posted about some of the graves in the cemetery. Not all graves are listed on the site because all of us working with Findagrave haven't gotten around to it yet, but many times you will find obits and other interesting material, even photos of the people when they were living. Check it out sometime.

  16. I have always enjoyed strolling through cemeteries trying to imagine what that persons life was like and whether they had a happy life or perhaps what caused their death at a young age .

  17. I am also a fan of visiting cemeteries; reading the headstones, and appreciating the craftsmanship of the stone carvers as well. Last summer, while visiting cross-country, I visited 2 very old family cemeteries. Since I had forgotten how to find the cemetery, I came across a website with the information, as well as requests by others to locate and photograph headstones for specific people. So, I walked the entire cemetery to find the 10 requests, for later posting. After a couple of hours, we ran into another car blocking the road, and I offered to back down the the little 2-track...it turned out to be my mothers distant cousins!!! We had a nice visit and plan to see each other again. What a bright and surreal day it turned out to be.


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