Monday, July 6, 2009

Favorite Places


A few posts ago, I asked you to pack and be ready to travel with me to one of my favorite places. Packing...well, you don't need much. This time of year-- sunscreen, good walking shoes, camera, and water. I'll bring along "the kit".

I traveled with my SIL to the barn last week to photograph Tango Tricks, and on the way there we spotted a cemetery. Not a new cemetery; but what appeared to be an historic graveyard. We stopped on the way back and I got some photographs. No, I'm not a goth and no I'm not obsessed with death or morbid things. Cemeteries to me are stories waiting to be told. Everyone buried there is a wife, a mother, a sister, a brother, a husband, a cousin, a grandfather, or a grandmother. Everyone! They all have a story they'd like us to know, to share; even if you're not family.

Randomly I snapped photo's, pointing to a few I thought were particularly interesting to Jan. She remarked about the peacefulness, serenity and beauty of the cemetery. We were high on a hill, overlooking a bountiful cornfield and it was truly beautiful.

I did minimal research here to prove a point. The point, look what one can learn; what story one can tell with just a little bit of curiosity.

James Garlinghouse (rather unusual name I thought, and so I photographed the stone, and wow, look at the dates). died in 1850. Died before the civil war, at the age of 85........that means James was born in 1765 Before we gained our Independence from England. Think about that for a moment. This stone marking the life of James Garlinghouse is 159 years old. If only it could talk to us. Well, in a way it can and does.

What I found without doing lots research is the following:
James was born in 1765 in Sussex, NJ. He died at the age of 85 years and 8 months in the county of Delaware, Ohio. His military records, indicate burial is unknown; with a side note that says buried in Fancher Maple Grove Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio. The cemetery is in Harlem Township in Delaware County, and while there we speculated that it was probably a church cemetery in the beginning.............Maple Grove, perhaps is the name of the church?

The official Roster for the state of Ohio for soldiers of The American Revoluntion list him with a matching date of death. Our quick little stop, and we're looking at a stone for someone who fought for this country's independence.......and we did this 1 week before this country's celebration on the 4th of July! That too me is awesome.

Futher speculative information says this James and his brother John built a cabin along side a Mill, and Mary Garlinghouse, daughter of James is listed as the first white woman born in the area of Springwater. Springwater is in Pennsylvania. So........why did a man born in NJ, end up buried in Ohio, if he had a daughter born in Pennsylvania? This was, after all before frequent flyer miles. The research does go onto say, the connection of the Springhill Garlinghouse clan hasn't been proven by way of documentation; but it's listed as highly probable.

Math....math is alway in play when telling stories of those that came before us. Math tells me that If this James was born in 1765 he would have been 11 in 1776. Hum.......yes it happened. Then too the date could be wrong, after all records were not infallible, and people didn't read and do have a story; but, surely there's more

If indeed this is a Revolutionary War Veteran, let's doth our hats. If not, well let's honor him anyway. After all he was someone's son, perhaps a brother, a husband and more. If only that stone could talk and tell us more.
I like cemeteries, they are filled with history, with stories of people like you and me, of families who paved the way for us, who gave so much of themselves to the country and the land. Visiting cemeteries, photographing and documenting the stones and the stories they hold are to me ways to honor them. The kit I referred to above is my gravin box. In it I keep a pair of gloves, spray bottle of water, soft brush, American Flags, and trimmers. Sometimes one needs to do a little clean up around these old stones. The water can help cox the story from a hard to read stone.

Next we'll be traveling to sun, sand, and surf. Bring your bathing suits and journals.


  1. I love visiting the old cemeteries and seeing how beautiful the old headstones were! And then I always get very sad seeing the whole families buried near each other, especially when they are small children. :(

    It's nice to find someone else who cleans up the stones. I wish more people cared.

  2. In my neck of the woods (Okla.) there are no gravestones before the civil war. But I just returned from Ireland, and the cemeteries and churches there were ALL over. And so pretty. Yes pretty!

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  4. I never realized how interesting cemeteries could be until we stopped at the one on the way home from the barn.

    You could spend hours exporing fact, I know you do! History comes alive then, doesn't it?

  5. Amazing seeing a possible Rev. War era headstone. Thats not an everyday occurrence. I have some friends who like to do their running and walking for exercise in cemeteries.

  6. Yes the old cemeteries have its own attraction in its nature. In my country also some very beautiful & historical cemeteries, those are very pretty.
    Tucson City Guide

  7. Hi Sandy,

    I'm just popping in to answer your question on SlogBite. I haven't been on SlogBite for very long but it appeals to me because it is a site with quality blogs listed, no Spam Blogs = Slogs allowed! I'm so tired of the useless Slogs I've encountered while doing my EC drops. Many of them you can tell have nothing in mind except making money by blogging - many of them penning useless drivel just to make money.

    Hope this helps to answer your question!

    Have a great weekend.

  8. I also love going through old cemeteries. The oldest that I have found so far was particularly interesting because it is located on the property of what is now a truckstop on the southside of Binghamton, NY. It contained the graves of a couple of people who served in both the Revolution War and the War of 1812, and the graves of several others who were born well before 1776. I don't know if it will work like that, but if it does, can you imagine the shock on their faces when they leave their graves, come Judgment Day, to see what has become of where they were interred?

  9. Hey again :) The email subscription sends it to any email address you choose, while the RSS reader saves it to Google... my google reads appear on my Google homepage. I like both ways myself - I get some sent to my email, and some I read with the RSS.

  10. Hi Sandy,
    I finally made it and found this wonderful Award you have for me! Thank you so much, I am so honored.
    I was thinking of your story. There are many cemeterys that never get visitors anymore, because they are so old. My moms heritage came from Norway to North Dakota. I can't say the cemeterys in North Dakota are deserted since they have people resting in them. But, some of them are behind old abondoned churches, and rickitie picket fences. They are now a piece of the landscape with old weeds blowing in the wind that surround them. Very lonely.
    Some do not have markers.
    Bless their souls. Are they forgotten?

  11. Very fascinating post! I've wondered about the people behind the markers too but haven't done the research on anyone. Now I just might! My 91 year old great aunt worked for many years for an attorney with the last name of Garlinghouse in Topeka, KS.

  12. Have you ever taken the cemetary tours in New Orleans? I went before Katrina and hope they survived. Definitely a trip highlight for anyone going there.

  13. What an exciting trip - like a crime novel - thanks for taking us with and provide us with the needed kit :-)

    Btw: Thanks for the visit and nice comment. It's always great to welcome new readers on my blog about Norway.
    I'll check your question about SlogBite and let you know in reply to your comment.

  14. You've found another cemetery-lover here! I live in a fairly ancient part of England so we do have some very interesting cemeteries. I used to take our old do on walks through one local one, and I always said that every one of those graves could tell a story. It's such a shame more of them aren't recorded. And it's started me off on recording our own family history before it's forgotten. For future generations.

    To answer your question about do/nofollow, the only way I know to find out about a link is in Firefox. I don't use a plugin, but just right-click on the link and go to properties. If it is nofollow, it will tell you at the bottom.

  15. Not a place I like to spend time, but never thought of a cemetery as a place to see such history. Gives me a different perspective.

  16. I've never visited any cemeteries for years. I lost my beloved uncle ten years ago, and it gave me a deep sadness. Since then, I always try not to go to any cemeteries anymore, and try to avoid funerals, though it will seem unsocial. This post reminds me, one day cemetery will be our house, no matter what. But uhm, I can not make it a favorite place. the historical side is nice though.

  17. @ Storm, The Psychotic Housewife

    Have you seen the movie Pet Sematary. It is one of my favorite movies.

  18. I've not seen the movie, must make a note and check it out.


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