Monday, July 6, 2009
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 write...so...........we 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.