Thursday, January 04, 2007

Cemetery of the Past

Thomas Scott Sr. - Born June 1790 – Died August 1869
William Pike – Born March 1806 – Died September 1851
Elemena Bacon – Born January 1839 – Died June 1856
Joseph Nelson File – Born February 1832 – Died November 1855

These are the names of four of the deceased buried at a rather small 50 ft. by 50 ft. cemetery called Batson & Tranquility Methodist Cemetery just north of the main part of the city in which I reside. It is a quaint cemetery. Most of the occupants of this small plot of land are from the same family. Except for a few of the older headstones, most of the headstones are placed in an arc spanning the width of the cemetery.

By reading the inscriptions on the headstones, it is safe to say that the family cemetery was in use for about one hundred years. Until recently, the area in question has been way out in the country and on fertile farmland. If I were to imagine myself attending one of these funerals, I suppose that, while standing there, I would look around and see little or no housing and quite possibly not much of a road leading to it. It is quite possible that, being farmland, this small piece of land was on private property. Little or nothing is known about this cemetery and I suppose that anything I say about it is mainly conjecture but what I have mentioned gives you a fair idea.

So… a hundred years ago it was in the middle of nowhere. Now, look where it is! (Click on the photo for a better view) About 30 feet east of it lies a five-lane road, a beer store, a Nissan dealership and a WalMart. North of it, sits a Hyundi car lot. South of it an automobile parts store parks itself and west of it resides a large farm house and an 18 hole golf course. I have no doubt that before each person that was buried there in the eighteen hundreds, they thought that they were going to rest in peace for eternity. Well… time and modernization has changed all that!

It amazes me how our communities are growing. Cities around us are gobbling up farmland faster than I could ever have imagined. People are pouring in at a rate faster than house builders can build. In no time there will be nowhere to rest. Hopefully, when I die, I will be buried in a place where it is quiet forever… well at least for a hundred years. After that…all bets are off!

Rest in Peace!


Becky Wolfe said...

I mourn the same sentiments as the world around me gets rapidly developed.

At least cemetaries are still somewhat sacred. I wonder if the day will come where even burial land will be sold for real estate. Oh the ghost stories that will happen then.

Janice said...

What a delightful little piece of history and such an interesting cemetery...Thanks for showing this Dave.

Interesting how we humans dislike change so much, yet it is the one thing in this world we can count on 100%! LOL

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Nicely told. I've never seen one arranged in an arc like that. I hope it will be spared development.

I was curious about poor Elemena who died at the young age of 17.

Live, Love, Laugh said...

interesting to think about those who have gone before us and to wonder what their lives were like. Thanks for sharing this post, it gave me a moment of reflection.

Le Nightowl said...

What a unique cemetery! I've never seen the like of it before.
I wish I knew the reason for the arc disposition.
Your pictures are the demonstration of the necessity to zoom in to get to the core of the subject and leave out distracting elements :)

PS: Hem ... my new blog is now officially open!

Wendz said...

Oh good lord! Buried!

No..ta, but no. Just burn me to a crisp and be done with it. Thank you.

The idea of being a pile of rotten worm-eaten bones makes me want to puke.

Anyway - on to cemetaries...France has about a million of I don't really know how many but it seems that way...they dot the landscape like little towns. All over. But very peaceful and pretty too. And so far - they are untouched by village expansion and population growth.

it's the little things said...

As someone who photographs cemeteries as a hobby, I am much intrigued by the arc formation.
How fascinating!
Many cemeteries in Texas that I've photographed are still 'out in the sticks', but with the ever moving push of development, sadly it won't always be the case.
I just hope I don't end up buried near a Walmart.
It's already bad enough you can buy tires and a gallon of mild in the same place. If you add the routine cemetery visit before or after...well...that's just too much! :)

Dave said...

Hi Becky!... Reminds me of that movie Poltergist! I also have a couple of good ghost stories for you if interested! Maybe I will blog about it sometime! :-)

Good to hear from you Janice!...You are correct about that... What type of world would we be in if it wasn't for the movers and shakers who make changes in our society? Take care!

Hey LGS, as usual, good to hear from you!...I actually have a photo of the head stone if interested. At her point of death, she was married to a William Bacon.

Hi L.L.L.! Thanks for your comment. I too often think about what lives were like...We can learn a lot from the past.

Marie! Welcome back!... I am going to try to find out about the arc. I will will let you know if I find out anything.

Hi Wendz!...Nice to make your acquaintance! Cremation huh? It sure would save on land, I assume besides, why become fodder for the worms! Nice blog you have, by the way!

Hi "it's the Little Things Said"...Back in 1983 when I got my first "real camers," I took it to the local cemetery and went through a roll of film...Something about tombstones ... A lot of history ... A lot to be learned. Thanks for your comment and look forward to going to your blog again tomorrow!

Leann said...

I can spend hours in places like that. I often wonder what their lives were like and the hardships they must have endured.

I've never seen the arch of headstones like that before. It's an interesting pattern.

It would be nice if you could find out more information on that cemetary.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

if you are offering a photo of a tombstone, why would I say no? My email is - what else could it be!

Elemena married and dead by 17. Hmmm. Death at childbirth perhaps?