Saturday, January 31, 2009

They all look alike.

Don 't they all start to look alike? I am often asked this, and I say "NO! Indeed" Then I can launch into a narrative of how cemeteries are laid out, and fenced, if they are fenced, and of the stone styles and the plants and trees around them.
This morning I decided to start on a new project of collecting all my family grave pictures and getting them on Find A Grave. I found this picture and I didn't know where it it was. My own words came back to haunt me!
With the magic of scanning and zooming I found out what cemetery this was. Then I did the most simple trick of all....label the picture.
What cemetery is this? This is Hope Cemetery in Corning, New York. Does this mean there is still hope for me??
Project is on hold again...Husband just got up and is dragging me out to the bicycle trail. From Corona to Huntington Beach, 41 miles long and not one cemetery in sight.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Graveyard Stew

I had so much fun creating a list of cemetery sites that I can't quit. Please look at my new blog. The list keeps going and going and going.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Diane's List of Cemetery Sites to Review

Thought I would share this. I put this list together for my genealogy society. Hope you have fun with all the information.

Satellite of cemetery maps by one of our own rabbits, JoLyn

Everyone’s favorite

Search of grave sites by name or cemetery

From Connecticut Gravestone Network, Dos and Don’t

Cemetery Symbols

Transcription Projects

City of the Silent

Preservation of Cemeteries

Antietiam National Cemetery

Indiana Pioneer Restoration Project. Good information for all of us

List of grave/cemetery sites

Favorite pages of Photos:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

John Thomas Grant, Photography

You have got to see this.
John Thomas Grant does something magic to make each grave stone look unique and special. I wonder if the person under looks at his final place on earth and says “someone does remember me.” The photos do honor the deceased in a special memorial.
If you haven’t found this site before please take a good look…you will know why you love cemeteries. Looking at these pictures is a favorite past time of mine.

Mr. Grant gave me permission to copy a picture or two for your viewing pleasure. Of course I copied TWO. Give me a one and I'll take three!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Postcard Collection...Report No. Six

Pine Hills Cemetery in Gowanda, New York. I was here a couple years ago. It is such a beautiful cemetery. There are other cemeteries nearby that I wished I had went to, but here is where many ancestors are buried. I got this postcard from the village historian, Phil Palen.
Here is an except from my journal:
Pine Hills Cemetery where the Bollers and Minekimes are buried. I was happy to see it. And it was lovely, many mature trees and birds chirping and singing and flying about. Also squirrels and chipmunks. After all, doesn’t every cemetery need a few squirrels and critters? The cemetery is so pretty. It sits on rolling hills just covered with trees. William and Barbara Boller have a very nice spot under a full tree. There is a Catholic section. Its center piece is a large crucifix over looking the graves. In one section you can see most the names are Polish, which is where Phil’s family is buried. He pointed out some of his family. The cemetery indicates that the whole town was, and is, very diverse. Italians, German, Poles, and Irish.
I really felt like we needed to have a picnic there. The cemetery has some open spaces that would be perfect to lay a blanket on and pull out McDonald hamburgers and a couple of large milkshakes! Of course in the Victorian times it was common to have picnics in the cemetery. They would have brought baskets of homemade foods such as breads, jellies, meats, cheese, fruit and homemade cookies.
To and from the cemetery Phil pointed out houses on the way. Some of the names were familiar. I have spent so much time looking in the census, and then the brief time in the museum and walking around the cemetery, they came to life in my heart! Phil said this guy was a doctor, or this person ran the glue factory or this person had a store.
Gowanda also has a cemetery walk. This year will be their second one. They hire buses to bring people up to the cemetery. They have actors, just like the members of Corona Historical Preservation Society do, to talk in the first person at the gravesite about their lives. Last year they had grave rubbings too. Phil said that would have been great, but the wind was blowing the tracing paper around and it rained a little. I told him if they ever decided to do the Bollers. I would fly out and portray them. Heck, I can be the real me and talk like their great granddaughter, because I am! But I love to get dressed up, so I would have to do that. After all I have all those costumes in my closet.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Agua Mansa, more pictures

More pictures. I was so amazed, I hope the pictures say it all!! And guess what..there are no postcards on this cemetery. Go figure.

Aqua Mansa Cemetery

I took Linda's <> challenge and went out to Agua Mansa cemetery. I am somewhere between speechless and Chatty Cathy.
First, the cemetery was opened and the museum was closed, but there is a grounds keeper living there to help keep away vandels. I spoke to him briefly. He said the exhibits were removed for a while because there is no money to keep it going.
As we walked around, my jaw dropped opened. Some of the graves were destroyed. Some were okay, some were nice, most were humble. I don't speak Spanish and this is primarliy a Mexican Graveyard. I wondered if two white girls would look suspicious here. I need to do some research to understand just what I saw. There were many spots with no graves but my heart told me that there were people under my feet.
The grave picture above is of Louis Rubudioux. He was a pioneer in these parts. One time I researched a house here in Corona that was lived in by a grandchild of his so I had to do research on his family. The house did get on the City Registry of Historic Places because of the connection.
I was suprised to see this memorial. Notice the picture in the tree, and the wooden cross. I am sure these were placed more recently, so some one must come by to visit.
This cemetery is being taken care of by a historical group and is much better than it was a few years ago. They put a fence around it with barbed wire to keep out the holigans, they hired the care taker and do some watering. Also it is now California State Historical Landmark #121.
At one time there was a thriving farm community across the street from where the cemetery now sits but it was wiped out by a flood in 1862. They tried to rebuilt but it was never as successful.
Later I will post more on this cemetery but I need to understand more.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Postcard Collection..Report No. Five

Fern Cliff Cemetery, Springfield, Ohio
There is no lack of information on this cemetery. This postcard is one of the prettiest ones in my collection. It is posted on Find a Grave and there is a web site ( for the cemetery. It is named for the unique ferns that grow on the cliffs nearby. There are over 66,000 burials and they can accomodate more. It was est. in 1863
I got it at a postcard show I went to this wekend in Glendale. There wasn't many postcards that I really liked of cemeteries. I bought three, Fern Cliff was one. I like simple ones that show a regular or more modest cemetery but the easiest to find are of popular cemeteries and of National cemeteries. I actually don't have any of National Cemeteries or of New Orleans cemeteries because they are so common.
Fern Cliff is now on my list of cemeteries to visit before I need one myself.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Charlotte Marie Thieme

I drove past the cemetery and felt the urge to drop in. Eddie and Gabriel (the fabulous caretakers) waved at me as I drove around the edge. I spotted a stone I hadn't seen before. Usually I am there looking for something particular so all others don't register. I had a thought to go over there, so I listened. Here is this beautiful grave for a little girl, Charlotte Marie Thieme. I know her!! Well, not exactly, but I know of her.
Look at this angel, she has the sweetest face. Now I start wondering about the stone carver.
I have heard stories from the historical community (I can't document this, Footnote Maven, because I heard it somewhere at sometime that I don't know). I heard that her father, Oscar Thieme, built a beautiful ranch for his bride, Lydia. He planted plants, flowers and trees from all over the world, made the place VERY impressive. Then brought his bride here. Soon they had a baby girl. She died after a few days from crib death. They were so devastated that they sold everything and moved back to Germany.
The ranch, known as Lemonia Grove, is still here, it is still lovely, still has the original packing house and home and the current owners are very generous with their home and property. This town was once known as "The Lemon Capital of the World." Corona's history is based on lemons and oranges.
Now I am curious, so I began my own research. 'Went to the library but every single microfiche reader was "out of service." I came home and did an internet research. Attention Genealogist: Do your own research, don't believe what is written or told to you.
Charlotte's parents were devastated but they stayed on in Corona for several more years. They had two more children. Oscar built another packing house by the railroad tracts. He also had many investments in San Francisco and traveled there often. In 1906 there was the horrible earthquake, and it ruined everything for the Thiemes. In the 1910 census Oscar, Lydia and their other two children were in Oakland, California. Oscar worked as a manager at a insurance business.
As far as I can tell they stayed in California, although I haven't found a burial spot for them. Their son was in San Francisco in 1940.
I imagine it was very sad to leave their little baby all by herself at the Sunnyslope Cemetery in Corona. I am sure they went to say "Goodbye" before they moved, they stood where I stood and grieved. I wonder if they ever returned.
I am going to adopt her.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Postcard Collection...Report No. Four

Last week I showed a Canton, Ohio postcard. Here is another one. This is one of Mrs. McKinley coming to visit her husband's grave. She visited daily.
I am always amazed at the postcards that can be found. It is really a peek into history.
History, cemeteries, genealogy and life is complete. LOL!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Postcard Collection...Report No. Three

I like postcards when people are in the picture. Here is the entrance to West Lawn Cemetery in Canton, Ohio. Walking through the entrance are a man and two boys. There might also be two more people ahead of the man and boys, but I can't be sure. This must have been sometime between 1907 and 1914.
West Lawn is best known as the resting place of President McKinley, who was assassinated in 1901 in Buffalo, New York. My grandfather witnessed the assassination at the train platform while he was waiting for a train. It was an event that he always remembered and often recounted.
McKinley was laid to rest at first in a receiving vault. A monument was built for him and their two daughters, that had already died, adjacent to the cemetery. When his wife died in 1907 she was placed with him and the children in a large, beautiful vault. Ida Saxton McKinley was born in Canton and it is there that she met Major William McKinley. After her husband's death she moved back to Canton and visited his grave almost daily.
Ida McKinley's brother is also buried here. He was murdered by a former lover while going up to the door of his current lover who was a widow.
There are several books written about the cemetery including an Arcadia Book, Images of America. It is titled Canton’s West Lawn Cemetery. There are many amazing monuments in this cemetery. Many leading citizens of Canton are buried here as well as several politicians. It was established in 1859 and is still accepting burials.
I always wonder about the people that are accidentally in the postcards. Where they really just passing by while the photographer was taking pictures. Were they posing? Did they hire the photographer to take the pictures? In this one were they going in to see a loved one or were they on a Sunday walk? Maybe they went to see the Presidential monument? Could they be up to no good?
A writer could create a great story using this postcard.

Postcard Collection...Report No. Two

This is from Phildephia, PA. Read the postcard, it says it all.
A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits