Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Annie. E. Wright for July Carnival

This was a fun challenge! Here is Annie Elizabeth Wright, my husbands great grandmother.
The best part of the story is of how I got the cemetery picture. Grandma Annie is buried in Dallas, Texas. I planned to go to the cemetery when I got there from California, but nobody would go with me. I was a stranger so I wanted someone to go with me. Nobody would go. I called the cemetery and talked to the sexton, a very nice man, and he assured me she was there and he would take me to the grave. But still nobody that I knew would go with me. I called the local police to ask if it was safe to go there alone. This is what I was told after alot of hemming and hawing: :"A white girl in a late model car shouldn't go there." Well, now I am scared, but I still wanted a picture.
So this is what I did. I mailed a disposable camera and a self addressed stamped bubble envelope in another bubble envelope to the cemetery and enclosed a small donation and a note to please take photos of her grave. In a week or two I recieved it back. This darling man took the whole roll, every angle possible of the stone.
Now I always think of that story when I think of Annie E. Hockenberry Wright.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Look at this postcard carefully. Toward the right are two men standing by an old car. Why do they have the car in the cemetery? This postcard was mailed in 1907. On the back it says
"Dear Mother,
Thinking you would like this scene I sent to town by Jesse last night and got it.
Some postcard history: In the lower left it is written "Published by E.E.N.Corn, pharmacist" Often the drug stores in small towns, would go around and take photos, make postcards and sell them in their stores. In larger towns there might be a postcard store that would sell not only postcards with images of their towns on them, but postcard albums, photo corners, glue or anything that would have to do with postcards. They also would sponsored "card parties." People would meet at the store, perhaps in the basement or back room, and swap postcards and show off what they have collected. Naturally, they would end up in the store to buy more supplies.
Barnes, Kansas is a small town of 150 people. In spite of the small population there are 5 cemeteries, however, two are private family cemeteries. Find a Grave has 85 postings at this graveyard. There is also a couple of family genealogy sites that post Maplewood Cemetery as the final resting place. Kenneth Rigel has posted several pictures of this cemetery.This little town has put together a great website. There is also The Barnes Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Kansas Rabbit

My husband is from Kansas so we visit there often. I do like it there, it is a big contrast to California.

So...I am trying an experiment. Lets call it a virtual experiment. I wrote a new blog and titled it The Kansas Rabbit. I noticed that there wasn't a Kansas Rabbit so I am going to hop to Kansas via my current collection and the web, with a occasional visit to the Sunflower State.

Please visit me at http://thekansasrabbit.blogspot.com/ I can't wait to tell you Kansas Stories.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sunnyslope Cemetery Stroll Report

The Mourning Lady, and yes, I know sunglasses are wrong!

Our 14th Cemetery Stroll is underway. We have had so many themes is the past. We portrayed people who lived on Grand Blvd., shop keepers, churches in early Corona, and early trustees of the cemetery to name a few. This year we are portraying Civil War soldiers that are buried in Sunnyslope. Surprisingly some are from California.

Most people do not associate California with the Civil War, but the state played a very important part. Some regiments were assigned to protect the Overland Mail routes. Other regiments got gold to the East to keep the Union effort going.

Our final five are................
Josiah Countyman, 2nd Cal Cav, Company C
John L. Merriman, 2nd Cal Cav, Company E
Daniel H. Kathan, 2nd Cal Cav, Company K
Barnabus E. Savery, 24th Mass
Ethan P. Kidder, Ill 139th, Company E

It is a coincidence that three are from California. We just keep collecting all the soldiers, then we have to figure out a logistical route through the cemetery, after all it is a stroll!

There are some guys that I really want to research in more depth more but they are too close together or too far apart. Maybe there will be a Part Two since there are so many soldiers from the Civil War.

Real Civil War Re Enactors will portray the soldiers. Except for one soldier who gets me as his mother. It is selfish but I have to be there right in the middle of it all.

I have the urge to tell you all about it but then you wouldn’t come to the 2009 Sunnyslope Cemetery Stroll.

To see stories of past Strolls go to:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Funeral Cookies

Often funeral tokens were given as a reminder of the departed loved one. Sometimes it was gloves, sometimes a printed hymn. More often than not it was a cookie. A Funeral Cookie. Old cookbooks referred to them as seed cookies.
Molds were used to press images on the cookies. The most common was the heart meaning love, faith and hope. It could also have been the rooster, symbolizing The Resurrection. The cookies were so common that they were not noted and forgotten after several generations. The molds were used often and traded from household to household as they were needed.
Some wood carvers specialized in making cookie molds. Molds were also made of metal or carved from marble.
Sometimes the cookies were sent as an invitation to homes of friends and family. They would be wrapped in black ribbon or black crepe. Most often they were passed out as a reminder at the funeral. The cookies tended to be hard because they were not intended to be eaten alone. They were usually saved as a memory token, but if they were eaten, they were eaten by dipping into wine, beer or tea.
So where is the recipe you ask. I am still trying some out. They were like shortbread or sugar cookies, I have been told. Does anyone know of a recipe?
For more funeral recipes see my website http://www.graveyardstewplus.com/

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Real Daughter, A Pioneer, a Saved Grave

This is everything I love. A Real Daughter of the DAR. A Pioneer that sacrificed, suffered and died for her beliefs and a grave that was saved.
My brother, Wayne Shockey, took this photo while driving through Nebraska. Thanks Wayne!

The Flag to Honor Veterans, Flag Folds

These meanings, not part of the U.S. Flag Code, have been ascribed to the 13 folds of American flags at veterans burial services:
1. Symbol of life.
2. Symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
3. In honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.
4. Represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.
5. A tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."
6. Represents where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
7. A tribute to our armed forces.
8. A tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother's Day.
9. A tribute to womanhood.
10. A tribute to father.
11. In the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
12. In the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.
13. When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, "In God We Trust."

Friday, June 5, 2009

Postcard Collection Rural Cemetery at Poughkeepsie, New York

Began in 1853

"Rural Cemeteries" replaced church yards and family plots as the burial place of choice, and the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery was part of this revolution. Even though they were nearly always located near growing urban areas, these cemeteries were called "rural" because their carefully landscaped grounds embodied a respect for nature, and provided a respite from the chaotic bustle of the city.
The cemetery committee finally decided on a fifty-four acre parcel of land belonging to the estate of Supreme Court Justice Smith Thompson. This land forms the nucleus of the present cemetery.
The purchase of the land was made possible by sixty citizens of Poughkeepsie who invested $300 each and were given the option of either being paid back once the cemetery began to sell plots, or using the investment to pay for a family plot. The grounds were laid out by landscape architect Howard Daniels, and the opening ceremony took place on November 2, 1853. The Poughkeepsie Eagle newspaper described the opening ceremony in the following manner: "The day was uncommonly fine, the air salubrious, the ground dry, and all nature seemed to smile on the praiseworthy undertaking of our citizens in planning, laying out and decorating such a beautiful spot for a burial place."
At the website of the Rural Cemetery is a virtual walking tour and a video of what it looked like in 1938.
Information taken from http://www.poughkeepsieruralcemetery.org/history.php

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Searching For The Old Cemetery

Once I asked a professional genealogist what was her best tip. Without hesitating she said “maps.” I have thought of her often as I have used several maps trying to locate the old cemetery in town. Maps and lots of clues from any source.

Kathleen, a fellow researcher, and I have followed every clue available. We have scoured the newspaper, the maps, the obituaries, the deeds in both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Some written histories mention the old burying grounds briefly. Each word is a clue to us. “North of the depot”. “North of the tracts”. “On the bank of the wash”. “On the north bank of the wash”. “North of town”. The only thing for sure is that it is north.

The new cemetery was started in 1892, that is agreed upon by all historians and we found the deed for verification. With that in mind I checked the several transcribed projects to find any grave before 1892 in the new and current cemetery. They must have been moved from the old cemetery. I looked for the obituaries and almost without fail they say “burial at the cemetery north of town.” Apparently there was no real name for the cemetery. I picture the carriage carrying a coffin down Main Street to the makeshift cemetery, but then what? This ground is very hard because it is packed clay. I would hate to leave someone I loved in a makeshift grave “north of town.” A cemetery is supposed to be pretty and peaceful, with a fence around it and a caretaker. Corona, known as South Riverside at the time, was all scrub and desert back then.

My research tells me there were only about a dozen burials at the old cemetery. Then the floods of the winter of 1891/92 came. It rained so hard it was impossible to get to the cemetery (another clue?). Since it was on the north bank of the (Temescal) Wash, did the cemetery wash out or could one just not get across the bank to the cemetery? A group of citizens decided at this point to relocate the cemetery and form a cemetery association. This part is well documented.

In trying to locate the old cemetery, the route of the creek/wash/river has been changed. This is one more minor complication. Thank Goodness for the old maps.

I was hoping to find some articles in the newspaper that would describe carriages bringing the old burials to the new cemetery. Not a one. Wouldn’t that be noteworthy? That would be in the paper today if something like that happened. An aside: it sure would be noteworthy if horses and carriages went through town hauling old coffins down Main Street in 2009! I went through the newspapers several times and Kathleen went through several more times to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

There were also people that died after the flood and before the new cemetery was formed; these bodies were buried wherever space was available. Usually they were buried on their own property. The newspaper would indicate the location, such as “on the property of H.H. Anderson on Main Street” and state “deposited for the present.”

Still another complication: some persons that died before the formation of the present Sunnyslope Cemetery on Rimpau in Corona are found in the then new Sunnyslope cemetery, while others can’t be found anywhere yet. They must have been moved somewhere else, or they have no marker, or they were forgotten.

We may never find the exact locations of these displaced loved ones, but I can point with confidence as I drive down Main Street, north of the depot and pass the Wash and say “It is in this area.”

Of course it is most important to locate the people; their stories continue and need to be told.

I feel like I am on a treasure hunt!
A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits