It really is funny that during my school years, I never found history very interesting. Now I love everything that has a history. I just love old cemeteries. I like to wander around and look at the old grave stones and read what they have to say. Some have beautiful poems and some even have a little story about the person that once lived. There are some in my family that find this pastime of mine a little strange, but I find it all very interesting.
One day, I happened across one of those cemeteries, hidden off of the main road, near by where I lived. One of the first graves I saw there was one of a girl that was born in 1880 and died in 1900. She bore the same 1st name as my mother and my daughter. I became very interested in who she was and what happened to her that she only lived to age 20.
First I had to learn more about the cemetery. This led me to libraries, books and local history buffs. In time I learned that at one time, there was a little village there. The only telltale sign of the village was the cemetery and the foundation of an old church that use to be there.
My search led me to a man that knew a lot about the area. He in fact was in touch with two sisters that tended their families graves there. One of those graves was the one I was interested in! He started to tell about some other old cemeteries in the area and one that even had an old stone house nearby! He happened to have a copy of an old news paper article about the stone house and its history. At the time I found it very interesting but I was more absorbed in finding out about the girl in the old cemetery.
I put the news article away with some of my other papers and in time forgot about it. In the mean time, I located Doris. She was in her late 70s, and her sister was in her 80s. I had written to her and she wrote me back telling me all about the cemetery, the village that was one there, and the family whose graves she and her sister tended. Much to my dismay, she did not know much about the young girl who bore my mother and my daughters' name.
About 7yrs later we decided to move and I wanted to fulfill a dream of mine and set out to find an old house with a history. I was told about an old stone house that was boarded up for several years. I went to see it and fell in love!
It wasn't until later that I discovered the old news clipping about the house among my papers. To this day, I feel that fate somehow had a hand in our finding the old stone house.
As far as the cemetery is concerned, Doris and I corresponded by mail for years. She and her sister traveled a long way twice a year to tend to the graves of their family When Doris' sister passed away and she became too old to tend the graves, my husband, my grand daughter, and I took over for her. All this time, we had never once met in person.
Now I am unable to tend to the graves, but my husband and my grand daughter bring along a chair for me and there I sit, while they do the work, lovingly tending the graves of people that we never met.
Life sure can be strange. Because of my interest in an old cemetery, I have made a dear friend, gained a family and found my wonderful old stone house!