Now whenever I’m out of town, I always make it a point to visit a cemetery. To me, they are better than any mountain range, skyline or other popular tourist attraction. They are hidden treasures containing a wealth of information about communities and the people who lived there.
Chances are you have visited a cemetery at some time in your life to pay your respects to a family member or friend, and perhaps you too appreciate the stories represented among the tombstones and monuments.
My travels take me to all over the South and Midwest, so I have decided to start documenting my cemetery visits with a series of photos in a new Sunday feature.
This week’s cemetery is Atkins Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery in Floyds Knobs, Indiana.
The Knobs, as most who live in these parts call it, has some of the best roads for athletic activities in Southern Indiana. For years, I’ve taken full advantage of the surface whether I’m running, biking or out for a Sunday drive. Just to let you know how rural of an area we’re talking…. I’ve run up to 15 miles before without passing a single car, truck, piece of farm equipment or human being! The only place I’ve ever experienced something similar is in Minnesota.
The cemetery is located on Atkins Road. According to the church’s website, www.atkinschapel.org, it was organized in 1822 but at that time was in another nearby location. It moved to its present location in 1878.This was my first time actually stopping to walk the cemetery. And wouldn’t you know, I discovered some interesting things:
The headstone for Alice C. Fenwick (b. 1873, d. 1893) is made entirely out of metal. Not sure whether her family was struggling financially and couldn’t afford a “real” headstone or whether someone in her family was a metalsmith. In any case, it was pretty cool and didn’t look the slightest bit out of place among the other headstones.
The oldest headstone I was able to locate belonged to Keighley England (b. June 22, 1794, d. June 29, 1874).
- Hidden in some overgrown brush were the headstones of Annie Freiberger and her husband Michael. He died in 1866 at age 45 while she went onto live 100 when she passed in 1920.
- Near the back of the cemetery, there was a section featuring carved stone place holders showing where the current living will someday be buried. Great idea for identification purposes.
Elizabeth Moser (b. 1836, d. 1888) and her husband Johannes Moser (b. 1832, d. 1889) must have had German roots because the words carved into their headstone are in German. Not only did it feature a delightful carved skyline, the placement of Mr. and Mrs. Mosers info was well thought out. It appears on each side of the headstone.
There’s nothing more exciting than discovering a cemetery off the beaten path. Hopefully my future travels will allow me to discover even more unique cemeteries.
Until next time….