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Back in January I wrote several diaries about my great-grandmother Eva. She came to Brooklyn from what is now Ukraine in 1911, when she was 16. In October 1912, when she was 17, she married my great-grandfather. Their first child, a boy named Adam, was born ten months later, in August 1913, a century ago this week. He lived only a few hours. They later had four more children (including my grandmother), all of whom lived to adulthood.

My aunt, one of the most tender-hearted people I know, often thinks of their first child, Adam, who was born, and died, more than 40 years before she was born. It always bothered her that we did not know where Adam was buried. My great-grandparents are buried in a plot in Queens, but that wasn’t purchased until my great-grandfather died in 1940. Nearby, in the same cemetery, is a section for babies who died and my aunt always mentioned Adam when we went there.

Last summer I took from my grandparents’ house (which we’re preparing to sell) a metal box full of documents. It contained all sorts of insurance policies and other assorted legal documents, but it also contained…a folder of cemetery deeds. In that folder was a 1929 letter from a Brooklyn funeral home specifying the exact plot where Adam is buried. It’s in Most Holy Trinity Cemetery, in Brooklyn near the Queens border. At Christmas my wife and I went there, and it was well worth the trip.

This letter told me exactly where Adam was buried
It’s a fascinating place, one of thousands of hidden nooks and crannies in New York City that even most lifelong residents have never heard of. The cemetery is at the end of a long avenue, but in a dead-end block covered in cobblestones and reached only by passing under a dark stone railway arch bearing tracks for the elevated subway. The only things on the other side of the arch are the gate to Most Holy Trinity Cemetery, a service entrance to another cemetery, and one industrial business. Tucked away like that, it’s largely unknown. But it’s one of the most unique cemeteries I’ve ever seen. And I've seen a lot of cemeteries.

The cemetery began as the parish cemetery of the Roman Catholic Most Holy Trinity Church in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The parish, which has a stunning church building, was founded in 1841. In New York in those days, the parish lines also were very strict. These days, you can just go to a different church if you don’t like your local parish because the building’s ugly, or the pastor’s a jerk, or the music is boring. In those days you couldn’t, any more than you could send your property taxes to the next jurisdiction instead of where you lived. The lines on the map being sacred, you’d have to move. Many people did move a lot within New York City in those days, but I’m not sure parishes were the reason.

Most Holy Trinity Church, Williamsburg
The beautiful interior of the -- allegedly haunted -- Most Holy Trinity Church in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Most Holy Trinity was different. It was the first of the “ethnic” parishes. At the time the Catholic parishes in New York were almost exclusively Irish. As new Catholic immigrant groups arrived, the dioceses decided to allow parishes that were defined not by geographic boundaries, but by a common language and culture. Most Holy Trinity, in 1841, was the first German-American parish, with its first pastor a native of Austrian Tirol. Other German parishes and many Italian parishes came later. Today, due to demographic changes in the neighborhood, Most Holy Trinity offers masses in Polish and Spanish each Sunday, but no longer in German. In this instance, demand creates supply.

In the early days, parishioners were buried in the churchyard beside the original church. As soon as 1851, when most parishioners were still of German descent, the parish relocated the bodies from the churchyard to a larger tract of land to the east, on the Brooklyn-Queens border in an area where some two dozen cemeteries are crammed together. Three decades later, the current church building was built on the site of the original churchyard.

This fact, combined with the facts that the church has a number of a (now closed) byzantine network of hidden passages on four levels and that several people have died suddenly there over the years, has led many people to claim that the church is haunted. It's said that, even when it's sure there's nobody else in the building, loud footsteps can be heard in it (My question is how you can tell there's nobody else in the church; it's pretty large and still has four levels).

But I digress. This is about the cemetery, which the parish administered for many years, but today it is run by Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Befitting the cemetery’s origins, most of the names there are German or Polish, the two major ethnic groups within the parish and its neighborhood. But what makes the cemetery so unique is that, until very recently, all of the markers are made of hollow metal or wood. Only in the last couple of decades has Catholic Cemeteries allowed placement of some flat stone markers.

L train over Central Avenue, Bushwick
To reach the cemetery one must pass under these elevated subway tracks
Most Holy Trinity Cemetery
Some of the interesting grave markers at Most Holy Trinity
German family's tomb marker, Most Holy Trinity Cemetery
Many of the earlier grave markers are for German immigrant families
I have seen two explanations for this. I’ll start with the most romantic. According to that tale, a German immigrant tinsmith who belonged to the parish bought land in a then-remote area, then offered it to the parish as a cemetery on the condition that he be engaged to make all the monuments. He worked only with metal or wood.

His great-granddaughter, however, said she is not aware of him owning the land at any point. She claims the land, which used to belong to the (much larger) neighboring Cemetery of the Evergreens, was sold directly by that cemetery to the parish. Because the land was wet, stone markers would sink. Thus the parish came to the tinsmith, not the other way around.

Most Holy Trinity Cemetery
The many large crucifix grave markers led an early-20th-century newspaper reporter to call Most Holy Trinity an “extraordinary spectacle of a multiplied Golgotha”
Most Holy Trinity Cemetery
These are among the larger monuments in the cemetery
Most Holy Trinity Cemetery
This photo shows some of the newer flat stone markers; larger stone markers are not allowed because they are too heavy and will sink in the wet ground
Either way, this tinsmith had a steady stream of work for life. The end result is a very interesting cemetery. Some of the markers are not holding up well, but many are in good shape, if a bit timeworn. It’s one of those places that’s unlike just about anything else I’ve seen, kind of like a cemetery equivalent of the Badlands or Bryce Canyon, or maybe the Oak Bluffs cottages.
Most Holy Trinity Cemetery
Visible behind the tin markers of Most Holy Trinity and the fence with barbed wire are the more familiar granite monuments of the neighboring Cemetery of the Evergreens
Most Holy Trinity Cemetery
A closer look at two markers, one rusted and the other largely not
Most Holy Trinity Cemetery
Many of the larger hollow tin monuments sit at angles that might cause them to topple over if they were solid granite
Some of the tin monuments, as you might expect, are holding up better than others. The "others" are rusted (a very cool effect in my opinion) or, in many cases, bent as if someone tried to make a pretzel of them. These timeworn grave markers (I almost typed "stones"), along with the isolation of the cemetery, the forbidding railroad bridge under which one must pass to access it, the gloomy cobblestoned cul-de-sac in which the entrance sits, the sense that it's been forgotten (on the day I visited only a security guard staying warm in his car was there), and the allegations that the parish church itself is haunted, combine to form the eerie uniqueness of the place. I fear these photos don't do it justice.

My grandmother’s brother Adam, the one she never knew, is buried in a section that must have been popular among poorer people. I so surmise because, in a pretty large area, there are only two or three grave markers. Using one in the same row as Adam as a reference, I found the spot where he is buried, unmarked. I left a pile of pebbles and a tall stick, which the security guy told me might be taken out by a lawnmower in the spring. Doesn’t matter. I know the spot.

Most Holy Trinity Cemetery
My great-uncle Adam is buried at the right end of this red line segment. The eagle-eyed will see the red hexagon around where I marked the spot with a stick.
Most Holy Trinity Church
The section behind Adam's has many more grave markers
Most Holy Trinity Cemetery
Another vista of the cemetery; from this angle it's almost hard to tell the monuments are not made of stone
I don’t think anyone from our family’s been there in more than 80 years. Maybe even the 100 years since Adam was born and died. My grandmother had the letter with the grave location in her house, but apparently didn’t know it. She always said she had no idea where Adam was buried and it bothered her too. In her name and her parents’ name as well, it was good for me to go there.

I remember that President Kennedy’s son Patrick (born in August 1963, 50 years after Adam) died fifty years ago today, also soon after being born. He was buried in Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts. These days President Kennedy’s parents and a fair number of the family are at rest in the same plot there, but in 1963 they were all living. Patrick was the only person buried at Holyhood. President Kennedy visited the grave one night in the fall of 1963 and said, “He seems so alone here.” When President Kennedy was killed in November, Patrick’s body was moved to Arlington to be near him.

Visiting Most Holy Trinity I had similar thoughts about Adam, but there doesn’t seem to be any feasible way to move him closer to other relatives. All the family plots in New York are full. I find some comfort in thinking that he’s had nearly a century to get accustomed to a very unique place, and we now know where to find him.

So, open thread... Let's hear about the most unique cemeteries you've come across, or anything else that strikes your fancy.

Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 9:16 PM PT (Anonymous Coward): thank you for share!
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Originally posted to fenway49 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 09:19 AM PDT.

Also republished by Genealogy and Family History Community and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (47+ / 0-)

    "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

    by fenway49 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 09:19:00 AM PDT

  •  For several years I was at Elizabeth, NJ (19+ / 0-)

    as minister at First Presbyterian Church, founded 1664. The cemetery connected with the church was fascinating, for me the most moving was a series of little tiny graves flanked by two adult graves ... the parents has several children died in infancy. It was hard to survive childhood in those days. There were other graves of historical significance, but those little graves tugged at my heart.

    Thanks for this.

    "I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night." Greg Martin, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida

    by CorinaR on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 09:36:55 AM PDT

    •  It's sad (15+ / 0-)

      A family cemetery in Vermont for cousins of my direct ancestors has only 15 graves, most for children under 5. That branch of the family moved far west in the 1870s or so. They may not ever have come home to visit those graves again.

      One I always remember is in the cemetery in New Haven just behind Yale Law School. It was for a young man of about 17, from the Boston area, who apparently died just two weeks after arriving in New Haven to start at Yale. For whatever reasons he wasn't buried at home.

      "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

      by fenway49 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 09:52:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary (16+ / 0-)

    Last month I travelled to the Cape Verde Islands to explore where my parents emigrated from in the 1960s.

    We went to my mother's home island of Brava.  

    Keep this in mind, the Cape Verde Islands is an isolated nation off the western coast of Africa and Brava is an isolated island within the archipelago.  It can only be reached by a ferry from the volcanic island Fogo (my father's island).

    Towards the lonely back of the island and a footpath's hike up a high hill from the tiny settlement of Nossa Senhora do Monte(translated:  Our Lady of the Mountain) we found my great-grandmother and great-grandfather's graves.  

    The small ancient cemetery sits on a hill facing an idyllic small village still living in the the 19th Century and behind it is the massive Atlantic Ocean with the next landfall being the Americas.

    Go to Maps.google.com and 14.858020, -24.722390 to see the location.

  •  I photographed at (16+ / 0-)

    ... several Connecticut cemeteries in May, the week before Memorial Day. They were (mostly) pretty well groomed, and in full bloom. Their peace was full of life.

    Perhaps the most interesting was a huge one, Mountain View Cemetery in Bridgeport. It's very large, and beautifully landscaped. I read somewhere that it was co-founded by PT Barnum; he and his family are buried there. One rather feels one is leaving the world behind when there.

    Another, Riverside Cemetery in Trumbull CT, is a tiny gem tucked away. It's not easy to find; first you drive up a somewhat secluded lane, and park by someone's house. Then you walk up a dirt track from there, where you find a smallish cemetery enclosed by trees, where no one's been buried in perhaps a century.

    Mark Twain: It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

    by Land of Enchantment on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 09:45:18 AM PDT

    •  Riverside (11+ / 0-)

      sounds like a cemetery in the opposite end of CT (Franklin) that I visited last year. It's on state-owned land, a state forest or something, and you have to walk through the woods about a mile, taking several turns and forks. It would be easy to miss. There are perhaps 10-15 people buried there (1690s to 1730s) but only 5 stones survive.

      In about 1740 a much larger cemetery was started down the road a bit, and other people from my family are there.

      "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

      by fenway49 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 09:55:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great that you found Adam (13+ / 0-)

    Poor little baby.

    Great diary on this unusual cemetery. I'd never heard of tin grave markers, though it seems like it was a good idea at the time.  

    Slightly OT, but I spend time at Find A Grave.com during my research.  Genealogists have done a fantastic job of researching, finding and documenting a lot of cemeteries that had been lost or forgotten.

    Is this one listed at FAG the one?

    "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

    by Betty Pinson on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 09:55:01 AM PDT

    •  That is indeed (12+ / 0-)

      the same cemetery. FAG is an incredibly helpful resource (though there are some errors and people don't always want to fix them). I've had people in other states volunteer to walk cemeteries with me to help search for graves.

      I recently visited a Catholic cemetery on Long Island and since Hurricane Sandy I've seen that a lot of the stones (which are all solid granite about 2' x 3') have actually sunk into the earth 2/3 of the way, so that you can't read much of anything on them. It must be a good 20 to 25% of the graves in that (huge) cemetery sinking like this. Fortunately the two stones I came to see were still above ground, but it really made me sad for the people whose stones aren't.  

      "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

      by fenway49 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 10:00:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The New Deal (14+ / 0-)

        There was quite a bit of work done on cemeteries by the WPA and other New Deal projects. Some catalogued the cemeteries, but others did repairs. Fixing the old cemeteries after that storm would be an excellent public works project. So sad that nobody's much interested in such project these days, including our President.

        Mark Twain: It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

        by Land of Enchantment on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 10:14:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What a shame (10+ / 0-)

        Hope they can fix those graves somehow, though its probably not at the top of the list for reconstruction projects.

        Re FAG, I know about the errors.  Someone entered both my parents, with errors. One person turned the entry over to me, but I never heard from the other.   I appreciate the work of cemetery census takers, but that can be a problem.

        "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

        by Betty Pinson on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 10:16:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As a findagrave volunteer (11+ / 0-)

        I take pictures of as many graves as possible with my iPhone and then check when I get home to see if they are on findagrave.  I may only get about 20 graves at a time because I'm usually on my own mission or have family or friends waiting for me who don't share my passion.  But you wouldn't believe how often my pictures may be the first to go on findagrave (sorry for writing findagrave out each time, but I have a strong aversion to the unfortunate acronym).  Just last week I added two cemeteries to findagrave that hadn't been documented before.  

        I also work on big projects on findagrave - Olivewood Cemetery, the first incorporated African American cemetery in Houston, is one of my pet projects. Now that Olivewood is near to completion, I work on Forest Park Lawndale which has 40,000 grave sites...a daunting task, but I chip away at it.  

        If any of you visit cemeteries on your genealogy trips or to visit deceased relatives, please consider taking snaps of the graves around you to upload to findagrave.  It's a very worthwhile activity, especially if you find an "Adam" for someone else.  

        We are all in this together.

        by htowngenie on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:03:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good work (8+ / 0-)

          Thanks for taking all that time. I'm sure it's been helpful to people out there. I've taken a lot of photos of graves but encountered technical difficulties uploading them to Find a Grave. One of these days I'll sit down and get some done.

          (sorry for writing findagrave out each time, but I have a strong aversion to the unfortunate acronym)
          Fair enough!

          "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

          by fenway49 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:19:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I did cemetery census in the early 90's (5+ / 0-)

          We used to post the lists of names and directions to the cemeteries on the old US Genweb.  There wasn't enough going on on the internet for genealogy back then.

          After a 5 year hiatus from genealogy, I checked out FAG and found everything had been filled in.  I missed the boat.  I live 4 states away from my ancestral home, so can't do much.

          I maintain my own extended family's sites for their graves on FAG, send an email here or there to offer corrections.  I've run into a couple of instances where strangers who entered my parent's or grandparent's graves on FAG have refused to respond to requests to let me make edit.  I usually give them about a year to respond, then just put in a duplicate entry for my family member's grave and ignore theirs.

          "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

          by Betty Pinson on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:59:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  German Catholic cemeteries in Texas have tin (10+ / 0-)

      markers as well, so it may be a common cultural practice among German Catholics.  

      We are all in this together.

      by htowngenie on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:06:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Iceland (12+ / 0-)

    We stopped at a few rural cemeteries in Iceland, also a National Cemetery at Thingvellir. Iceland, with its deep tradition of storytellers, has chosen to honor poets at this National Cemetery. It's a World Heritage Site, where Iceland's first Parliament/General Assembly met in 930 (until 1798), now a National Park and summer home for the Prime Minister.

    Mark Twain: It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

    by Land of Enchantment on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 09:59:53 AM PDT

  •  strange cemeteries (12+ / 0-)

    I once visited a cemetery in eastern rural Missouri that had served the local Bohemian community, now died out or just assimilated.  It was in two parts, under the crossbar of a T-intersection of two roads.  One side was well maintained, the other grown over in grass and with markers leaning or overturned.  Why?  I discovered that the first & larger portion was for Catholics who had kept the faith, while the second was for those who had turned Protestant.  Then I noticed there had been a rural church standing in the first part, but that it had burned.  It had been the parish church, of course.

    "There is no way to give to honest toil its just reward--its full share of all wealth produced--but by the full application of the single tax. And righteousness and justice require it to be done." --A. Moll, 1897

    by Zwenkau on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 10:05:59 AM PDT

  •  Awesome looking cemetery (14+ / 0-)

    I'm going to Cincinnati for the weekend to do a little research on my family when they first came from Germany and lived there for a few years.  I only recently discovered the cemetery where my g-g-grandfather is buried via cemetery online records.  I also spoke with the administrators and they faxed me a map that indicated where in the cemetery he's buried.  Unfortunately, he doesn't have a headstone (died in 1887 and dirt poor).  But fortunately, they gave me the headstone information for a couple of graves next to him, so I should be able to locate it.

    gawd, how I love creepy old cemeteries.

    anyway, I'm scrambling to get my work done since I have to leave here early today.  I'll return later this evening to read better.

    Thanks for the goose-bumpy diary!

    •  No markers (10+ / 0-)

      There's a cemetery in Nashville that has maybe ten distant relatives of mine -- but none have stones and the family was prominent and not poor!

      "There is no way to give to honest toil its just reward--its full share of all wealth produced--but by the full application of the single tax. And righteousness and justice require it to be done." --A. Moll, 1897

      by Zwenkau on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 10:14:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting (9+ / 0-)

        Do you know of any reason they might have made that choice?

        "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

        by fenway49 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 10:23:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re: No markers (5+ / 0-)

          I think it was some kind of religious statement based on the personal beliefs (or feelings about "tradition") of the local patriarch, who was a Protestant minister.  That man had two brothers who were also ministers, and they had markers.  But the answer may lie in the fact that when I ran down the paternal ancestors' graves in Virginia after following a chain of about five leads from person to person, the graves were found at the edge of a deciduous forest.  Each grave had a small sandstone marker (well worn by the rains) and a now-mature cedar tree.  There was no way one would sense that there were burials there except to be taken there by a local who knew of it.  No fence, gate, ID as a cemetery -- nothing.  AND, one young man from the Nashville family died in California while visiting maternal relatives (who handled the arrangements).  The death was accidental, and although he was young he had few paternal relatives left in Nashville by then.  So he's buried in Southern California just blocks from where his mother's brother then lived -- and with a marker.

          "There is no way to give to honest toil its just reward--its full share of all wealth produced--but by the full application of the single tax. And righteousness and justice require it to be done." --A. Moll, 1897

          by Zwenkau on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:48:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  They may have had wood markers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brook, figbash

        Many 19th century graves were marked with wood markers.  These were not always maintained, the wood decayed , and was not replaced. This seems to be the case with family plots and the family then moved away.  So no marker today, does not mean the grave was notmarked at death.  It probably is an indicator of wealth.  
        I sometimes deal with records of moved cemeteries.   These are mostly cemeteries that are now inundated by Corps lakes in Tennessee and Kentucky.  I would guess that, on average, 60% of the moved graves had wooden or no makers when the graves were moved.   Someday I hope to get explore the data in a more meaningful way.  

        •  Wood markers? (0+ / 0-)

          ...not so in this case.  This cemetery was in Nashville, an urban area, and regular markers were granite and similar.  With about a dozen unmarked graves for this family it was clearly a choice by people who could have (knowing their circumstances) afforded to do otherwise.  

          But I accept that what you describe does apply in other cases.

          "There is no way to give to honest toil its just reward--its full share of all wealth produced--but by the full application of the single tax. And righteousness and justice require it to be done." --A. Moll, 1897

          by Zwenkau on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 06:04:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Volunteer call! (8+ / 0-)

    Here's our current schedule

    Aug 16   GrumpyOldGeek
    Aug 23   open for adoption
    Aug 30   fenway49
    Sept 6    open for adoption
    Sept 13  open for adoption

    Can someone take Aug 23?

    Gotta run, but will check back later to retrieve all those volunteer dates.  Right?

  •  Lovely post. (12+ / 0-)

    After two decades or more of looking in all the wrong places, I found my great-grandparents, a great uncle, a great aunt and her infant son in unmarked graves in a cemetery far from the part if town where they'd lived. I'd like to find a way to mark their graves but surely can't afford headstones. If there's a good alternative I'd be grateful to learn it.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 10:22:54 AM PDT

    •  Don't know of any (8+ / 0-)

      alternative. I'd like to get a few small headstones placed myself for various people who don't have them. Who knows when I'll be able to do that.

      We also have a large family plot in Brooklyn with 19 people buried (my uncle plans to be the 20th, and last). The various last names are on the stone, which is large, but none of the first names or dates. I looked into a brass plaque as a (sort of) cost-effective method, but the cemetery regs forbid it. Too bad. I can't afford carving all those names and dates, though there's definitely space for it. Perhaps if I hit the Lotto.

      "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

      by fenway49 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:08:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If any were in the US military . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brook, marykk

         the US government will provide headstones.

  •  Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx NY is a beautiful (13+ / 0-)

    place to visit.  In early history of Manhattan this area was chosen as a cemetery because it was further north of the city.  There are many famous people buried here.  Beautiful art work in glass and stone, as well as landscaping.

    I lived a quarter mile away years ago and for me as a young person found it a beautiful place to walk in peace around the acres.

    Thanks for the post I found it very interesting as an ex-New Yorker.  

    Do not adjust your mind, there is a flaw in reality.

    by Shrew in Shrewsbury on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 10:25:08 AM PDT

  •  The most unique cemetery I've visited? (10+ / 0-)

    Why, this one of course since it bears my family name. The cemetery itself is on the upper left, between the two clumps of trees.
    halford cemetery sign 148
    One of the many rural family cemeteries where my ancestors lie in peace, I hope. There are 34 internments in this cemetery; the first being my 4x great-grandmother Sarah Riley Hammond who died on Mar. 6, 1860 and the last being just over 100 years later in 1965.

    Love the diary, fenway49, and the tin markers sound wonderful!  I've never seen any of those.

    Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. --- Bob Dylan.

    by figbash on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 10:28:44 AM PDT

  •  great diary fenway (9+ / 0-)

    I love going to cemeteries and yours looks like a great place to explore.

    My great grandmother took some of her girls to New York back in 1911, intending to sail to Switzerland to visit family, but one of the girls, Vivien fell ill and died. She is buried in New York. It bothers me that she is the only one of her family buried there when everyone else is buried in Florida. Great grandmother's sister is also buried in the same cemetery, but I don't know if she's next to Vivien.

    Pah. Deaf with a capital D.

    by raina on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 10:33:08 AM PDT

    •  That's sad (7+ / 0-)

      to be far from everyone else. We had a couple of children who died young like Adam, no idea where they were, then I learned they're all with their parents in the family plot in Brooklyn. That wasn't bought until some years later, so the first seven of 19 people were reburied there when the plot was purchased. No idea where they were before that.

      "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

      by fenway49 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:11:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is fascinating! My mother-in-law is in the (11+ / 0-)

    Evergreen's in Bushwick (down the Jackie Robinson from yours, I think).

    That place is incredible!  It's vast and has some giant mausoleums and very old grave markers, monuments to sailors of all nations; and Triangle Shirtwaist fire victims, and jazz greats are buried there.

    (One of the scariest little experiences for me is taking Cypress Hills Street off the Jackie Robinson, toward Cypress Hill at night.  The quarter mile of "cemetery row" is a bit frightening. It is pitch black, with cemeteries and huge monuments on either side of you.)

    Ayn sucks. Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer.

    by Floyd Blue on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 12:02:32 PM PDT

    •  Agree (9+ / 0-)

      that is a creepy drive at night. Another one is the stretch of 58th St in Maspeth between New Calvary and Mt. Zion. Mt. Zion particularly fascinates me, people are crammed as tightly together in death as they were in life in the LES tenements.

      Evergreens' back gate is right next to this cemetery, though the front gate's on the other side of Evergreens. Some sections of it are just across the back fence in a couple of the photos above. That's a beautiful one. I like the National Cemetery too, on Jamaica Av.

      "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

      by fenway49 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:15:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  wow ... those are some very eerie looking (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edwardssl, brook, figbash

    Stones. ... and I had never heard of tin ones either! So great you found adam's grave!

    I have some leads on some "missing" graves for one of my grandfather's half sisters and her son ... fairly sad story but it is really calling out to be told.

    Am on the road this weekend with two family reunions. Spent today searching out my ggrandfathers cave...I wrote a diary with pics a while   back...can't do a link as my wifi connection is slow...but I had not visited it personally. Man, there was a twisty windy road through the wisconsin driftless area ... and then I had to climb down a gully w a creek in it. I got stuck in some mud trying to climb out, had to climb over numerous fallen trees...all the noise I was making at this point scared the bejeebus out of a deer which scared the bejeebus out of me when it took off. I also caught in several thorny bushes. It was totally worth it!!!

    "If you are sure you understand everything that is going on around you, you are hopelessly confused." Walter Mondale

    by klompendanser on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 05:11:35 PM PDT

    •  LOL! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brook, klompendanser
      It was totally worth it!!!
      I know you're having a wonderful adventure, k!  I own property in the driftless area. We'll have to compare notes.... maybe your cave is nearby and I can check it out sometime.

      Happy trails to you....

      Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. --- Bob Dylan.

      by figbash on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:58:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  consider it a plan ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        figbash

        the area is definitely in my blood ... I've lifed in MN for 30 years and the flatness just seems wrong ;)

        "If you are sure you understand everything that is going on around you, you are hopelessly confused." Walter Mondale

        by klompendanser on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 04:38:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Amazing that the cemetery would be so (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bronx59, edwardssl, brook, figbash

    beautiful and spacious, just past the graffiti.  
    My grandparents lived in Cleveland for a brief time and while there, their 5 yr old son was run over by a truck (1917).  He was buried there, and soon after the family moved to Newark, NJ, and never went back. When I ordered, received, and read his death certificate, I realized how sad my grandmother must have been to leave him behind.

    If I had one wish, Republican men would have uteruses.

    by Desert Rose on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 06:09:24 PM PDT

  •  An imaginary(?) ancestor, abroad and away .. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brook, figbash

    A very enjoyable diary - thanks!

    Exploring the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris, stands out in my mind.

    I have an uncommon surname. All of my Catholic family (save for my parents, more on that later) stuck close to their German ancestral villages, whenever possible, though one side did relocate to Frankfurt, after escaping (illegally) through Berlin's Russian sector, pre-wall. My parents were the exploratory team for the entire family, who all planned to one day move to the U.S.

    At some point, the remaining members of the family decided to stay and so, "we" were left in the U.S., solo.

    40 years on, my wife and I were wandering in the cemetery near our Paris apartment vacation rental, on a particularly sunny, pleasant day. As we were admiring some of the headstones, sarcophaguses, etc., we came across the gravesite of "Fanny <my-surname>" who, IIRC, passed away in '49, and by the Star of David, was Jewish. Huh.

    We quickly constructed a fictional account (..or is it?..) of wild, impulsive Fanny, the uniquely adventurous daughter of my great grandparents, who relocated to Paris to pursue her artistic dreams. Converting for the man she loved and, of course, fighting in the resistance, she celebrated the day of Paris' liberation on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. The homebodies back in Germany, so very jealous of her thrilling exploits, deny her existence, to this day.

    In a way that I consider singularly affectionate, within our occasional humorous references and thoughts, Fanny yet lives. While I assume I am not a relation, I cannot know if anyone in her actual family (i.e.: a true descendant of someone that was an acquaintance) has given her a thought in many decades. If not, I certainly hope she doesn't mind our adoption and utilization of her spirit.

    ..now, where did I leave my torches and villagers?

    by FrankSpoke on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 12:09:25 AM PDT

  •  We made it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brook

    But now I have to try and post comments from my smart phone since my husband is hogging the laptop.  I just got this thing last week and I'm lucky I've figured out how to make a phone call, much less how to post stuff.

    Will start   cemetery search tomorrow.

    What fun!

    •  Oooh, good luck! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edwardssl

      Been enjoying everything about this diary, (thanks, fenway).
      Something about cemeteries is just so fascinating. Looking forward to your discoveries!

      There was a medium where I grew up who often helped local police depts. She told my mom that it was while walking through a local cemetery as a kid, she sat on a gravestone - and realized she knew all about the buried person.

  •  Finally found out where my father's mother (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brook

    is buried. She died in 1924, but I found out because Ancestry.com made available mortuary info from San Francisco about 2 years ago.

    Got a lot of information about several relatives from that treasure trove, which is great as my father knew practically nothing. All his relatives have passed on, leaving him with very little information.

    I've been able recently to tell him things he never knew, which is a bit strange. But he's glad to know, and has become a little more involved.

    I must be dreaming...

    by murphy on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 04:18:58 PM PDT

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