Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Quiet Walk

a sense of peace
a touch of sadness 
Those feelings washed over me as I wandered around three cemeteries I recently found.
Cemeteries fascinate me...their beauty, their uniqueness, and their history. I'm drawn to the older sections where names and dates and little bits of information cause me to wonder who they were and imagine what life must have been like for them.
The first cemetery I found was Old Soldier's Cemetery located in a larger modern memorial garden. This section was started as a soldier’s cemetery in the early 1900’s. When and where did these soldiers serve?

I walked up the steps, through the opening in the stone wall and discovered many graves all marked with the same stones...UNKNOWN. How sad.
Most of the few markers showed no evidence of any writing.
Then I found this marker. Here was the clue I needed to find more information about these soldiers. I discovered that the 113th U. S. C. I. stands for the 113th United States Colored Infantry, organized June 25, 1864. They were activated for post and garrison duty at Little Rock, AR during the Civil War. According to a magazine article I found there are 85 graves on this half acre site.  The unknown graves were thought to be of Union soldiers.

In the surrounding modern cemetery near the children's garden is this beautiful sculpture. I wish I knew who the artist was, but was unable to find out.

The next cemetery I discovered was the Payeatt-Mason 1818 graveyard. In 1812 the Payeatts settled in this area and began running a ferry across the Arkansas River. Members of the family are buried in this historical plot. There are also some of the Mason family buried here, but no information has been uncovered about them.

The graves are covered with rocks and the words on the markers are barely legible.

It was very hard to take pictures in the dappled shade and through the wrought iron fence. This marker says:
Jemima Scott
b May 29, 1813
d January 23, 1863
She was the daughter of James and Catherine Pyeatt the first settlers.

The last cemetery was the saddest of all. I had to wade through some high grass to reach it. Thankfully I didn't encounter any snakes, chiggers, or ticks. The Swinton Cemetery seems to be neglected and forgotten. The markers, which are cracked and leaning, range from 1886 to 1965.  The double marker below reads...

Side 1
Louise Hayney
b. Aug. 15, 1818
d June 26, 1910
Ruths chapter
No. 7

Side 2
mother of
84 grand and
great grand

Side 3
Harry Hayney
b. March 15, 1814
d. Nov. 3, 1889
(below that is a Freemason symbol)

Side 4
gone but not forgotten

Numerous crosses, made of rebar and painted white, were placed at the unknown graves. I was fascinated by this old pitcher near this marker. I wonder if it was used to hold flowers.

a touch of sadness
Those are the feelings I had when my wandering came to an end.

I'm linking this to Helen's Weekend Walk at A Flash Of Inspiration.

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  1. I am glad you get joy out of walking through cemeteries, I also like to walk through them. I would rather not walk through high weeds if I think there might be a snake though. It is sad the condition of these. Love the bronze statue.

  2. We quite often take a walk through a cemetery when visiting a church. It is so sad that there are unknown graves, unfortunately the penalty of war. x

  3. Old graveyards are fascinating places - I love the history and stories you can learn from them and intriguing to imagine the mysteries behind the unmarked and unknown stones. I visited one at the weekend and I'm excited to share it on my next link-up on Saturday. There's no way I'd walk through grass if there were any chance of coming across a snake!

  4. Excellent discoveries. Love all the history and the angled stones. Not sure about white re-bar crosses though.

  5. I like old cemeteries, too. With my love of history and stories, I can wander and wonder about those gone on before us. The peace is always such a joy, too. And so often, they're beautiful places as well. Lovely trip through your cemeteries, Cathy!

  6. Cemeteries are interesting places for a photographic walk. I am fascinated by the family tombs in our oldest city cemetery. All these reminders of the past really make one wonder about the lives lived.

  7. I enjoy the peace and quiet of cemeteries...until I get to the children's section. Then I just want to cry thinking about the parents' and grandparents' grief when they had to bury a child who wasn't strong enough to survive. The other thing that makes me sad is unkempt older graves where it's obvious the deceased's relatives have also passed so there's no one to care for the gravesite.

  8. There is such a range of markers and upkeep in cemeteries. I like the photos you have shared.

  9. I can understand the mixed feelings while visiting cemeteries I am the same way....I always wonder what their lives were like and the child grave stones are the saddest....
    You certainly found some interesting ones to share with us....

  10. I too enjoy (though that seems an odd word to use) wandering through old cemeteries. There's a tranquility there that I appreciate. In Ohio I lived across the street from a 200 acre cemetery and arboretum and spent many hours exploring and taking photographs there. It was such a beautiful place. There's so much history in old graveyards, too. Sometimes, in Maine, I'd come across markers for several members of the same family who had died within days of each other, and pondered how difficult life must have been in the days before modern medicine. Whatever the flaws of today's society, we are in many ways blessed!

  11. Wow you really captured feelings with your shots from the different cemeteries. They can be places of solitude, reflections, sadness and even hope. Well done.

  12. I have enjoyed going through old cemeteries on Sunday afternoons with my mother when I was in junior high. There's an unexplained energy there. Now, as a genealogist, I do it even more. Your photos are wonderful! Hopefully I'll have some later this week when I travel to Lewisburg to an old cemetery from the 1700s.


Thanks so much for stopping by!!