Thursday, June 21, 2012

One More Detail

We noticed that many (but fewer than half of the) headstones were facing west, not east.  Nearly all the graves were aligned east-west, however; only a couple were oddly placed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Eastonville Cemetery is a small rural cemetery in eastern El Paso County, Colorado, between the high plains and the forested ridge of Palmer Divide.  It is about 7 miles from our house by the closest route, but we had never visited it before.  We have no family buried here.  It was founded in 1865, and is still active, although the town of Eastonville is nearly extinct.  Before 1865 there were not that many people in the area, and we speculate most settlers were buried on the ranch where they had lived.

We found headstones from 1892 to 2012.  More interesting, there is a wide range of styles and expense, and it's all mixed together.  There are many graves with no headstones; some of these have a simple 6"x9" aluminum sign on a short post provided by the Eastonville Cemetery Association, with name & dates, or name only.

These are intermixed with what we think of today as standard granite headstones.  In fact, the small cemetery had a wonderful mixture of granite, marble, sandstone, and even wooden headstones.  There are also several standard military bronze plaques affixed to flat or upright gravestones, or to interesting rocks. There are also complete marble military headstones.  Altogether there is a huge variety of materials and styles, home-made and commercial ranging from minimum economy to elaborately carved and exquisitely sandblasted large monuments, all adjacent.-- no separation of gentry here, paupers over there.  C. C. Nielsen used a broken piece of a marble-topped table, hand-painted.  It has weathered considerably since 1964.

The oldest headstone we saw was for an infant born and died in 1892:

Infant Son of
July 24, 1892.
July 24, 1892.
Asleep in Jesus
It is made of white marble and has nothing on the sides or back.  The writing is on the top and on the front are open gates (entry into the kingdom of heaven).
One family had an interesting group of headstones:
These headstones had nothing on the back or the sides.  The following one is made of granite:

Note:  Roy is Retired Veteran, U.S.N., and Lylie is A Beautiful Australian.  As well as the heart, cross, praying hands, and dogwood blossoms, in the corner near Roy is the following Navy patch which we have not been able to identify yet:

Another Roberts (brother??) is Dale who was: "A Cowboy and a Gentleman" and has bull dogging on his granite headstone:

Then the final family member Donald with a natural, rough marble headstone declaring he is "An Excellant [sic] Horseman".

Other interesting headstones we found were from the Addington family.  First we saw a copper plate screwed onto a pink granite stone.  At the base were embedded fossil imprints and rocks:

This appears to be a brand:  probably Rocking A
                         MARY FRANCES                                                             HAROLD D                           
                   3 - 13 - 48                                                                                         9 - 17 - 42

On the left we found another Addington:

This one reads:
Our Beloved Son
March 20, 1973 ---- July 25, 1887

Crossed Cannons 

Commemorative Belt buckles:
      Honda                           Muzzle loading                  4x4

On the side from the crossed cannons was a button w/cannon on it.  This was all on a brass plate screwed onto a concrete slab.  On the top of the slab was another buckle (just placed there, not attached) and a .30 caliber cartridge.  Behind this headstone was a decorative black wrought-iron cross.

As we were leaving, we came across another headstone unexpectedly:
We volunteer to transport senior citizens to medical appointments and a couple years ago we took Mr. Shuler to eye appointments.  His wife was legally blind and he could not drive at the time and needed operations on both eyes--we transported him for about 3 months to over 14 appointments.  But he is a very private and independent person and we had lost contact with him.  We were in Portland, OR, for a wedding the week his wife died so did not see her obituary.  This was a surprise to us to find this headstone!

We were glad we took this adventure-- we found a lot more than we expected!  It was very interesting and we really appreciated the ingenuity of our neighbors' families.