Eventually, the words of my wife came back to me. Get out for a walk! I definitely didn't want to be cooped up in my hotel room all day long and it was the first nice day since winter started. It was a perfect day for a walk. I walked around the outside of the hotel. It wasn't very pleasant with the sights being a parking lot, a grocery store and a highway through town. I needed to find a nicer place to walk. While finding a park would have worked, I figured why not get something accomplished while enjoying the outdoors? I brought up Google Maps and did a search for cemeteries near my location. Google provided me with Grand View Cemetery in Montrose. According to Find-A-Grave, it was about 44% photographed. It also had two photo requests. I drove to the cemetery with camera in hand and the names of the two photo requests in my memory.
It made for very nice scenery for a walk. I know many people think it's morbid to go to cemeteries if they're not visiting the grave of a loved one. Most of the time, a cemetery is in a tranquil, natural setting. Grand View was no different. It was on the top of a hill in the middle of town with a gorgeous view of the nearby mountains.
I started at the back of the cemetery and started taking photos of every grave. I kept the names of the gravestones with the photo requests in mind to be sure to note if I found them. Unfortunately, I did not find these graves. Even relatively small cemeteries in small towns have a surprisingly large number of headstones. I took just over 300 photos in about an hour and a half. According to Find-A-Grave's count of the number of burials in this cemetery, this is less than 10% of the stones. I'd have to be there all day long to hope to photograph them all.
Not long after I got there, a pickup drove to one particular grave. The driver got out and spent some time at the grave site. After several minutes, they got back in their vehicle and drove away. Not too long later, a woman rode in on her bicycle. She appeared to stop at the same grave site and spent some time there. A little while later, another vehicle pulled up to the same grave and just a couple of minutes after that, another car joined the first at the same location. This seemed to be an important day for someone in this cemetery.
I continued to take photos, working my way towards this grave site that had so many visitors that day. When no one was there, I walked to burial site. Now I understand why this site had so many visitors. This was a fresh grave. There was no grass over the actual burial site. The dirt was strewn with rose petals and there were several bouquets of flowers and small tokens of affection that obviously reflected the interests of the deceased. There was no stone yet set on the site. There was just a temporary metal tag stuck into the ground.
The deceased was someone who had died in January. The reason there were so many visitors had to be because this was the first nice day in this long cold winter since their death. I paused to pay my respects to the recently deceased and continued on, taking more photos.
The day allowed me a break from a very stressful period. It allowed me to work off some stress by walking but to also put life into perspective. Seeing all those that have already passed reminded me of the temporary nature of life and to enjoy it the best that you can.
Of the 300 photos I took, 60 of them were not already posted on Find-A-Grave. They are listed here. I'll create a link to those I found particularly interesting.
Bretherton, E J 102034893
b. 1844 d. 1914
Bretherton, Margaret J 102034891
b. 1847 d. 1936
Bretherton, Winifred E 102034890
b. 1880 d. 1922
Campbell, Infant 102020265
b. unknown d. unknown
Chaney, Charlie N 101986861
b. 1906 d. 1907
Chapel, Baby Boy 101995377
b. 1909 d. unknown
Chapel, Baby Girl 101995378
b. 1910 d. unknown
Chapel, Charles Cooper 101995373 - Charles' headstone is the headstone for the entire Chapel family.
b. 1876 d. 1940
Chapel, Darrel Dean 101995380
b. 1932 d. unknown
Chapel, Harriett Lilian 101995375
b. 1903 d. unknown
Chapel, Katherine Minnie 101995374
b. 1879 d. 1939
Chapel, Loy Edward 101995376
b. 1904 d. unknown
Chapel, Lulubel Agnes 101995379
b. 1913 d. unknown
Chapel, Mary Anne 101995381
b. 1936 d. unknown
Clair, William Thomas "Bill" 82478337
b. Jul. 9, 1936 d. Dec. 22, 2011
Coulombe, Esther Ives 50774657
b. Apr. 1, 1934 d. Mar. 1, 2006
Crepinsek, Bryan Eugene 16032590
b. Sep. 4, 1962 d. Oct. 3, 2006
Culbertson, Elizabeth D 102034939
b. 1852 d. 1914
Dillion, Lulu 104552934 - Her headstone is a very large sphere.
b. Oct. 23, 1882 d. Jan. 19, 1900
Dufur, Joyce 102020259 - Apparently a homemade headstone.
b. Jul. 19, 1934 d. unknown
Edmunds, Margaret P 101986635
b. Nov. 21, 1912 d. Apr. 17, 2000
Edmunds, Paul N 101986636
b. Aug. 10, 1911 d. Aug. 2, 1996
Foote, Alberta Mae 101986866
b. Aug. 24, 1904 d. Feb. 4, 1907
Foote, David M 101986862
b. May 11, 1856 d. Jan. 16, 1914
Foote, Lavina 101986867
b. Jul. 22, 1898 d. Apr. 23, 1907
Foote, Lilly B 101986863
b. unknown d. unknown
Gallegos, Clorinda 104884288
b. 1945 d. 1945
Gleason, Roger E 105087461
b. 1962 d. 1967
Grainger, Elsie Sullivan 102034809
b. Jan. 25, 1909 d. Jan. 12, 1990
Hayes, Lucretia 102020190
b. unknown d. Sep. 6, 1904
Heroux, Richard Leo 91711325
b. unknown d. Jun. 3, 2012
Hook, June Christine Frick 102020266
b. Jun. 25, 1876 d. Jan. 12, 1950
Hughes, Ruby J 101986775
b. 1899 d. 1995
Irwin, James 101987007
b. 1835 d. 1907
Krebs, Edward F 102020257
b. 1863 d. 1960
Lamb, Charles Auby 101986880 -
b. 1900 d. 1901
Lamb, Homer Allen 101986882 -
b. 1897 d. 1900
Charles and Homer were brothers. Their stone is in disrepair. I always make sure to photograph any stone that may not be there in the future.
Lamb, Kenneth A 101986878
b. 1902 d. 1968
Landry, Simon 96960733
b. Aug. 15, 1861 d. Dec. 15, 1940
Lucey, Laura 8110942
b. 1876 d. 1910
Miller, Jim, III 104884979
b. Nov. 18, 1970 d. Jun. 12, 1976
Neuner, Robert 75416160
b. 1887 d. 1969
Roatcap, Walter William 102073672
b. Feb. 3, 1892 d. Apr. 10, 1972
Schoonover, Bobbie Dale 124759592 - Bobbie's headstone appears to have been made by hand by someone close to the family, possibly his father?
b. Oct. 3, 1936 d. Oct. 5, 1936
Smart, James Lewis 101986763
b. 1919 d. 1921
Smith, John E 102020273
b. Oct. 30, 1878 d. Apr. 6, 1968
Smith, Mabel M 102020272
b. Jun. 4, 1895 d. Jun. 1, 1950
Smith, Myrtle Wallis 102020274
b. 1894 d. 1971
Somers, Rebecca Denee 105095755
b. Nov. 27, 1994 d. Mar. 30, 1998
b. unknown d. unknown
Stephens, William A 102073671
b. Apr. 9, 1847 d. Apr. 10, 1920
Sullivan, Stella 102020357
b. Jul. 21, 1882 d. Nov. 15, 1918
Sullivan, Virginia 102020358
b. Nov. 11, 1918 d. Nov. 15, 1918
Thomas, Marian Foote 101986868
b. 1901 d. 1980
Thomsen, Ella June 101983749
b. 1923 d. 1924
Thomsen, Ethel N 101983771
b. 1894 d. 1962
Trace, Lola Belle 102020261
b. 1867 d. 1911
Williams, Harvey Lee 102073668
b. Dec. 15, 1933 d. unknown
Williams, William Arvil 101986773
b. 1885 d. 1918
Woods, Ramona Faye 101986789
b. Sep. 9, 1932 d. Aug. 5, 1998
These are a couple of the dozen or so wooden headstones. I wish we could read what was on them.
There were several other headstones that grabbed my attention that had already been posted to Find-A-Grave:
|Samuel Earl - The headstone is crumbling|
Ma and Pa Kettle
|Fannie P. Kile - A homemade headstone|
|Juan N. Lucero - A homemade headstone|
|Lester Unrein - Another homemade headstone that appears to have been carved by hand.|
These three photos are of one headstone.
It appears the person buried here wanted all of his descendants to have
their pertinent information carved into his headstone.
Find-A-Grave, find a nearby cemetery, take a walk and take some photos. Even if you're not on the road, find a cemetery near where you live that isn't 100% photographed and go on a photo walk there. Upload those photos to Find-A-Grave to get it closer to the point where all headstones have been photographed and put online. If everyone contributes a little, we'll get there before we know it!