When I was a little kid I was scared of cemeteries. My sisters and I would hold our breath while riding past a cemetery in the car for fear of being possessed by the spirits that, without a doubt, at least in my mind, were surely lingering there, behind the old stones. Our Father would slow the car down as we drove past an especially large cemetery and laugh as we struggled to hold our breath.
I remember once taking a walk with my sisters and my Grandfather up to the top of the hill that he lived on in York, PA. At the top, which today is all hotels, stores, and fast food joints, was nothing but cornfields, a scattering of homes, and a small church with a old cemetery behind it. Being with our grandfather I wasn’t afraid to walk among the tombstones looking at names and dates and I was curious as to why “Mambo”, the name my sister gave affectionately to our grandfather, was so interested. It wasn’t until years later, probably around the time that we buried our beloved Grandfather, that I finally saw what I think he saw in the old stones…History.
A History that lay just beyond reach, behind the anonymous name carved into the stone, more then just a date of life and death, and sometimes, if you’re lucky, an inscription on how they departed this mortal coil.
Thus began my quest for history.
This blog is for me to showcase some of the interesting discoveries I have stumbled upon over my years of wandering through cemeteries, and to share the stories of the real people who these historic stones represent…