Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cemeteries reveal much!

In the Lincoln Cemetery (K-18 and E. Lincoln) you'll find the final resting place for a traveling salesman. It sets on a Dakota sandstone base. The epitaph reads "Here is where he stopped last."

This suitcase is located on the east end of the north driveway within the cemetery. Take the drive just north of the Drummer Boy (below) marker and turn east. It's the last gravestone on the end by the fence.

Can you see the drummer boy carrying a flag etched into the stone on the upper left? This Civil War drummer boy is found just in front of the post-rock mausoleum.

We can learn so much about an area in the local cemetery. Clues tell about the person, their wealth, their demise, and the times. Exploring cemeteries can, indeed, provide a real awakening.

This is the Mitch Runnels gravestone in the Valley View Cemetery (N. 3rd) in Garden City. You'll see a deteriorating upright stone topped with a rusted auto engine. I don't know if the goggles are still hanging off to one side or not. Runnels died in 1927 when his car crashed into a train. One theory is that Runnels and his car were inseparable so the family put the engine on the gravestone. Another theory is that the unique grave marker was created to remind young people to drive carefully.

Exploring cemeteries will help you "Get Kansas!"

KE #2 Marci Penner


Jenni said...

Those are some interesting gravestones! This post reminds me of some photos I took last June of a unique gravestone. I'd forgotten to post about it. Now to find those photos...

Connie - KE #81 said...

Sometimes you have to investigate a little deeper to get the answers.
In the Lincoln Cemetery there are 8 stones side by side all with the same death date. 7 of them had the same last name with one different.
After a phone call to a friend in Lincoln I found out that the 7 were a family and the other name was their hired hand. They were heading out on vacation after harvest and were killed by a train.

Kevin McGinty said...

I still think the traveling salesman's tombstone is one of the coolest things I've ever seen.

I believe a person's tombstone should reflect who that person was and this one was perfect.

I suppose I can relate to it more than some of the others because I'm also a traveling salesman of sorts. Route sales is what I do and they send me pretty much anywhere they need me. Right now, I'm in the second week of a four week tour in western Nebraska.

I'd never been to Nebraska before. I spent the day exploring Lake McConaughy and a a place called Windlass Hill and Ash Hollow State Park. It's one of the last places on the Oregon Trail where the wagon trains could crossed the North Platte river on their way from Missouri to Oregon. The wagaon ruts were clearly visible and I walked through the exact same place they crossed so many years ago. Very cool but I'm thankful that today we can make this trip in the comfort of our cars and trucks. I like to be able to travel on well maintained hiways in heated and air-conditioned comfort. You know, because I'm delicate.

As much as I enjoyed my travels today, I can't wait to get back to Kansas. Like Dorthy said. "There's no place like home."

Keith said...

This cemetery is only slightly outside Kansas in Nebraska City.

I particularly like the rolltop desk headstone.