Saturday, June 21, 2014

Vacation Weirdness

I'm not sure I've ever confessed this before on here. So here it is: I love cemeteries. Ok..yes. That DOES sounds really bizarre..and creepy. Not just ALL cemeteries...Because, you know THAT REALLY would be weird.  I love the the really old ones, or the old sections of cemeteries. To me, if feels like a history lesson.  I love to just wander through and read the dates, and how detailed they used to be with the stones. Such as: Aged 35 years, 2 months, and 3 days. I often wonder what happened to the family. Do their ancestors know they are here?  What killed the person? Was it an accident? An outbreak of something we are now vaccinated against? A defect that is considered a routine procedure to fix today?

While vacationing in Galveston Island, we had drove by one that  had caught my attention, and I later stumbled across it on a tourist page...did you know you can actually pay to TAKE CEMETERY TOURS?? Anyway, I finally convinced my family to stop.

**Insert sarcastic humor from Jacob: "Hey man..what did YOU do on your vacation? "Oh you know..the usual...walked around a creepy cemetery."**

This is Calvary Catholic Cemetery, and has some of the most amazing headstones I have ever seen. And I also found it very sad. Due to flooding from hurricanes, a lot of the stones are broken and fallen over. Some have been moved in flood waters and just left where they landed when the water receded.   You will be walking around and there will be a random stone. Some are just laying in the walkway, or they would be toppled over or just part of a broken stone. We also saw stones just laid flat down together and clusters of stones propped up against other stones.

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There are also quite a few mausoleum's, which I had never seen before.  Some are sloped inwards on both sides towards the center from the floods, with cracks in the stone, and it seems any moment they will fall in. You almost don't want to walk close to them.  Some of them I found just weird. They were so short, with  roofs sticking out of the ground and little round 4ft wooden doors that would have been perfect for a garden gnome.  I read later...These doors would have been 6 to 7 feet tall but the level of the island was raised after the Storm of 1900. So, the rest of the mausoleum is buried. (Obviously some of the mausoleum's were either built after the raising, or manually raised up with the raising of the island,  but others were just left buried.)  Many of them had broken windows-- gone for many years, and if one gets enough nerve to peer inside, you can see the vaults where the people rest, and beautiful old ornate stone floors...and birds nesting inside. (An estimated 6 to 10,000 people died in the Great Storm of 1900. Google and read about it sometime. My great-great grandmother survived this storm. My mom said my great grandmother would tell the stories she had heard from her mother. Terrible stories. Imagine--had she taken shelter in a different place, she may have been one of the many who perished...and entire generations of people in my family, wouldn't have even been born-- myself included.)

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Because of this raising of the island, this means this cemetery is "layered."  After the storm, another layer of coffins was just added on top of the other. Weird, huh?


I hope the creepiness of this post didn't cause me to lose some readers! ;)

3 comments:

Megan said...

Can we please go on a road trip soon? I LOVE cemetaries! I'm so intrigued by them! Toby always gets so tired of me...."oooo, there's a cemetery!"

Melanie said...

HAHA! One of the things on the top of my list for Boston next month. .is to do the cemetery tour again. .we went. .in the DARK. .last Halloween week when I was at my conference!! The stories were amazing there. .mostly. .cause they believe that there are anywhere up to handfuls of bodied in EACH grave. .and the initials of each might be carved in the original stone!! It was hard to see in the dark. .so I for SURE want to see it in the light. .will keep you posted :-)I don't think you are terribly creepy! HA

Diana said...

My husband and I also LOVE cemeteries... but because we are family historians and genealogists. Yep, we are the ones who leave the house on Sunday afternoons with the INTENT of driving to visit cemeteries. I enjoy learning about those people who were buried there, not just my own ancestors, but other families. It's what knits our great big humankind family tree together. I read about the 1900 Galveston storm several years ago (because some of my Mennonite ancestors were in the area at the time).

Been reading through your posts the past few days, found your site just by surfing Kansas blogs... we're in Kansas also, born and raised. Glad to meet you! Will be back to visit. Blessings to you and your family!