Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I am in the middle of archiving photos and letters from this time and I am shocked at how many were left there with their wooden markers that have decayed with time being lost to history. Thankfully Harry Spooner documented this part of our history with photos, articles and letters from the early families. As I archive these records I am finding more and more interesting tidbits. A forgotten piece of Fremont History coming to light. With the dedication of a monument in 1960 Harry Spooner helped restore interest in a overgrown, forgotten piece of history. I hope with a little help we can once again help make people aware of it.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I think it would want to have it screwed down in a ways, and not leave the top part above ground. To easy for vandals to mess with.
But on the other hand, what a surprise for them when they do mess with it!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Terry has worked hard at making sure the graves of all veterans are remembered each year. This year he went even farther.
Sandy mentioned in a previous post how Terry had nudge the city into recognizing the more expansive limits of the Old Indian Cemetery, off Maple Grove Cemetery. About the same time he also started (dare I say it?) pestering them to do something about Pioneer Cemetery. This was the original city cemetery for Fremont and when Maple Grove was opened, many bodies were moved from here. Many remain though.This past Memorial Day, he got the city to mow Pioneer Cemetery. Then, out of his own pocket, Terry made small bunches of flowers and placed one on each gave in Pioneer cemetery.
And I have to tell you, each week since, the cemetery has been mown.
Way to go, Terry. We salute you.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I still haven't found out where some stones went that were there. But with the fencing going up I will be happy for this one victory but I will still be quietly asking question looking for answers as to what has happened to them. I know there were more I have photos of them.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
The city is aware of it and does a nice job maintaining it and keeping it neat but as with many cemeteries the city is growing and pinching the boarders.
The following story comes from the files of A.L. Spooner which belong to the Fremont Area District Library.
When the land around Fremont was opened up to settlement, a number of Native Americans took up farms from the government along what is now called Stewart Street and Warner Ave. One of whom was Henry Pego and another named Wab-e-cake.
One spring Wab-be-cake's wife made maple sugar, which she took to the home of Wilkes Stuart in exchange for two dozen eggs. She carried them home, boiled them and ate the whole two dozen eggs. Within three hours she had passed on in a great deal of agony.
At that time there were no cemetery for the Native Americans in Fremont and many towns people were still suspicious of them. They after all dressed different, their customs were different and they just did not understand their ways. They certainly were not going to allow them to be buried in the white cemetery. Henry Pego set aside a piece of land to be used for Native American burials and Wab-be-cakes wife was The first person to be buried there. Later other Native Peoples were interred there and the plot became filled.
When Henry Pego sold his farm he reserved the cemetery in the deed but later owners failed to do so. With no care the plot became overgrown and a eye sore. In 1932 the City of Fremont decided to clear the place but the owner at that time objected saying it was part of his farm.
Gladys Brown grand daughter of Eitene Lamarandier (Aiken) made Harry L. Spooner aware of this problem, and they with other citizens obtained quick claim deeds to the city from the heir of Henry Pego and Fremont became the owner.
As stated the plot is filled, there are Thirty seven known burials as well as many unknown. Terry Wantz has studied this to great lengths and believes there are over 600 burials. Most people are unaware of how far out the burials go and how many are partially under the drive. As time goes on and the city expands how many more burial grounds will be forgotten and encroached upon?
Known burials in the Indian Cemetery
by Terry E. Wantz
1. Wife of Wab-e-cake, first burial in cemetery
2. Elizabeth Lawrence, daughter of L. M. Lawrence (1887)
3. Josephine Lawrence, daughter of L. M. Lawrence (1889)
4. Mary Lawrence, wife of James Lawrence, daughter of David Kaudauquotte (1890)
5. James Lawrence
6. David Kaudauquotte
7. Andrew Kaudauquotte, son of David (1890)
8. Martha Kaudauquotte, daughter of David (1876)
9. Marion Kaudauquotte, daughter of David (1876)
10. John Kaudauquotte, son of David (1877)
11. Elizabeth Pego, wife of Henry Pego (1880)
12. Ran Pego, father of Henry Pego (1879)
13. Augustus Pego, son of Henry Pego
14. Dominck Pego, son of Henry Pego (1878)
15. Charles Carey
16. Julia Carey, daughter of Charles Carey (1878)
17. William Carey, son of Charles Carey (1881)
18. Andrew Carey, son of Charles Carey (1884)
19. Paul Carey, son of Charles Carey
20. Blind Squaw Aiken
21. Alex Aiken, brother to Tom Aiken
22. Fred Aiken, brother to Tom Aiken
23. Rose Aiken, sister to Tom Aiken
24. Mitchell Aiken
25. Louise Aiken
26. Shunne Aiken
27. Nora Aiken
28. Mrs. Steve Aiken
29. Mitchell Badeau
30. Benedict Jackson, son of Moses and Aileen Jackson (1890)
31. Andrew Jackson
32. Senone Jackson
33. ? Jackson, sister to Senone
34. William Stone
35. Mrs. William Stone
36. Cora Puckanabano
37. ? Schimmerhorn
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
One of the web sites we looked at had this cold impersonal tall sky scrapper style building that was a mausoleum.
One of my favorite ways to spend a nice summer day is to wonder through a cemetery wondering about the people buried there who were they? What was their life like?
I know it has become a problem especially in bigger cities but my mind and heart does not always agree. I still visit my Great Great Great Grandparents graves and put flowers on them out of respect.
I guess only time will tell. First they say no homemade headstones, then there is no place to put people when they pass on. My husband does not understand why this saddens me it makes sense to him he wants to cremated. The poor man he just looks at me shakes his head when he is the one that doesn't understand. It is another tradition that we are loosing. But at least he still goes with me and tries to understand I have to give him credit for that.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I had a sexton from a local cemetery tell me they no longer will be allowing homemade markers placed on grave sites per the township board. I am very disappointed by this since some of the homemade markers are Linda's and my favorites.
They are concerned that they will not weather and wear well over time. Some of them I agree but go by individual bases and have them approved prior to placing it something!
What worried me is that he said other area cemeteries are also talking about doing this. Some stones I have seen are down right tacky, some show a bit of the personality, some help the builder heal by doing a last thing for the deceased. There are so many reasons right down to the high cost of markers. I want a homemade stone just to be different and show a little of who I am. A huge rock (not manufactured) with a plaque would be good.
I hope they reconsider, bend a little. Lighten up! I am attending the next township meeting so please wish me luck. Please let me know if any of you have come across this problem with small rural cemeteries or any for that matter. I want to have my facts straight and all my ducks in a row. My husband says he will go to bail me out. I am not sure why he would think I would need that. I just feel passionate that people should have the right to express themselves even in death.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I feel I need to add a note as to my surprise at how many people I have talked to that do not know why we celebrate Memorial Day, why we changed the date or that we even did. I asked people from 83 years to 7. Most of the "young people" said it was a day off school and that school was almost over for the summer. I had a few people tell me it was a holiday to honor our military veterans. Heaven forbid when I mentioned it use to be called "Decoration Day".
Yes I know not everyone is interested in history and genealogy as we are but...We have this holiday every year! If a person is going to celebrate it they should at lest know what and why it is.
It started to honor the Union veterans of the Civil War on 30 May 1867. It originally was called Decoration Day as this was a day the family would visit the cemetery decorate the grave and often have a family picnic. The date was changed by the government for a 3 day weekend.
OK I am done with my rant but I was surprised maybe it is because we have had so many military people in our family. Maybe it is because Grandma took decorating the graves so seriously. But I also know that I would like to thank each and every veteran of all the wars that fought to give us the rights we have and for all they went through to give us the freedom we take for granted every day. I still stand up for the first flag in a parade place my hand on my heart and Thank God and our Veterans each and every one of them.
Try voicing what you think in a few other countries on your blog and see what happens...
I talked to a person this past week who said she only visits the cemetery once a year on Memorial Day and was complaining because her family members grave site had weeds growing around the stone and all the others around it were so neat. I asked her if she was from out of town thinking I could adopt the site when I did my families. She promptly spoke up and said "oh I just live down the road". I then kindly (I hope) told her that the sexton mows and cares for the cemeteries but often the families are the ones who cares for the stones and the weeds that grow next to them.
I wonder if she even gives it another thought until next year?
Friday, April 30, 2010
I am always amazed how many broken stones you see in some of the cemeteries you visit. We are spoiled in
I look at these broken stones and wonder how did they break? Can they be fixed? How?
I have been told that if the stones have some structural integrity they usually can be put back together. But warning it is not as easy as it sounds. The first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of stone it is made of. Putting metal bolts, drilling etc. is no longer advised. Duct tape will fix anything but not advised for grave stone repairs.
Many of the new epoxies work great some can be repaired with mortars to join broken fragments but this method often makes the stone look sloppy and unattractive since the mortar is usually thick and mats.
My husband’s family bought an old train depot several years ago and found an old broken tombstone underneath it. My Mother in Law has spent many years researching the woman it was for and her children. She has always wanted to repair it and set it on her grave site. The story of the broken tombstone has been told at Cemetery Walks and different events in
Friday, April 16, 2010
While watching the new show on television "Who Do You Think You Are" I noticed Lisa Krudow
very quietly do a silent prayer and place a stone on a memorial. And I started wondering where did this tradition start and what was the reasons behind it.
Here is some of what I found out.
The Jewish faith tells us that by leaving a pebble is in a way the erection of a small, new monument-a tomb- stone to honor the memory of the dead. So in a sense it is a way of saying; Here lie the remains of someone worth remembering. It is a way of showing that someone did come and remember.
It also is a symbol saying that the love and memory are still strong and as enduring as the rock.
Some people suggest it is a simple counter telling how many people had visited the burial sight leaving a prayer. A sign of respect.
The Internet is full of reasons and speculations going back to Medieval Tales when graves were thought to contain some remainder of the soul left by the departed. The belief goes by leaving stones they were creating a barrier to prevent the soul from leaving and haunting the living.
So regardless of who started the tradition or why I continue to do so as a sign of respect and love of the deceased and tradition, regardless if I understand why or not.
My husband took me for many little drives to get me out of the house and we managed to drive through or past a few cemeteries. One thing I noticed was how many have Spring flowers that come up where some one had planted bulbs. I planted bulbs a few years ago on Grandma and Grandpas grave site. But never noticed the amount of them until now. I did it because I always worry that one day I won't be able to get there with Spring flowers and bulbs will come up on their own. Must be others have thought of this also. It is nice to know even if someday I can't get there the graves will have a bright sunny blanket of blooms to welcome Spring.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Inspired by a disturbing local news story of a missing child that apparently died and was dumped into a trash bin and possibly incinerated, we got on the the theme of cremation and cemeteries. I started paying more attention to the topic and slightly less to my yarn.
One friend mentioned that she had told her family to "toast her and toss her", feeling that there is no reason to have a place dedicated to her remains when she wasn't going to really be there.
I can understand the line of thinking, so many of the up and coming generation cannot be bothered with planting flowers (hence the silk and plastic now found in cemeteries.) I only have one son, out o9f two, who probably knows where HIS grandparents lie, but beyond that, his eyes glaze over when I mention other locations. It does bother me when I hear that gramps is sitting in a mason jar in the garage, because no one knows what to do with him. At least we have a plot, that my Hubby's parents bought, so I know where I will be planted.
So my question that after mulling over our discussion Saturday is this. Why, if people do not want a grave, a place to decorate and to remember and honor a deceased loved one.... Why oh why do they persist in making memorials along the sides of roads where someone died? Let's make a traffic hazard, by causing gawkers where so-and-so died. They get weather beaten, bedraggled and look a mess. (Plus I see future genealogists pulling their hair out, trying to figure out where these ancestors are.)
Are these mourners just too cheap to pay for a cemetery plot? Let's have a memorial to Joe Blow in a muddy ditch. It just makes no sense to me. Maybe I'm being too hard on them, but it does drive me crazy.
I have given my family explicit orders that if I ever die in a car accident, NOT to put a cross by the road.
If they do, I promise to haunt them.
Friday, February 19, 2010
On last weeks posting on our sister blog, the Cemetery Divas I mentioned now odd it was there there were so many cement tombstones there.
First there was my paternal great-grandfathers. It is well made, with curved corners and strong enough to stand upright, but the letters appear to have been carved in with a nail or something similar. Another unusual feature of Grampa Jesse's stone is that it was painted silver. I really cannot give you any history of the stone. Since he had divorced his wife, my Great Grandma Carrie, my grandmother/his daughter wouldn't have much to do with him. He is buried in Curtice Cemetery and is in the northern part of the county and while far from my branch of the family, there were some other Crosses in the area.
The puzzling thing though was that there were other stones of similar shape and size as GGrampa Jesse's. Another almost identical, also painted silver but with molded letters. In the picture below, the more ornate stone for "Thomas" also apears to be cement and painted silver.
There were several others, some pictured on the other blog from last week that also appear to be cement.
Is this a widely used means of making stones? Can anyone tell if they have seen a lot of them in the same area? Especially as well done as the Thomas stone. It has the embossed symbol below the name and is very well made. I wondered if it could be just because the area where this cemetery is located was near a community (now abandoned) that made cement, being near marl pits and sand.
Of course, there are other reasons for cement stones. This is a stone made by my father for his aunt. She was Uncle Bert's second wife, and the surviving son never did get around to putting a stone on her grave, just leaving the little aluminum marker. So Dad made her this one.
This was a much simpler stone, although Dad did find wooden letters and inlaid them into the cement. Although they have mostly rotted away, you can still pretty much make out the date as well as the years 1895 to 1981.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
My foot was a little more damaged than originally thought so I will be off from work at least another 6 weeks. I will start blogging again as soon as I am feeling a little more up to it. Having the medicine wear off may also make better blogging. Please excuse my typing the darn letters keep moving on my keyboard.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Sandy, who manages this blog, is having surgery today. It is repairing work on her ankle and tendons that were broken a year ago. She will be off work for some time, as well as heavily medicated.So for a while at least posts will be few and far between from her. And if you see one from her that looks a little loopy. Well, for the time being, we can blame the medication.
Knowing that she will inflict great bodily harm on me if she sees this picture here, if you see or correspond with her, tell her you only noticed her baby Sheba.
But it looks so empty and barren. As you can see above the lone standing slab looks fairly fresh and strong. But around it are stones flat on their back, and open areas with no stones.
Judging from the conditions of many of the stones, it appears this cemetery was abused and mistreated in the past. The stones on the left appear to be from at 3 different graves. The lighter stones on the right, while somewhat readable, still were broken.
It is so sad when these final resting places are forgotten. Just as with the Indian mounds that are in the area, when those who buried the people are gone, to often others don't care and think it "doesn't matter" with they churn up these places.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
As I have said I would write about Native American Burial mounds in Newaygo County. There isn't a week that goes by that we don't get a patron coming in or calling about them in the area. They want to know if they could be on their land, where they are located, If you dig them up what would you find?
I have a tendency to get on my soap box on this subject. Some day I will have a Patron get upset with me but I feel it is wrong to dig these up or show disrespect for any reason. It is sacrilegious to dig them up or in anyway deface them.
Newaygo County has 234 lakes and 356 miles of rivers and streams that has a rich history along their shores of Native American villages, hunting and fishing grounds. Many of the mounds are also in the woodlands and prairies in the county. There were literally thousands but sadly the numbers are shrinking every year. I do have to give credit to Consumer's Energy Company here in the county that actually have fenced in several mounds and protect them along a river bank.
I am unsure what we can do about saving them. I have worked with the Native American Council a few years ago to research, count and preserve some mounds that was "in the way" of development. Fortunately we preserved them but for how long? The council did open a couple up with a blessing from a shaman and was re buried with the proper prayers and respect. They did not allow anyone there except Native American Shamans and the researchers from the Council who were all of Native American blood. They did share the information that there were signs of shells, bones and not much else. So please people realize this is someones ancestor! Would you like it if someone dug up your ancestors out of curiosity? Your not going to gain great riches or find artifacts for your mantle. Let the dead remain buried where they are.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
BURIAL OF POOR COSTS NOT MET
GRANT UNDERTAKER SAYS COUNTY SHOULD MEET EXPENSES IN INDIGENT CASES
Editor Times Indicator:
Having heard much controversy lately in regards to Newaygo county's part in the expense incident to the burial of indigent Civil war veterans and the county poor, I take it that at its recent session the board of supervisors did not take into consideration the actual cost of either. Perhaps it was not explained to them and I therefore write this in a spirit of friendly helpfulness, as the system certainly should be changed, there being but few veterans left in the county.
In the matter of soldier's burial, Newaygo county allows $55.00, Muskegon $75.00 and Kent county $100.00, this allowance being fixed by the supervisors. Why so low in Newaygo county? I will illustrate with the case of a veteran who died in Grant township, this county. I went to the place where he died and cared for the body. Owing to conditions, it was necessary to embalm, using $2.oo worth of fluid. I paid $2.00 for an auto to take me there and I found the house in such condition that I had to go back and bring the body to Grant, at a cost of $2.50. There was no clothing of his that could be used for burial purposes. I took my coat, shirt, collar and tie and put them on him, but did not have any pants to spare at the time. When I meet this partly naked soldier in the next world he will probably ask me why I sent him on the long journey with no pants and I will have to tel him that he died in Newaygo county, where the allowance made by the board of supervisors was not sufficient to buy a pair. If I had used a burial robe, the cost would have been $6.50 more. A casket would cost $38.00 and outer box $7.50, at wholesale prices. Certainly nothing less should be used for a veteran. Cost of hearse and driver, $6.00, ($5.00 of which goes to the driver), and one dollar for taking the box to cemetery. The township generally pays for opening graves. This leaves no compensation for minister or funeral director.
Probably some will say that a veteran who draws a pension should save enough to provide for a decent burial. The one I have mentioned cared for or supported three grandchildren as well as himself entirely out of his pension.
Thus it will be seen that even the cheapest burial figures $66.00 at cost and there are conditions which necessitate a greater amount. The statute allows $75.00. Why not pay it?
Now I will take the case of an inmate of the county home, who at one time lived in Ashland. When he died, his mother, in poor circumstances, wished the body brought from the county home for burial in the family lot beside others of his family who had gone before. The Newaygo county allowance for a burial is $30.00 dollars, the figure being set by the board of supervisors. I got a body from the county home and it cost me $13.00 beside the cost of the casket and outer box, $26.75, bring the body from home to Ashland, $5.00 for embalming fluid, $200, taking box to cemetery, $1.00, hearse and driver $6.00, making a total of $40.75--leaving nothing for minster or funeral director.
I believe if all taxpayers would talk this matter over with their supervisors, the latter would look at the matter in a different light. Some would blame the county home inmates for being there, but I can not look at it that way. They are there and why not give them a fair burial, or at least pay the actual cost. Why should any funeral director of Newaygo county have to stand a part of the expense of burying indigent veterans and county poor charges, instead of having a reasonable compensation for his services?
I would like to see the citizens of the county take an interest in this matter.
A___ J M________
Apparently either the county gave in and paid more, or they had less poor to bury. The same funeral home is still functioning today, proudly run by the same family.
Friday, January 8, 2010
This is not my parents' gravestone, although it is for a more distant family member. It is located in Alton Cemetery, a little bit north of Lowell, in Kent County MI.
This is a story about a road trip I took with Dad and his last two sisters, the summer before he died. He was weak even then, but wanted to take this trip. Aunt Glenna and I are always up for cemetery hopping, and we even managed to drag Aunt Joycie along.
It was a fairly long day, and by the time we got to this cemetery, Dad was rather tired and stayed in the car. The Aunts and I roamed the cemetery and showed me some of our family stones. There are lots of names from the family tree here. Ford. Condon, Aldrich, Barto. The nearest relatives are my great grandparents, Omar and Carrie. (Why, oh why do I have so many family stones that are flush with the ground?)
They are part of the tangles found in every family tree. Carrie was my paternal grandmothers mother. She is buried with her second husband, Omar. He is my paternal grandfather's father.
Thursday, January 7, 2010