Friday, May 11, 2012

History Junky

I am a big fan of history. I love to hear the stories about all places. There is so many interesting things that have happened throughout the history of our country. I am in one of the oldest anglican settlements in the US. Hampton, VR is at or near where the first settlers from Europe tried to set up villages.

Yesterday I was extremely bored and decided to go walking around. I really didn't know that there was so much history here and just happened on some plaques that told the histories of certain proporties in the city. I just kept walking around looking for more plaques to read about the history of the area.

As I am walking around I see a very old looking cemetery. There were some signs pointing to the cemetery and the church in the middle so I assumed it was something of interest. I don't generally go walking through cemeteries but the few times I have I am always interested in seeing the old dates on the stones. It is just a small glimpse into this persons final resting place. They may have lived a full life, or died young, and all they have left on this earth is a stone, and most of the time just a few dates. Some of the stones however tell a tale of their lives.

The first thing I noticed was how the oldest part of the cemetery seemed to just have stones placed willy nilly and looked like people were buried on top of each other with no effort to have some sort of order. There were head stones right up against the church, one who belonged to a captain who died before in the year 1700!

Another interesting thing I noticed was how many families were buried near each other. I have always wondered why families would have family plots. I guess it might have been more popular when people never moved away from their home towns. The saddest thing was seeing the graves of young people, babies, young solders. There was one group of stones that belonged to a family. All were babies who never made it to their first birthdays. They all were within a few years of each other too. Must have been horrible for that family. Some of the baby burial sites looked like baby carriages sunken into the ground.

Another interesting thing I notice was it looked like the type of stone used was sort of what was "in" at the time. Certain areas all had very similar stones even though they were not family. There were also some stones that looked brand new but were actually very old.

The final part of the cemetery that I looked though was where old confederate solders were buried. I had never really thought about that. These solders were all buried with nice head stones that labeled them as patriotic confederate solders. It must have been a horrible time for the country back then, it is hard for us not to think about the confederates as good patriots. But it is all about who wins in those types of wars. The winners are patriots, losers are traitors.

The great part about being on the east coast is that the history goes back hundreds of years, far before the birth of our country. In the area I live the history goes back a ways but not that far. More about the time before the civil war. When I am around places like this it makes me want to go to places like Europe where the history goes back thousands of years. To me that is amazing.

This was the Confederate section of the cemetery

This looked like the oldest section of the cemetery. I didn't look like there was much order to it.

This was one of the larger family plots.

This was a babies burial site in a family plot. 
More orderly over here

This guy was a big deal, he needed two of these stones to tell his story.

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