Thursday, November 5, 2009

An Old Cemetery and a Geocache

Sunday afternoon when we left Scout camp I wanted to go find a geocache that’s hidden in an old cemetery not far from the camp.

It was a beautiful day and we all agreed we’d enjoy riding around “in the country” for a while.

There is a world of difference between the north and south ends of our county.

The south end is the beach. Beautiful white sand, emerald green water and tons of tourists.

The north end is rolling hills, thick woods, clear creeks and no tourists.

Northwest Florida really does have the best of both worlds.

When we got to the camp on Saturday the church trailer our pack borrows to transport our camping gear had been set up but the man who was to take it home on Sunday wrecked his truck and wouldn’t be able to do it.

We agreed to bring the trailer home and even though we had the trailer we didn’t let that stop us from exploring the area or hunting the cache.

We stayed on relatively good roads but I did have to hose the clay off the trailer when we got back to Destin.


We stopped to look at this bull.

Farm animals fascinate us - we don’t see a lot of those here at the beach.

There was a yard sale set up under an oak tree along Hwy 90 that we stopped to check out. You can find some really neat old stuff at these kind of sales but we didn’t see anything we wanted at this one.


We found the cemetery that the cache is hidden in and it turned out to be an interesting old place.

A big field but only a handful of graves.



The kids were fascinated by the fact that some of these people were buried here 100 years ago. They started asking all kinds of questions and the next thing I knew we were sitting under a tree having a history lesson. They asked so many questions and one thing led to another and before I knew we'd been sitting there for over an hour.

The Island King kept going back to this one particular headstone and asking if I thought this man really lived to be 107. If the date of birth is correct this man must have been a hardy soul. It's hard to believe he had an easy life considering where and when he lived.

After we'd looked at the graves and had our history lesson the boys and I went in search of the geocache, which the Oldest Island Boy found with no problem.

The Island King wandered around the field for a while and then called us over to show us this.

This rock is not something you find in this area so someone must have put it here.

We found several more scattered around the field.

Markers?

Probably.

This is a big field and from the old posts we found on the perimeter it must have been fenced at one time. We'd already commented that it looked like a big cemetery with hardly anyone buried in it.

But now that we'd found these stones we started to wonder if there weren't a lot of graves that just weren't marked.

We started looking at the field a little differently and it wasn't long before the Island King started finding sunken spots all throughout the field. Grave sized sunken spots.

We showed the boys what to look for and we all spread out and walked the cemetery from one end to the other.

And found about 50 graves.

All unmarked.

Which made us curious.

Who were these people? What were their lives like? Have their family histories faded away, unmarked, like their graves? Or do they have family living right down the road who know their stories?

This week the boys and I are going to work on a research project for school. We're going to find out what we can about the cemetery and the people buried there.

I had Ben Franklin on our schedule but I think Mr. Franklin can wait a week or so while we do a little digging in an old cemetery.
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