There’s a lot of history buried in cemeteries. Really.
Being located in the capital of Iowa, we have a lot of former governors buried around here. And lots of other famous local dignitaries have been laid to rest among the more ordinary moms, dads, grandparents etc.
Genealogists have long been known to search out loved ones and obscure members of the family tree in cemeteries. Even in this Internet age, cemeteries are hot spots for seeking out family information. So, it should come as no surprise that some cemeteries now offer wireless Internet connections. Oak Grove Cemetery in Paducah, Kentucky, is one such place. Members of the Scopes family (of the famous trial) are buried there.
As one commenter wrote in response to a story about the Wi-Fi cemetery on the WBIR-TV web site, “This definitely tops WBRY in Woodbury, Tenn., the only radio station I know located in the midst of a cemetery!”
Here are a few more oddball cemetery tidbits:
Buried alive? This was evidently a concern of Timothy Clark Smith. After Smith died in Vermont in 1893, his body was interred with his face positioned beneath a tube that led to the surface where a glass window would give him a view of potential rescuers. He also had a bell in his hand to sound the alarm if necessary.
The bright side of a drought. The drought conditions in Liberty, N.C., have helped officials at Low’s Lutheran Church locate unmarked graves in its cemetery. Seems the old graves store water which is drawn to the surface in dry conditions, creating oases of green grass among the otherwise parched landscape.
Odd gravestones. Ever wonder why someone would want to be buried under a marker in the shape of a clothespin? Or a dollhouse? This and much more can be found here. The comments from readers are interesting, too.
Larry Lehmer is a personal historian who helps people preserve their family histories. To learn more, visit his web site or send him an e-mail.
Flickr photo of Low's Lutheran Church cemetery courtesy of revanovum.