06 July 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Newaygo Cemetery--Up Close

As I did with Maple Grove Cemetery, I promised to spend an extra week on Newaygo Cemetery. I mentioned I have never stopped in it, although these pictures are making me ready to drop everything and wander around in it.
Since my co-blogger Sandy is a Newaygo native and more familiar with the cemetery, I will try to twist her arm later today when she comes in and have her post some comments on the cemetery as well. But in the mean time, here is what I can share.
Newaygo was the location of the first permanent settlement in Newaygo County area in 1836. Other than the Native Americans of course. Because if this early settlement, I will make the rather rash leap of faith and say that I believe this may possibly the oldest cemetery. Its location on the Muskegon River aided its growth when lumbering reigned supreme in Michigan. John Brooks, whose stone is shown above was the first permanent resident of Newaygo in 1841. He owned a mill, was prominent in politics, and was a quartermaster for the Union Army in the Civil War. He died in May of 1966, of a disease he contracted during the war. This massive stone for Mr Brooks and his wife Lucina is indicative of his influence on the county during his life time.
This weathered stone is somewhat of a landmark in the Newaygo Cemetery. I have had several people talk about the Shell stone. This fine home-made stone was encrusted with the sea shell collected by this woman. I cannot make out her name, but the slab on the side states the shells were from her collection.
I love the bulk of this stone as well. It marks the resting place of Wm. J. Mead (born Nov. 4, 1825, died Nov. 1, 1873) and his wife Mary A. (born May 28, 1844 and died Aug. 11, 1873). So young when they both died-48 and 29--and just a few months apart. Did she die in child birth and he pined away? Was there an epidemic? Oh, the mysteries these stones hold. Inquiring minds want to know.
Of course Newaygo Cemetery has one of those wonderful tree stump stones. I am unable to read the name on the cross branch in front, but do love the twin trees. And did you notice the two little logs on either side, on the ground? All in all a beautiful remembrance.
This military marker for Henry L. Wallace who served in the 44th Indiana infantry. No dates are on the stone. The unusual thing about this stone though is the color. I have never seen a military marker of that color. I don't know if it was painted, or stained with something. I have never seen lichens that shade, mostly they are silvery gray. And usually the pines leave black stains. Not sure on this one.
There is also a mausoleum here in Newaygo Cemetery. Very nicely made, the stone blends very well with other stones at the cemetery.
Not all the monuments at Newaygo Cemetery are big and massive. This simple slab, set into the ground for Wadsworth is simple and stark. Although it is suffering the same danger that some of my family stones are, in that the sod and moss are threatening to cover it before long.
Over all though, while there are many new, sleek stones, because of the age of the cemetery, and of the city of Newaygo, there are many large stones, from the early pioneers and lumbermen who helped to bring our county to life.

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