… if parks had a ton of dead people.
So Wednesday was an interesting day for me. My husband was working, and the girls were in school, but I was off thanks to working for a Canadian company; who are either very generous with their vacation policies or don’t know Americans don’t all get Veterans Day off. One of the two. So what was I going to do with a day to myself?
I drive by a historic graveyard on the west side of my town to get to my youngest’s pre-K, so I thought I could spend some time nosing around that after I dropped her off and also clean off any veteran graves I found. I expected it to be mostly Hispanic graves if I’m honest, just based on where in town it was located, but nope- all the graves (with one notable exception) were German. This small cemetery is in fact the first cemetery in the town!
It seems SO far away from where I imagined the settlers in town lived- but then I remember they all had land grants of 300-600 acres so their footprint was bigger than I originally imagined. (I just looked it up- a square acre takes 3 minutes at a brisk pace to walk across- so… horseback was the way to go. Also, bless Google.)
I actually thought it was an active graveyard because it had an absolute ton of open space in it.
Turns out the graveyard sold it’s last plot in 1946- all the open areas are either unmarked graves or mass graves from the multiple epidemics the colony faced! Rest assured it’s as creepy as it seems it would be to realize you just walked across a ton of cholera victims to get to the historic marker that explains that. So… yeah. I always wondered and now I know!
It had a good share of veteran graves, so those all got brushed off.
And there were quite a few Confederate veterans as well… couldn’t bring myself to brush those off. Though it turns out the German settlers from New Braunfels signed a petition against slavery and many of the ones who served in the Confederacy did so quite conflicted… so that’s good to know but still, I couldn’t. I’m a blue coat through and through, after all.
All the veteran graves (at least that I could see) were these flat bronze plates. They’re quite different from my husband’s grandfather’s government issued gravestone (he served in the Korean War), so I wonder what the story is for the difference. Time of issue maybe? Bears looking into.
There were some really unique gravestones, as well as what you see often here in central Texas: seashell covered graves.
Many of the stones had broken or fallen. These were reset in a slab on concrete flat on the ground above the grave- a great way to preserve these pieces, I think. The one above was set flat like that.
Here is a better example of what that looks like:
There were only two of my very favorite things: porcelain grave pictures.
The inscription at the bottom of their headstones says: “God’s greatest gift returned to God: our parents.” Something about the difference in style of the pictures of Hermann and Alwina makes me think they didn’t have many pictures to choose from.
I sent the picture and text to my husband when I got out there:
Anyway, it was an interesting start to the day followed by breakfast tacos I ran out to eat with my parents, a stop at a garden center, and making lentil soup and a visit with my aunt and uncle.
It was a good day.
In other news I had our carpet and upholstery cleaned on Friday.
Told my brother about having everything cleaned and have now forbidden him from bringing drinkable yogurt for his kids when he comes to visit us in a few weeks for Thanksgiving by sending him this:
4 thoughts on “Its like a walk in a park…”
Very interesting trip through the cemetery, Lauren. It reminds us that they were real people who had loved ones they left behind. Some of the writing on the headstones is very sweet. Shows they were loved and missed.
It is- I always get so excited when I see a long stream of text I get to translate! Some of the stones show real beauty- makes me sad about all the hohum commercial ones we have now!
That’s so true!
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