Little Cemeteries: Not Just For Halloween Anymore

Nov. 1, 2016
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Besides getting out in the open air to rustle through the leaves on a perfect fall day, there is something both nostalgic and mysterious about wandering through a little cemetery. My favorites tend to be the ones with no gates or fences to keep anyone out any time of the day – or night – often in rural settings. Many of these little cemeteries have worn old tombstones – so old that often they are tipped over, or the sands of time have worn down the names so much that you can barely read them. Often Mother Nature takes over and moss starts to grow along their sides. One should always feel free to indulge, if out on a country drive and an open little cemetery beckons. Pull over along the side of the road near a farm, and take a stroll through time.

Here is but a sampling of some tiny gems just waiting to be visited. 

Last year in November, I wrote about a great county park I discovered on the way back from NOLA, the Carver-Roehl County Park in Clinton, Wisconsin. It boasts two of the earliest Rock County settlers buried there of the William C. Chase family, dating back to 1843. If you're aware of the tiny house movement, this would qualify as a "tiny cemetery."

I also mentioned a sweet locale on the property of The Napping Farm in the Driftless Area this April. This was one that was definitely worth taking a long walk down the driveway to get to, preferably at sunset.


Another worthwhile jaunt is the cute and unassuming Clay Banks Cemetery in Algoma. This is one of those graveyards that is quite enjoyable visiting in the evening as well as during the day. Be careful though, as there is a steep hill leading up to it, and you don't want to go tumbling down that head over heels in the middle of the night. One summer AJ Page and I were thoroughly spooked after wandering off the path in the dark, half-convinced some weird old guy was watching us in a nearby field. The next day, we cracked each other up realizing it was just a property post.

One last word of advice, please be respectful. If your loved ones were laid to rest there, you wouldn't want someone trashing their final resting place. As Depeche Mode once sang, "Enjoy the Silence."

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