Ran across an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel this morning about new burial options at some of the area’s largest cemeteries, Natural (or Green) Burials.
According to the article:
All burials in this area will include a biodegradable coffin, or a shroud and other container, and no toxic embalming or concrete vaults. No individual markers will be used, but names and dates will be engraved on large boulders in the 3-acre cemetery, planted in native prairie flowers and grasses.
Currently, it’s being offered at Forest Home Cemetery (which I posted about earlier) and Prairie Home Cemetery in Waukesha, Wisconsin. For us genealogists, don’t worry about not being able to find a loved one.
There’s one other new twist on age-old burial practices: Anyone visiting the prairie cemetery will get a GPS device and help finding the grave.
As a genealogist, I would miss the headstone and other things that are so helpful to photograph for your research, but you can get a photo of the engraved stone.
I do find it interesting and I love that it’s better for the environment. I’ll have to keep an eye on it around this area. I know they’ve been doing it around the country for awhile now.
[ Article Link ]
Immanuel Cemetery, Cedarburg, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin
We ran across this interesting inscription when we were searching for the headstones of my wife’s ancestors in Boscobel, Wisconsin. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of the front of the stone, just the back with the inscription. I can only assume it’s the headstone of Elizabeth Armstrong as is noted.
I did some research on the event a found a few things. Google Book Search turned up a writeup on the subject mentioning Elizabeth Armstrong. I can usually include an excerpt into my blog, but this book won’t let me, so you can see it by visiting the book here.
There is also a writeup over at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s website:
The Indians kept a hot fire for two or three hours, while concealed behind the stumps or out-buildings. Capt. Stone’s company were mostly absent, and the fort numbered only some fifteen effective men. The women and children were panic-stricken, crying and wringing their hands. At this stage of affairs, Mrs. ELIZABETH ARMSTRONG, wife of JOHN ARMSTRONG, of Sand Prairie, in this county, finding the Fort but poorly supplied with balls, divided the women into parties; the first , who could load fire arms, constituting the first division; the second were to run bullets. Mrs. ARMSTRONG delivered to them a short effective address, telling them that it was but worse than folly to give up to fear in such an emergency as the present one – that they could expect no sympathy from the Indians, and to go to work immediately and do their best to save the Fort. They obeyed, and under her direction performed miracles.
I run across these types of grave markers a lot in the southeastern Wisconsin area. Most of them are almost impossible to read after the wear and tear of the weather. This particular one is hard to read even without the spooky lighting that my camera captured. I’ve rarely seem markers like this that were readable, but I have seen them. They usually just list the persons name and year of birth and death. I’m assuming that these may be the “default” markers that are given to people that couldn’t afford a full headstone or were without family.
Today’s featured cemetery is St. Finbar’s Cemetery in Saukville, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. I’m choosing this cemetery due to the fact that it was the first (and, unfortunately, only) cemetery that I fully transcribed. I picked it for transcription because it was small and out of the way, so it made good practice. I did the transcribing in May of 2000, so I was just a young’n.
Here is the description from my writeup:
This cemetery was founded by Saukville’s Irish settlers. Consisting of mainly Irish families. The cemetery is still in use today by a few families. It is a very beautiful and well kept cemetery, settled on top of a hill within the trees. Many of the headstones are old and worn and unreadable, so there are a few not included in this list
The cemetery is located just east of the Village of Saukville, on St. Finbar’s Road. (Google Maps Link) I’m hoping that someone finds the transcription useful and it helps them find their lost ancestors. I grew up in Saukville, but I wasn’t aware of this cemetery until I got into genealogy and local history more in my early college years.
I’m sure there have been a few new headstones added since 2000. The cemetery still seemed to be in use, but not by a lot of families anymore. It’s a quiet and peaceful place, if you just need somewhere to relax and soak up the old Irish history of Ozaukee County.
Once sacred ground, it’s now a conspicuous patch of grass in a sea of asphalt, a quirky spectacle to the shoppers forced to drive around it on their way to Radio Shack.
The handful of graves had become an absurd sight gag that punctuated the often indiscriminate momentum of American progress. And it got me thinking: were there others like it? Surely this wasn’t the only time the deceased had stubbornly spoiled the aesthetics of a well-drafted parking lot. I mean, the good spots had already started going to the handicapped; it was only a matter of time before the dead horned in on the action, too.
And you know what? I was right. In fact, I found even more than I expected …
It’s a neat visual tour of some very unlucky cemeteries now located right in the middle of urban America. Sometimes you do wonder what happens to this small, family resting places. Here is your answer.
I thought I’d do my first post on my favorite cemetery, Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee. Just the sheer size and history behind this cemetery makes it a great place. It’s an unusual peaceful place within the Milwaukee city limits and is full of Milwaukee history. The photo at the top of the site is also from Forest Home.
Soon after the city was founded in 1846, civic leaders began searching for a place where area residents could count on eternal peace. They found 72 gently rolling and forested acres that, although “far” from town, were accessible by the new Janesville Plank Road. The land was acquired, and the cemetery was named Forest Home.
In 1850, the first burial took place. A few years later, as more cherished memories were entrusted to this special place, the road that led from the growing city was renamed Forest Home Avenue.
Forest Home is the final resting place of many of Milwaukee and Wisconsin’s most famous individuals. Ranging from Fred Usinger (Milwaukee’s Sausage King) to Increase Allen Lapham (Father of the Weather Bureau.) Forest Home even has a building called “The Halls of History” which they say “serves not only as a temperature-controlled indoor mausoleum, but also as a community-education center where people of all ages can learn, and honor, the history of Milwaukee.”
Their website even has a page that allows you to run a self-guided historical tour, including maps and information. I plan to hopefully take the tour this coming spring or summer. Here are some photos I took there a few years ago.
Welcome to the new Graveyard Rabbit site for Southeastern Wisconsin. I’ve been browsing the Graveyard Rabbit sites for a bit now and I’ve found them interesting. I used to have a website up for information on the cemeteries in this area that I set up manually many years ago. After moving hosts and moving on in life, the site never got set back up. It was mainly due to the fact that everything was done by hand; thumbnails, photo galleries, transcriptions, everything. It just seemed like a lot of work.
But, now, with the advent of all of these great programs like WordPress, Gallery, and others, it makes it much easier to do. So, when I saw these Graveyard Rabbit sites, I thought I’d dust off the old stuff and help some people out again.
I picked Southeastern Wisconsin since it covers a lot of ground. I live north of Milwaukee, so I travel around this area a lot. My genealogy research also takes me around this area to cemeteries, so that makes it a lot easier. Currently, there isn’t a lot I can do for new information since we have something like 5-12 inches of snow on top of everything, but once it thaws (and we dry out) I will hopefully get some new information.
Pardon the site right now while I get it all set up and cleaned, but I hope you bookmark it and come back again.