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The Changing of Times

Headstone for “Red Bone” Johnson in Beauvoir Confederate Cemetery, 2244 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi. Johnson served in Company I, 31st Alabama. The 31st Alabama was garrisoned at Vicksburg and later joined the Confederate Army of the Tennessee, fought in the Atlanta Campaign, and marched with John Bell Hood into Tennessee in 1864.

The Jefferson Davis Soldiers Home opened on the grounds of Beauvoir Mansion, one-time home of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis, in 1903 and operated until the 1950s. It was home to around 1,800 Civil War veterans and widows of Confederate soldiers. Roughly 780 of them are buried in the cemetery located on the property.

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When the Sun Sleeps

Bacon family plot in Bonaventure Cemetery, 330 Bonaventure Road, Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia. There are at least eight members of the Bacon family interred here, including Albert Sumner Bacon (1844-1920) and his wife Ruby Williams (1845-1929). Albert S. Bacon served in B Co., 8th Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War. The 8th Georgia was in Maj. Gen. John Bell Hood’s Division in Longstreet’s Corps. Albert was severely wounded in the face on July 2, 1863 at the Battle of Gettysburg, but survived the war and lived to be 76.

John Mullryne’s plantation, with its tree-lined avenues, once occupied this 160-acre site. Mullryne was an English colonel who was granted the land in the 1760s. He named it “Bonaventure,” which is Italian for “good fortune.” Peter Wiltberger purchased Bonaventure in 1846 and his son William turned it into Evergreen Cemetery 22 years later. The haunting, picturesque scenery led one statue, called “Bird Girl,” to appear on the cover of John Berendt’s novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1994).

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Silence of the Passed

Headstone for Nellie Hogan Gray (1861-1880) in Oakwood Cemetery, 50 101st Street, Troy, Rensselaer County, New York. Nellie was the wife of George W. Gray and died at the age of 19, however, she is not buried with her spouse. The inscription reads:

Loving wife you left me here alone
without a friend my sorrow to condole
If in Heaven’s bliss we meet once more
with you I will stay and hurt never more

“Condole” means to express sympathy with a person who is suffering sorrow, misfortune, or grief.

This 300-acre cemetery was established in 1848 and designed in rural style. It offers a beautiful view of the Hudson Valley and contains the remains of over 16,000 people, including Samuel “Uncle Sam” Wilson.

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Fallen

Headstone for Earl S. Kingman (1890-1895) in Cortland Rural Cemetery, 110 Tompkins Street, Cortland, Cortland County, New York. Earl was the only son of Mary and Mahlon Kingman. He died of whooping cough at the age of four.

Cortland Rural Cemetery was established in 1853 and contains the remains of over 18,000 departed residents. Its drive is lined with wonderfully informative interpretive signs with information about prominent burials, interesting monuments, and the materials from which those monuments were made.

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And I Dreamt of You

Grave of an infant named Cronin (1904-1904) in Fairbank Cemetery off the San Pedro Trail, Fairbank, Cochise County, Arizona. The old graveyard is located about a half mile up a trail and is heavily vandalized. Only a few of the original graves remain, marked by piles of stones, wooden crosses, and iron fencing. Unfortunately, the cemetery has been a victim of grave robbery and vandalism over the years.

At one time, Fairbank was a hub of activity along the San Pedro River. Children came from all around to attend its one room schoolhouse. It was never a large town, having only 100 residents at its peak. The town began to die in the early 20th Century, and by 1970 only a small gas station remained.

In 1986, the Bureau of Land Management purchased hundreds of acres of land around the town and created the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Today, the remains of Fairbank have benefited from tourist activity and a few of the original buildings have been preserved. The Bureau of Land Management maintains a small store and museum in the old schoolhouse.

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Indwelling Ascent

Grave marker for the Moss family in Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in Rubio Woods Forest Preserve, Midlothian, Cook County, Illinois. There are at least seven members of the Moss family buried in Bachelor’s Grove, but due to extensive vandalism, the exact locations of their graves is unknown.

Bachelor’s Grove is one of the most famous haunted cemeteries in America. It was abandoned in the early-twentieth century and is allegedly home to a plethora of strange phenomenon, including the White Lady (or Madonna) of Bachelor’s Grove, who is said to be searching for her lost infant.

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