Dying to get in

Choc Cemetery in Castries, Saint Lucia. Photo by Steve Martaindale

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Most people, I suspect, tend to pick up topics of interest to follow when they’re traveling.

Maybe it’s antique stores, theaters, famous birthplaces, whatever. We used to try and visit all the state capitols we could … but that played out.

One thing that easily catches our interest now is cemeteries.

This is among the articles filed under “Travel Stories.” Click here to see them all and check back as we continue to add stories.

The only time I remember visiting a cemetery for a particular marker of interest was for the grave of Dan Blocker (who played “Hoss” Cartwright in the iconic “Bonanza” television series) and that was because my dad was living in the small Texas town of De Kalb at the time, just down the road from Woodmen Cemetery.

Well, there was the time we were with friends and walked all over Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Deadwood, S.D., including seeing the graves of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.

When we lived in Sherman, Texas, I often walked through the large West Hill Cemetery near our house. There, I discovered the grave and historical marker for Olive Ann Oatman Fairchild, who was kidnapped by a Native American tribe at the age of 14. She was a slave to the Yavapai tribe but was traded a year later to a Mohave tribe and a better life. Four years later, an Army post got word of her presence and negotiated her release.

She became quite the sensation, touring the country, giving her story, and exhibiting her blue tattooed chin that marked her as Mohave. She eventually married, settled in Sherman, and died there at the age of 65. There are several books that tell her story.

One of the more visually interesting places we’ve visited was Choc Cemetery in Castries, Saint Lucia. It was during a cruise ship stop and we walked 1.5 miles around the harbor and an airport strip to find the cemetery, pictured above.

We’ve occasionally stopped at a random cemetery, but none grabbed our attention more quickly than Baby Head Cemetery, between Llano and Cherokee, Texas. Come to find out, the name Baby Head was first given to the mountain in the area when, according to legend, a baby was killed by natives and its body left on the mountain in the 1850s. A later community also carried the name and the Baby Head Cemetery received its first body in 1884.

Listen up. If you’re enjoying these posts, we need to hear from you. These cemetery stories probably made you think of one or two of your own. This site needs input from readers to give much more variety. Please include your story in a comment. I might also gather several and compile a future post.

One thought on “Dying to get in”

  1. I didn’t know that about you until now…cemeteries. I too love to visit cemeteries now for 2 reasons. One because I started doing some genealogy research and will eventually get to see where my ancestors were played. Second is because of geocaching. Since geocaches take me to neat and unusual places and alot are in cemeteries I have now visited people such as Lucille Ball and Susan B Anthony in NY, Wild Bill and Calamity Jane in SD and other less notorious people here and there.
    Love your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

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