Antique Shops and A Cemetery

by Mike Peters

On my day off today, I hit a couple of antique shops and then visited an old cemetery called the Stonewall Cemetery in Fairfield County, Ohio.  It dates from 1817 and there are only eight people of the Wilson surname interred there.  It is beautiful and a resting place worthy of one of the pioneer families of the area.  It gets its unique name because of the 7-8 foot circular stone wall surrounding it.  You can only see into the cemetery through a small gate.  Today it was locked.  As I looked inside, I became nauseous. Every stone, every marker, every monument had been broken into small pieces--the apparent work of vandals.

Worse than the dreaded genealogical brick wall is the vandalized tombstone. I used to think that a cemetery's worst enemies were rain, wind, age and overgrowth.  I now know that these don't compare to the apathetic, willful and malicious destruction of family history that I witnessed today.

If I am ever called to serve on a jury dealing with a case of cemetery vandalism, the defendant better hope that I am disqualified or that I don't remember what I saw on this day.  I may vote for the electric chair.


Mike Peters

Back to Mike's Meanderings