Calling off our bike ride led to a free day and a trip to Aledo, where I discovered the Wombie was taking the afternoon off, and, gee, wanna go to Ponemah and finish our larceny? Never a quitter I quickly agreed and off we go again to the big block buildings that housed mementos from our grandfather's once-upon-a-time pride and joy. Oh, uh, Mark, think that Sawz-All will get the job done this time? Well, yes, thank you, very much. The plate above the door on Building 6 and the front of the fuse box are now missing from the buildings and safely in the hands of family, where they will be preserved for future generations.
Coming back from Ponemah Mark wound around a country route that took us back to the old school I came upon on my first day. Only this time we got out and did a little investigating. We discovered a cemetery in the back that had been, more or less, altered to suit the necessities of storage in the back of the school.
This lone, tall stone with several smaller markers leaning on the base. Looks like they were moved to make for more convenient movement about the grounds. Heaven only knows where the exact placement of the souls are these days.
It was a small cemetery, and the farmer who owns the grounds probably had to decide what was best for him and the land. To their credit, the stones survive, albeit in a decidedly less appropriate placing.
Inside the school from the rear. The wall has been torn down to accommodate storage of hay. Note the ceiling lamps still hanging.
A swing down toward Keithsburg and the enduring tombstone of the train that has been a staple here for decades. It was a landmark to spot when a kid and it still is. This stone has been stolen off and on throughout the years, but I believe the last theft resulted in a cementing that will discourage future theft. And, no, the Wombie and I are not interested.
Another shot at this award-winning tombstone in keithsburg of Marissa Tharp who was murdered by her boyfriend in East St. Louis a few years ago.
North of Keithsburg about 5 miles or so is an old house that has absolutely no record on the Internet. It is locally known as the Virduette Plantation and during the 19th century was quite a place. It still is. This is a remaining smoke house chimney or kitchen house.
The home is undergoing renovation and restoration. It is spectacularly Victorian with its gingerbread styling, huge wrap around porch and several connecting out building in the rear.
This octagonal structure housed the water system.
The metal gating has been painted silver, but was likely black.
Very decorative accents and very neat window area.
Side view of the immense brick house. Holly told us that the owner had had several thousands of dollars of uninsured antiques in the house and a group from Chicago came down and stole them. And, no it wasn't Mark and I.
Side view again. Looks like the kitchen area is to the right with all the windows.
Another shot of the kitchen araa and back rooms.
The porch is beautiful and ornate as well.
Sprinkled about the yard were these original gas lamps.
Huge lightening rods have been built into the roof in various places.
This is an ornate fountain in the yard.
Apparently this was the hired helps quarters down and across the road.
Former Virduette ground.
An old water tower, or what's left of it, on the plantation grounds. After the great tour of Virduette we moved on through joy and and just eat of there is a small cemetery called Peniel.
Stopping at cemeteries so Holly could walk Miss Maddy, it gave me an opportunity to check out the stones. In Aledo this one with a poem penned by a grieving sister-in-law etched onto the rear. The poem is pretty poor first of all. Secondly, imagine the price-per-word cost of this memorial. Click to enlarge, but read it at your own peril.
This young man died 6 years ago traveling too fast in his pick-up truck. Nice front with his picture really seems to encapsulate him as a person. But what is really neat is what's on the back.
Notes by friends and family were etched onto the back. This is a really neat idea. Again click to enlarge. This is the type of stuff that makes walking cemeteries worth it, and should give us all some ideas for our forever stone.
Fun day even if we had to alter plans a bit. Tomorrow, I pick up the current Mrs. Blythe at the airport and who knows what adventures await.