Monday, August 15, 2016

The Manerva Project

About a hundred years ago when I was a kid, there was a Boy Scout camp associated with the Presbyterian Church in Seaton.  It was called Camp Seataga and was about 6 or 7 miles northwest of town.  Not too far from the camp was a small cemetery that we were aware of at that time.  Fast forward to my high school days and there was a time when I wanted to do some restoration work.  Some of the stones were broken but at that time at least the weeds were manageable and there was a fencing around the place that made it look like it was perhaps maybe a little maintained.  At that time I had thought of using some of Uncle Ed's farm equipment to work on the grounds to clean it up and make it look nice once again.  But sometimes life gets in the way of things, and the job was never done.  

Fast forward again and you have a green Jeep, two twins and Mrs. Wombie navigating the rough corn-field terrain to visit the old cemetery last month.  But today, the weeds and lilies have fully taken over the grounds, and the 50 some graves are disappearing into the folds of time.   

Just a single stone and a gnarled ancient fence post is visible from the tractor path.  This is the Main Cemetery, a vanishing remnant of pioneer country life and death.  

Two tipping stones peer out from the overgrowth.

Somewhere in this mess are the final resting places of approximately 53 souls. 

A broken and weary stone rests on a tree.  

It is impossible to make sense of the place - the lack of maintenance has marked this site for total abandonment.

This is a cemetery.  

No one should be forgotten.  For every lost life that was buried here, there is a story.  The loves, the losses, the fears and the hopes that bridge all lives past, present, and future are represented by this ground.

Manerva Bullock was born January 21, 1850, and died November 15, 1854.  She never made it to her 5th birthday.  She lies today in the Main cemetery and in her name and memory, we announce the 

                           Manerva Project  

During the summer of 2017 we will be undertaking a restoration project to clean up the Main Cemetery.  Our goal is to secure access to the site, remove overgrowth, restore stones to rightful places and reestablish the fencing around the place for future visitors.  We will also be photographing the stones and sending all info to the "Find-A-Grave" website for safekeeping and genealogical studies.

We have already secured some weed eaters and a handful of workers for this day-long event.  If you are interested in joining us and contributing your time and resources send me your email address and we'll keep you informed of our progress, date and items needed.  

The Manerva Project

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