Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Little Spookiness

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I'd share a little spookiness with you. 

A couple of weekends ago, I "stumbled upon" a cemetery outside of Lakeview. We had traveled to Lakeview for a football game (we won!!!). Normally we drive from Klamath Falls to Bonanza then Bly then Lakeview. On the way home we decided to add an extra 30 miles and travel through Alturas, California. I was excited to see some new country. Not far from Lakeview, I spotted an old cemetery up in the trees. It was the New Pine Creek Cemetery so I pulled the car around and decided to check it out. 

The villige of New Pine Creek was established before 1876 and is the oldest community in Lake County. I'd never even heard of it. There's a stream named Pine Creek but according to historians, postal authorities required the town be named New Pine Creek. On this day, nothing in town was open so when I got home I logged on to see what I could learn online. . . not much. 

However, I did learn that the Church was built in 1886 by John Sutherlin, a gospel preacher from Missouri. His daughter, Martha Alice, married wagon driver Johnny Henderson and is buried at this cemetery. Had I known this before my trip, I would have looked for her marker. 

Also, somewhat interesting, is the fact that because of a survey mistake, the California/Oregon border goes right through town. As a result, there's some peculiar things. The 250 residents are split between Californians and Oregonians. California side residents carry drivers' licenses with Oregon addresses because the town's post office boxes are on the Oregon side. It's said a preacher overseeing a wedding once moved the ceremony to the middle of the street because his license was only good in Oregon. You can read more here

Back to the cemetery. I sometimes worry that I'm a freak - I love an old cemetery. I like to walk around and find the oldest tombstones - dating back to the 1800s. I usually walk around wondering what life was like back then. Sometimes a marker will give me pause - like an infant or a child. And sometimes markers just make you think. 

When I first entered the cemetery, I noticed this marker:
Mr. Coring lived from 1871 to 1957. I thought his marker looked a little sad. I hoped to find information on him but internet searches resulted in no information. 

Then I found this one. I'm not sure what the name is. The name and date are scratched into a rock. It says Died October 1, 1889. According to the information online, the last name is Olahil. I cannot find any information whatsoever. Frustrating. But it makes you wonder. When was this person born? Did they have any family? 

The marker above is primitive, likely homemade and there were several to be found in this cemetery. Some were just plain rocks with no dates or names whatsoever. Then of course, there are the ones that were big and demanded attention. The one below is an example. It was white, large, and said, "Someone important is buried here." The little fence around it made me wonder what they were trying to keep out. Critters? Unwanted buried neighbors? 
Of course, me being me, I had to do a little research. I learned that before WWII, ornate iron fences around gravestones (usually family plots not just individual) were common. They helped keep the critters out. During and after WWII, as iron was used for war purposes, these fences became less common. 

The other thing I noticed was that on many of the older markers, they put the person's age at death exactly. For example in this one above it says he was 59 years, 10 mos, and 22 days. There were some that even had the hour. I also noticed this one because of the mason symbol at the top. Rob is addicted to history/mystery shows and in my opinion, they can all be summed up by one thing...if it's a mystery that involves history, the masons are involved. It's a conspiracy....shhhhh! 

David H. Hartzog lived from 1847 to 1907. Finally, someone I could google. According to this genealogy page, Mr. Hartzog is a prominent figure in Lake County. He was a native of Tennesee. His father was a soldier during the Civil War. During the last part of the Civil War, David fought for the Union Army. He was a private with the 43rd Regiment E.M.M. Interesting note about the regiments, each regiment was on its own. It received no support from the feds, no rations or even weapons. In Missouri, the E.M.M. was self-sustaining. Total time in service was 6 months to a year. 

He was the judge of election when it was voted to establish Lakeview as the county seat. He served four years as deputy sheriff. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity of Lakeview and a devout Baptist. 

Pretty interesting! I wish there'd been a neat old picture of him somewhere out in cyberspace but no luck!

All this research and talk of cemeteries has prepared me for our community's annual Night at the Cemetery - a tour of the Linkville Cemetery which was started in 1885. I've not spent any time at this cemetery but I can't wait to learn some about the early pioneers!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ABCs and 123s

There's nothing like new clothes, a crisp September morning, and yellow school buses to bring back memories.

As a kid, I loved school and the first day was no exception. It was a day to be celebrated, honored, and cherished. I'd wake up early to the smell of bacon, eggs, and pancakes - knowing my mom was in the kitchen making our favorite breakfast. I'd spend the morning making sure my hair was fixed just right and that my clothes were the perfect fit. My friends and I would meet up in front of my house and walk to school - full of energy, excitement, and looking pretty in our new clothes. Animatedly, we'd discuss very important things...who had moved away? Who had moved in? Was that annoying boy in our class? What would the lunch lady be serving? Would our teacher be nice? The night before, I'd have tossed and turned - mulling these same questions over and over in my mind.

I chuckle each year as I watch my boys go through the same things.

Nate with his 3rd grade teacher. 
This year, Nate is a third grader. Nate loves school. He does his homework right when he gets home. He takes pride in getting A's. He loves to write stories, do math, and read books. He's a social butterfly who loves to play with friends at recess and has waited anxiously all summer to be able to spend lunch with a buddy.

His biggest worry was his teacher. For 1st and 2nd grade, Nate had an amazing teacher - Ms. Campbell. Ms. Campbell was every parent's dream. She made learning fun and I firmly believe she is the reason Nate loves school and succeeds. Ms. Campbell was perfect for this kid - she knew how to take control of her classroom (and my little goofball) while encouraging silly senses of humor and curiosity. She helped us with the divorce - encouraging Nate's dad to become involved in the classroom, emailing me when Nate was having a rough day, and making sure both me and my ex were aware of what was happening. To say Nate and I would miss Ms. Campbell is an understatement. Needless to say, our fingers were crossed we'd have another amazing teacher.

The year is off to a great start. We walked into Nate's new classroom to a smiling, energetic woman who quickly introduced herself. When Nate shook her hand and introduced himself, she mentioned many great things she'd heard about him. They visited a minute and as I walked out, Nate whispered in my ear "It's going to be a really great year mom, I just know it!" Aww, my heart melted!

Marcus and Martin, sophomores!
Now Marcus is a sophomore. Wow, how that time flew! It's hard to believe that in no time, he'll be out on his own. While I usually try to focus on the present, I can't face sophomore without acknowledging that time has gone by faster than I wanted and his senior year will be here before I know it. Listening to his plans for the future take on new meaning. Instead of dreams, they start to take on shape - forming into a possibility that may become a reality.

Marcus has never really cared for school, other than the social aspect of it. He's one of the smartest kids I know. . . able to figure things out, memorize facts, and accomplish nearly anything. He just doesn't care for schoolwork, books, or paperwork.

He did tell me he was excited for school this year. I'm hoping he has some teachers that are able to engage and motivate him. Since he was 8 years old, Marcus has dreamed of joining the military and becoming a police officer. I was surprised this summer when he began considering other options. He's now wanting to become a wildland firefighter. His dad is a firefighter. My mom has been involved with wildland firefighting through helitack crews. He loves the outdoors and wildlife. He's athletic and strong - it could be a wonderful fit for him.

In the photo above, he poses with his good friend Martin. Martin also dreams of being a wildland firefighter and it's not hard to imagine both boys making that dream a reality. Martin's a good kid and that means a lot. He's respectful, motivated, and just an all around good guy. When your kid is a teenager, you worry about peer pressure and I believe having friends who are good is important - the kind that encourage the right decisions. Sending your kid into a high school is some scary business!!

My kids are both at school right now and I can't wait to get home and hear about their day. Listen to them tell me the highlights while we enjoy warm chocolate chip cookies and a glasses of cold milk (a family tradition). And I'll try not to think about how fast life travels as your kids grow up!