Burial

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Caustic Burno

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A friend who lived in a very rural remote place in Eastern Oregon was called on to dig a grave for an old local guy who had passed. Two of them went to a grave yard with a backhoe. Picked an empty spot and started digging. They hit something solid. My friend jumped down in the hole to find out what they hit. It was a metal coffin with lots of ornate figures of dragons and such on the lid. They covered it back up and picked another site to dig. They went back later with a steel marker they made that read "China man grave."

Lots of the old graves just had a wooden marker which are long since gone. And most of these old graveyards have little or no maintenance.
These woods are full of old one to two acre cemeteries.
Lot have big pines growing up through them.
One near me that’s no longer kept up as the last of the family died last November. Cemetery is full of teenagers back in the 1920’s often wondered what came through.
I am the last to upkeep our original family cemetery in the county. Little cemetery has 27 graves in it, when I am gone it will be reclaimed by nature.
 

FarmerShell

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There is a cemetery down the road its strange somebody takes care of part of it the other part nobody touches. I always want mow it yet don't want be responsible if I accidentally damaged a headstone.
 

Redgully

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I’m not trying to be disrespectful, I know it‘s not appropriate and it’s probably more the way the story is told but I can’t stop laughing.
When i read the story all i could think of was Chevy Chase in funny farm.

One of our mates was killed in a head on motorbike collision with two of my cousins when they were looking for each other. It was terrible. He had just bought a truck but wasn't roadworthy yet. Over the week all the boys rebuilt that truck and painted it up real nice. It was a prime mover so they borrowed a trailer and put his coffin on the back and drove him to the cemetery in a procession of about 20 trucks. The traffic was great stopping to let everyone through. It would have been a great send off if not so emotional. His wife was 8 months pregnant with their first child.
 

Rafter S

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These woods are full of old one to two acre cemeteries.
Lot have big pines growing up through them.
One near me that’s no longer kept up as the last of the family died last November. Cemetery is full of teenagers back in the 1920’s often wondered what came through.
I am the last to upkeep our original family cemetery in the county. Little cemetery has 27 graves in it, when I am gone it will be reclaimed by nature.

Our church moved from the original location many decades ago. There was a cemetery there, and somehow during one of the changes of ownership the deed no longer shows the cemetery (if it ever did) and now it's just part of the rest of the place. Twenty or thirty years ago there was an effort to get that straightened out, but it didn't go anywhere.

There probably aren't a half dozen people left alive who have ever even been to it, or would have the vaguest idea where it's located. I was there a time or two probably 40 years ago, and you could barely tell it was a cemetery. It was in a little patch of woods, so it's probably been bulldozed away by now.
 

Redgully

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Our church moved from the original location many decades ago. There was a cemetery there, and somehow during one of the changes of ownership the deed no longer shows the cemetery (if it ever did) and now it's just part of the rest of the place. Twenty or thirty years ago there was an effort to get that straightened out, but it didn't go anywhere.

There probably aren't a half dozen people left alive who have ever even been to it, or would have the vaguest idea where it's located. I was there a time or two probably 40 years ago, and you could barely tell it was a cemetery. It was in a little patch of woods, so it's probably been bulldozed away by now.
They doze some cemeteries here at 50 years and start again. I could understand 200 years, but 50 is a bit soon.
 

Dave

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I have a friend who was falling timber on a hill near the mouth of the Columbia River. He saw a head stone. Put the saw down and looked around. Found 20 or 30 head stones. He quit cutting and went and told the timber company. There is about a one acre patch of timber standing in the middle of a clear cut.

I think I might have posted pictures of this cemetery before. It is near the location of a gold rush ghost town that is no longer there (a fire burned the building back in the 50's). It is 8 or 10 miles from the nearest ranch and probably 30 miles from the nearest town. The grass is green and watered. There is a riding lawn mower hidden behind a bush in the back corner. The last picture I was standing at the gate and turned facing away from the cemetery to take the picture. You get the idea. This is the middle of nowhere.
 

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greybeard

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I’m not trying to be disrespectful, I know it‘s not appropriate and it’s probably more the way the story is told but I can’t stop laughing.
No problem. The deceased was a pretty odd guy-one of those 'black sheep of the family types' but not in a mean way. Pretty self destructive tho. I was surprised when I heard he had died, but surprised only because I thought he had died years before.
Other than his brother, he had no close kin that we knew of but we all knew he had a string of girlfriends all along I-20 from the Pecos to the Sabine so he probably left his spawn all over Texas though I don't know that he stuck around any long enough for them to know him. There was always some well intentioned woman somewhere that thought they could straighten him out. His brother said he would take care of the grave marker but I'm betting he never did.
 

Rafter S

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Been there, seen it done, but it was because the deceased had no insurance, no $$ and not much close family. We did all pitch in and pay for the coffin and had a short memorial service at the grave yard with the coffin still on the tailgate of the truck and we had purchased a burial plot way out in the corner that evidently, no one else wanted but someone decided "we' would dig the hole ourselves after the service. It was August, hot as the blazes, not a breeze in the air or a cloud in sight, near Dallas Tx and the ground was harder than a hooker's heart. Out of the same pickup that served as the hearse, we got out our digging implements. Shovels, sharpshooters, picks. We finally got it deep enough, long enough and almost wide enough when the deceased man's twin brother said 'Enough!', drug the coffin over into the hole and it got stuck 1/2 way down the hole on a troublesome mesquite tree root. The brother (my 2nd cousin) stepped down on top of the coffin lid, jumped up and down a few times and on down it went. We said a prayer, wiped the sweat off our faces and covered ol cuz up.

I've buried lots of things in my life but that's the first, last and only human I ever dug the hole for.

I'll always remember my father and others of his generation talking about sitting up with bodies all night long, and digging the graves and filling them in by hand. Our church is on blackland, and there's never a time when that dirt is easy to dig. When it's dry you can't hardly dent it with an axe, and when it's wet it's so sticky you can't get it off the shovel.

Speaking of our church on the blackland prairie, when I was about 12 we got a new pastor, who promptly planted a line of pine trees beside the road going from the church to the cemetery. I was awful young, but I was old enough to know pine trees won't grow in blackland. Most, if not all, are still there and still alive, and that was almost 50 years ago, so I guess I was wrong. I've always said that if they'd been planted anywhere else, and by anyone else, they wouldn't have made it.
 

Rafter S

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Not many pines very much west of I45 except out near Bastrop Tx. The soil is not acid enough for them to get established in a big way.

My area seems to be a transition between soil types. You can turn off Highway 105 onto FM 362 and you'll be driving through blackland prairie for 10 miles or so (and you'll pass the church about 4 miles in) , then all of a sudden you're in the piney woods. I live a few miles away from there, on mixed soil. When building fence, with post holes 8' apart, it's not unusual for me to get three different colors of dirt in consecutive holes.
 

Ky hills

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I'll always remember my father and others of his generation talking about sitting up with bodies all night long, and digging the graves and filling them in by hand.
That's still done by some here. We used to help with a mission church in the mountains and frequently the church was used for that. They would bring the body there and folks would stay there over night. After the funeral service they would bury the body in a family cemetery. Have some friends that when there is a death in their family, several will get together and dig the grave in their family cemetery plot.
 

greybeard

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I haven't done but that one family doing the burial thing but when each of my grandparents died, (several years apart) family members sat up all night with the body as it lay in repose in my grandfather's living room. Papa died in the house I grew up in while he was visiting us, about 300 miles from home. My father and one of his brothers rode in a box car with the coffin as it was sent back up to extreme NE Texas by train the day after he died. They both said it was a long hot trip.
 

herofan

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They doze some cemeteries here at 50 years and start again. I could understand 200 years, but 50 is a bit soon.
Do you mean if it’s been 50 years since someone was buried there? What exactly does the dozing process do? Forgive me, but I never heard of that?
 

greybeard

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Death is permanent (physical death anyway) Your grave is not.


Even in the USA, you may 'purchase' the plot but you do not own the land. Ownership of the land (including your plot) remains with the owner of the cemetery. It's more like a lease than a purchase.
 

greybeard

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I had forgotten about it but my sister reminded me of it today. Before I was born, (sometime in the late 40s) my mother gave birth to a still born baby girl. Quite premature. We had a great uncle that was buried in the same town and two of my uncles took the preemie, wrapped it in a blanket, dug up great uncle's grave, opened the casket and layed the little infant in on great uncle's chest. Closed the lid and covered the grave back up. It was quite a few years before my mother and father were able to bring themselves to place a little headstone with her name on it beside great uncle's headstone.

Nowadays there would probably be all kinds of county/state red tape to jump thru to do that.
 

Redgully

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Do you mean if it’s been 50 years since someone was buried there? What exactly does the dozing process do? Forgive me, but I never heard of that?
I'm not entirely sure but the largest cemetery in our state has old areas that i believe haven't seen burials for over 50 years. They bulldoze all the headstones away and then re use the area in between the original burials where you would normally walk. So basically you are now walking on the old graves. My grandmother died when she was 28 in 1952 and my father still owns her plot and it will be passed down to one of us when he's gone. You can fit three or four bodies in the same grave here so if you let ownership go someone is able to purchase the plot and be buried on top. Lucky my grandmother is at the very entrance and it is in a historical heritage listed area so will never be cleared.
 

Redgully

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Tell me about the ghost stories please.
I have no ghost stories but have you heard of the incorruptibles. Basically saints who don't go wrotten, imagine doing a exhumation and finding a 20 year old body that looks the same as when buried, that would freak me out good and proper.
 

FarmerShell

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I had forgotten about it but my sister reminded me of it today. Before I was born, (sometime in the late 40s) my mother gave birth to a still born baby girl. Quite premature. We had a great uncle that was buried in the same town and two of my uncles took the preemie, wrapped it in a blanket, dug up great uncle's grave, opened the casket and layed the little infant in on great uncle's chest. Closed the lid and covered the grave back up. It was quite a few years before my mother and father were able to bring themselves to place a little headstone with her name on it beside great uncle's headstone.

Nowadays there would probably be all kinds of county/state red tape to jump thru to do that.

Stillborn or losing a baby would be very hard at least in my opinion. We stop at this cemetery the other day just killing time. They have an area just dedicated for the babies. My Uncle and Aunt are buried at that cemeteries. It our of city limits. We just walked around cause we ended up being earlier to pick up the children. I'm strange I guess I like looking at all the old headstone and different headstones. Some are really neat how they do them and all the different quotes, saying, ect. How some people list children, grandchildren, or even parents. Now they even have the ones they put the person's picture on the headstone. I want my big butt on there. Haha just play.

Hey we made it yall it's Friday!!
 

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