Sunday, September 30, 2007

Shays Rebellion

I wonder if my neice's teacher knew what a wonderful day was being created for us when the assignment to do a gravestone rubbing of Daniel Shays' grave was given to the students. My sister-in-law knew this would be a perfect Uncle Don day, and added me to the jaunt! My little speech about damaging gravestones was quickly set aside with the information that the current stone was quite new, having replaced the original relatively recently! Daniel Shays was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and shortly afterward became upset that the the new country he had fought for, was not treating the former soldiers very well. I'll let you read about it here, and here, but I'm amazed that some of the same issues seem to be a problem in 2007 as well!
But this is a story about our adventures in the Union Cemetery in Scottsburg, NY. Maeve got her rubbing, and presumably her class credit, but we got a lot of other things. Wyatt was reluctant a first, but when unleashed in the cemetery, was soon asking to borrow my camera, and was off on an adventure. Some of these pictures are his. And Maeve didn't seem too eager to leave after getting the rubbing either.
Anne, who is always interested in lots of things, even found a Scottish link to her thistle and her friend Buck.
We also discovered that graveyards are places of life too. A couple of daddy long legs were engaged in courtship atop the grave of someone whose last courtship was long ago, and a hillside of mushrooms was quite glorious!

Many mysteries too. Were these two toys favorites of the people resting beneath the ground here, or were they offerings of young friends who missed them, or was the road grader perhaps intended to help Michael Bryan Masten dig out in the afterlife much as the ancients left their dead stocked with food and tools for use in the next life?

And among many thoughts about who all these various people were, we wondered especially about Willard and Luella. Why are they not buried here despite earlier plans, or are they alive and well, having great adventures somewhere in these surrounding hills? At 147 and 151, they would have some stories to tell!
And, in a day when we only allow plaques on the ground, and no live flowers, Union Cemetery in Scottsburg, NY is a marvelous place. Neatly trimmed, adorned with flags and live flowers, and with conveniently placed water faucets complete with jugs to carry the water to the flowers, Union Cemetery is still in use. Kids come to study history, lots of more recent stones without their end dates are here waiting, and even some 2007 graves, including one with fresh dirt, and the remnants of a flower tossed on maybe only a week ago?


amarkel58 said...


Douglas McLaren said...
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