Thursday, November 01, 2007


Lonely Cemetary along Interstate

I was reading a blog from Leesa and her topic was on cemeteries. I remembered this story from many years ago.

When I lived in Oklahoma, there was a story that was done it seems every year in the paper my first wife worked for. The story was about a single gravestone along Interstate 35, that was unmarked, but every year on a particular day the site would suddenly get fixed up, flowers and a child’s toy placed on it. After a few years a reporter stayed on the access road near the gravesite hoping to find out whom and why it was being visited.

The car came along on the day, and the reporter asked if they could tell him the story. After they did their business, they went to a local restaurant and he was told the story. I believe they did not reveal their name, which was OK to the reporter.

In the late 1930’s, IIRC, the couple, now in their 70’s (1980), was moving from Missouri to Oregon with their young child and a recent infant. They were taking the southern way so as to see the Grand Canyon. Along the way their infant came down with a cold and it soon developed into pneumonia. They stopped at the hospital in Edmond, Oklahoma, but in 2 days the child died. Back then, you could remove bodies from hospitals without mortuaries doing it, and realized there was no way they could take the deceased child all the way to Oregon. So they stopped along the road, which at time wasn’t an interstate but a State highway, and finding this secluded but accessible spot on the side of the road, hand dug a hole, buried the child and placed a simple wooden board with a scratched inscription I don’t remember what it said exactly, but it was along the lines of “here lies an infant, we will return for you.” They told the reporter that they did come back some years later, with a stone that did not reveal the name, just an infant son, birth day and death day I think. Pretty much every year they made the pilgrimage from Oregon to Oklahoma to the small plot on the side of the road, on his death date.

Years went along, and when the interstate was being surveyed, the crews knew of the stone, since the State Hi-way Department knew of the site for several decades, and when they would cut the grass along the road, they would do a path around the small lonely stone. The interstate was located so as to leave it alone. But no one really else noticed it until the 70’s, when they added a major interchange for the town of Edmond from I-35. The small site by this time had native Bermuda grass growing on it and bulbs had been planted in the years, and they grew up neglected and all, only by the grace of God. The spot still was out of sight to most, and it was only after my wife started to work at the paper and she found its location from the editor and we visited it once. The story was done several times during and after the construction, and that is when this reporter decided to find out the details of the mysterious visitor to this lonely outpost on the road, the final resting place of a nameless child to everyone but its parents.

A more haunting plot was never know.

Awww that was so sad.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?