Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Went Down to the Cemetery, Lookin' For Love...

"...got there and my baby was buried, I had to dig her up"

The Headstones. Awesome Canadian band that is presently defunct (I think 'defunct' is one of those words that it's a shame I can't use more often). The lyrics sound creepy, but the song is so fun, check it out. If you're not playing air guitar by the end of it, I'll give you your money back.

As I mentioned a couple of posts back, my husband's brother Steve came up from Jacksonville, Florida for a visit. He hadn't been here in 4 years, since my husband had his lung removal surgery. And we all had an AWESOME time. With his present visit, not the lung-removal surgery. That sorta sucked.

Steve's visited our area a few times over the years, but he's never really been taken to any of the neighbouring cities and towns to where we live. We decided to take him out for the day to Beaufort, NC.

Beaufort is a beautiful, old, coastal town established in the very early 1700's. It was used as a major seaport for goods during the American Revolution. Lumber, cotton and bricks went out. Cloth, furniture, coffee and rum came in. Yay, rum!

There is a nearby Civil War-era fort nearby, called Fort Macon. Union (northern) forces occupied the fort for most of the war, so it came out of it quite well. It's a major tourist attraction now, and was one of the places we stopped during Steve's visit to Beaufort.

We were fortunate enough to arrive just before a Civil War battle re-enactment. I'd never been to one, it was pretty cool.

The South always wins at Fort Macon. Hey, it's the little battles that matter, and not the historically correct outcome of the entire war, right?

Steve spent most of the visit arguing about the pronunciation of Beaufort. In South Carolina, where he did his Navy training, there's a Beaufort. They pronounce it 'Bee-you-fert'. We say it 'Bow-fert'. Both are wrong, but I kept telling him our pronunciation is closer to original French!

Our next stop was the Old Burying Ground. The cemetery has an oldest marked grave of the date 1700. The cemetery was actually deeded to the town in 1731. There are founders of the town in this place, and casualties from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. The main founder of our county, Cpt.Otway Burns is also buried here, in a marble encasement with a replica cannon from his ship on the top. He was born and grew up just a couple of miles from where my house stands.

Among the weirder burials?

~A British Soldier from the Revolutionary War, buried standing up in salute to King George (there are so many King Georges, I can't remember which one) facing England.

~A little girl buried in a rum barrel. She died at sea on the way back to America from England, and the only way her father was able to bring her home for burial was to preserve her in the rum barrel. Kind of sad really. People place toys and trinkets all over her grave.

~A woman and her husband buried side by side. He was lost at sea, and pronounced dead. She remarried. Her original husband returned, NOT dead, and made the second husband a deal. The second husband could stay married to her in life, but she had to be buried next to the first husband for eternity in death. And so it is.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures I took, hope you think this place is as cool (and beautiful) as I do. I've been here so many [wonderful] times, that I forgot to take pictures of all the crazy graves mentioned above for my new blog readers to see. And we've since gotten a new computer, so you'll just have to imagine them...

The cemetery is actually quite large, larger than what it looks like from outside the walls. There is a church on each corner of the cemetery grounds. The Old Burying Ground is on a whole block.

The wisteria in this place was so amazing. The way the vines have grown in the one particular tree above just looks awesome.

This is also the time of year that azaleas are in full bloom. I LOVE azaleas. Unfortunately that need part shade conditions, so I only have two. If I had more shade? My yard would be full of them.

Dogwoods are blooming, I didn't get such great pictures, but here they are.

The Mr. A's are also in bloom. That's Otway Burns' grave behind him with the marble and the cannon.

And by the way, I'm totally getting tired of writing 'Mr. A' when talking about my husband. I feel like you know me now. And hopefully there won't be any scary-knife killers out there reading my blog, who will track us down through my husband's first name.

What's his name? Here's a subtle hint.

Here are some more shots of The Old Burying Ground:

And if these next pictures look bigger, it's all due to this chick (I'm sorry, I don't know your name) at Antique Art Gardener. If anyone has been frustrated by my small pictures, I'm sorry. I hadn't noticed that there was a 'Large' option when downloading. She enlightened me. I'm too lazy to go back and redo the first ones in this post, takes forever for each of them to upload as it is.

(EDIT: It's actually Antique ART Garden and her name is Gina.)

This squirrel was totally annoyed that I got near his nuts. He's giving me the silent treatment.

This is the best picture ever. You know why?

Those gravestones in the picture are enclosed in a wrought-iron gated family plot. The gate has never been open, and I've been there quite a few times.

The gate was open this time. I said, 'Holy crap the gate is open!' and went right into the gate to read what the gravestones said. Because I just love to invade dead people's privacy.

I took this picture, and then had the MERDE scared out of me.

If you're not French, Canadian, or up on foreign swear words, google 'merde'. Or watch this clip of Napoleon from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Because it's WAY more fun.

The air conditioning unit of the adjoining church kicked in unexpectedly, and I screamed and ran out of the gate like my arse was on fire. On fire and being chased by ghosts.

Steve laughed so hard, and didn't let me forget that for the rest of the visit. Or for the rest of my life, I'm sure.

I do get to make fun of him though. He was trying to take pictures of the cemetery with his phone, and every time he tried, his phone would shut off. He thought it was ghosts. He said he didn't think that, but I knew that he did. Wuss.

Only picture I have of Steve, it's from 2005. He's second to the left. Chuck is on the right. I'm the hot chick taking the picture.

I want to close with some more gratuitous wisteria shots. Disclaimer: These wisteria shots may get you hot and bothered. You may faint, or even start speaking in tongues.

I'm not responsible, don't sue me.


Jess said...

I have been awaiting this post! As you know I have a fondness for cemeteries too.

When I read your post I misread 'when the cemetery was deeded to the town' as when the cemetery was deemed a town. I was think about an entire town only of dead people. How creative! But then I got to thinking...wait this just doesn't make sense, even for Beaufort pronounce wrong.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I couldn't help but giggle, I'd probably run from that air-conditioner too! Maybe the squirrel wasn't mad about his nuts, maybe he was trying to tell you something? :P The cell-phone shutting off...definitely ghosts. As for the wisteria, beautiful, and ethereal looking, but not in a ghostly way :)

The Idiot Gardener said...

I love it when the South wins! Well, okay, I don't really care, but I prefer their uniforms!

I've always thought that battle re-enactments were done by the sort of people that wore tin-foil hats to stop aliens messing with their brains!

Antique ART Garden said...

Hi Kyna, Looks good, I'm the chick from Antique ART Garden ( not Antique Art Gardener ), but that was awfully close ! Looks great on your blog, take care , Gina a.k.a. Antique Art Garden-chick

Kyna said...

Jess: You gave me the first and biggest laugh of the day! And it's because if I was reading someone else's blog, I could totally see making that same mistake LOL The thought of deeming a cemetery a town is still making laugh as I type this...
I imagine Otway Burns standing there next to the cemetery gate with his sword in his hand, 'I hereby deem thee a town!'

If you ever come up along the coast for any reason, you should make a stop there if you love old cemeteries. My pictures have nothing on being there in person. And this was my favourite visit ever, because of the wisteria, azaleas, and dogwoods all blooming at once. Ah, early April! :)

CVF: You're right! The cemetery isn't really creepy at all. People use it as part of their exercise walk route. And most people are very respectuful to how cool it is, and don't mess it up. The town takes very good care of it.

What do you think the squirrel was trying to tell me?

"I see dead people." LOL

IG: Actually, in the second picture I posted of that, their little hats are ill-fitting and askew. Why? Because they have to fit over the foil ones. :)

I have a friend who does American Revolution re-enactments in Boston. And a couple more friends who do the Renaissance Fair thing. I just don't think I love any historical period that much, that I want to re-enact it.

Meh. Potato, potahto.

Gina: Sorry about that :) It was late last night when I posted this. I make a lot of mistakes :) I'll go back and change it in a mo...

Floridagirl said...

From that bizarre opening to your "subtle" name disclosure, this post has left me ROTFL. Thanks for the trip. I do really love the cemetery stories. Those were quite interesting. I hate to admit it, but I look in the old cemeteries for garden ideas. Those plants are tough and have stood the test of time.

Kyna said...

FG: You're right! Some of the best 'gardens' around here are in cemeteries. Most of them have azaleas and camellias...the only ones that are a little freaky are where a tree appears to have grown up right in the center of a grave. Leads to me imagining what happened to the poor dead person's remains underneath...O_O

Meredith said...

Oh, I *love* old cemeteries. F. looks at me like I'm totally insane whenever I admit to it, but I don't think it's morbid at all. I wish I could be buried in a really old, weathered one with fabulous stories and wisteria draped on everything. You did a wonderful job of conveying the beauty there -- and of making me laugh out loud.

And greetings to Chuck! Does this mean I need to start reconsidering "F." and his mystery status? Hmm...

AaronVFT said...

The cemetery is kinf of creepy. But the flowers make it look beautiful.

Laurrie said...

What a great entertaining tour! But why is the rum gone? (Love that scene best of all. It's a direct take off from Bogart in The African Queen but so much better when Johnny Depp does it). Your cemetery excursion was a treat! PS wisteria can never be considered gratuitous, it's pertinent to all posts. But why is the rum gone?

Abraham Lincoln said...

I am always fascinated by graveyards and headstones. Some are nice, like those you show.

Ginny said...

I've been to Beaufort many times but never to the Old Burying Ground - a MUST for my next trip. Love the pictures - especially the wisteria. I'm very fond of wisteria on other people's property. It's so invasive - takes over everything - but it's beautiful in bloom and smells so good. Also, I love cemeteries. Some years ago, when I was involved with our local Historic Properties Commission, we did a cemetery tour. Took people around and told them the stories of some of the people buried there. It was big hit.
Great, fun post!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I've always liked old cemeteries too. They are beautiful and sad and creepy all rolled together. I always read the headstones, it seems like they used to put a whole lot of personal information on the really old ones.

gippslandgardener said...

I'm, not at all superstitious...unless I'm in a graveyard :D I would probably still be running if something made a sudden noise while I was peering at a gravestone.
The wisteria does seem to suit the place so beautifully.


another entertaining read :)
I love old cemeteries too,and that one is just gorgeous,loved your photos.
the phone not working? ohh definately ghosts!!! lol