The History Keeper

We all like to share stories from our youth with people that we love. It is out of love that we share and save our own history, and admit it, we like to think we live on in those stories.

But would you be willing to save someone else’s story so it could be told? Would you show that story respect and honor? Would you be willing to do that for someone who lived more than a century before you?

I shared in a post a few months back about history is not always online or in books. What we must remember as we go forever forward with digital history is that the information in a book or on a website was once neither. It takes an individual or a group of individuals to record our history into books or onto a website.  This is about one such individual.

The history keeper is what I will call him for the sake of this story. The history keeper crossed my path when he ask if he could order some plain white crosses. Now selling plain crosses is something I don’t normally do. I completed his order and didn’t give it another thought. When he reached out and wanted to order more plain white crosses  I immediately thought “why”? .”what does he do with them”? When I pressed for an answer he shared his story with me.

His property is located in Smalltown USA. On his property was a cemetery that had all but disappeared.  How does an entire cemetery disappear?

It could be….. previous owners thought that the cemetery was a waste of land and used it       for pasture.

It could be …….previous owners did not want the responsibility of a cemetery.

It could be …….previous owners did not want their property ruined by curiosity seekers or teens looking to have a perfect Halloween party.

When the history keeper found one , and only one, of the original headstones from the  cemetery he too made a choice about the property. He placed the headstone back onto the cemetery site.

Susan J died April 10, 1877 aged 2 days
Ann M Pringle wife of R Pringle died April 8, 1877 aged 28 years

This is not where the story ends .

After placing the marker back on the cemetery site he groomed the entire area, planted trees, and purchased plain white crosses to put in the ground with each indentation he discovered.  As this restoration continued he bought more crosses for six more indentations discovered in the earth.
The history keeper has no idea who Ann Pringle was, why she and her baby were buried there. He does not know the names of the others buried there. What he does know is  taking a moment in time to preserve history is important. It is also the reason that somewhere in the future ,on a website , or in  written word, this story will be told.