Friday, October 11, 2013

Where I Run: Cemetery on Reservoir Road

There is a family plot--meaning not near to any church--on Reservoir Road northeast of Greencastle, PA, that I frequently run by.  The small cemetery, which sits quietly on the top of a small rise, is some 4 miles from my home.  By "small" I mean that it is about 50' x 100', containing some 20-30 headstones.  Many trees grow in this cemetery, but none are particularly large.

The borders are as follows: a road is on the south side; a pasture to the west; rocky terrain and a treeline to the east; and a cultivated field to the north.  In 2013, corn was planted in that field.

Although it is not immediately adjacent to any farm, there are several farms within a third of a mile so I assume this was a collective burial site for those families.  The grass is mowed during the summer and the overall appearance is good, so some one is responsible for upkeep.

However, many of the stones are displaced, in that they are leaning on trees or even toppled over on the ground, no longer anchored to the specific grave they once marked. 

I always stop and meditate for a few moments whenever I run by.  The other day I was struck by this particular stone, which appears to be that of one William Hoke.  The date is unreadable, but most stones in this cemetery date from the early 1800s.  The stone is one of the "tree leaners,"  which may actually be some feet away from where William is actually buried. 

I photographed it just to show that in the old days, a frugal stone carver decided that there was no point in squaring up the portion of the stone that would be underground:

For what it's worth, I actually approve of the short cut.  It's practical.  And probably the departed William Hoke would have approved as well.  Back then, when hands supplied the labor rather than machines, such a short cut would have simply made sense.

Unlike Ultrarunning, which to most people makes no sense.


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