Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Maple Hill Cemetery Stroll

My sister pointed out that we have been having a very fun fall, full of lots of excursions and she is right. Judging by my calendar, we may not slow down until after Christmas!

This past Sunday, we didn't have plans other than to go home and work on projects around the house. But then at church some friends invited us to join them on the Maple Hill Cemetery Stroll. We are so glad we took the opportunity to go with them.

According the the Huntsville Pilgrimage Association web site:
Costumed volunteers will share the stories of over 65 notables, both famous and infamous, who shaped the future of Huntsville and Alabama. Included are five Alabama Governors, soldiers from past wars, artist, poet and writer Maria Howard Weeden, the notorius madam, Molly Teal and Tallulah Bankhead visiting her parent's graves.
It is an annual event that is free to the public. From 2:00-4:30 you stroll through the 100-acre cemetery and hear stories from historical figures. I believe we were able to hear 5 different tales.

The first couple of stops we only heard part of the story. Our real first experience was to hear from Clement Claiborne-Clay and his wife, Virginia Clay-Clopton. Clay was imprisoned for conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln before being released from prison after a year-long letter writing campaign by his wife.

After the Clays, we heard the story of Sally, a girl who died at the Carter mansion and is said to haunt both the mansion and cemetery where she is now buried.

Our third stop was to hear the story of Abraham Lincoln's brother-in-law, David Todd. He was a confederate soldier who became a mercenary, but ended up dieing in his bed instead of in battle.

We had to make sure to hear about Lily Flagg Cow – the owner, Samuel B. Moore, of this prize jersey cow is buried in the cemetery. The cow has a street in Huntsville named after her. During her record-breaking year, Lily weighed 950 pounds and produced 1,047 pounds of butter.

Our final stop was to hear from a man who purchased a head stone for his sister-in-law after her husband did nothing to mark her grave in the Wright Family plot

Overall it was a fascinating look at history. I think if I had heard stories told like this when I was in school, I would have a better appreciation and understanding of history. I hope we can make it to next year's event because there are so many more stories that I would like to hear. *Also, there may {or may not} have been a diaper change in the cemetery...

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