After work, some people like to go to the bar or the grocery store. Personally, I like to go to a cemetery.
As I have described before, I love cemeteries. I find them to be historic and peaceful lands that will teach you a lot if you decide to pay a respectful visit. After work today I drove to a cemetery that I pass by every single day and simply started walking around. Called Hillcrest Cemetery, I spent a lovely 45 minutes winding down after work as I strolled around the premises.
When I went back to my car I had some defining characteristics in my head that really stuck out in my mind about the cemetery. The one thing that became really apparent to me after about 15 minutes of exploring was that it was a young cemetery. The earliest date I found in the graveyard was 1889. A World War I vet named John T. Duckett was born on August 8, 1889, and passed on March 20, 1982. Since it was a South Carolina cemetery I had hopes that I would find really old tombstones but unfortunately that was not the case.
Of course with a lack of old markers you could imagine there was a plethora of young memorials. This was definitely the case. I saw a lot of tombstones from the 2000’s. There were tons and tons of married couple buried together. There were also many double tombs that just had one deceased partner buried underneath (for the time being). Sadly, I saw many baby grave markers.
A somewhat eerie characteristic of the cemetery centered on the grounds themselves. When I was walking around gravestones my shoes kept sinking into the soil. I think it must have something to do with the climate in South Carolina but I had never had the sinking sensation at a cemetery ever before. I felt like I was stomping around and disturbing the graves because my feet would dip so deep, it made me feel kind of bad.
As the cemetery was newer, it had some modern characteristics. For one, the grounds contained streams and waterfalls. Hillcrest also had several large, newer looking mausoleums on site. Some of the tombstones were very creative and colorful. Not trying to be funny here, but you could breathe in the cemetery. What I mean by this is that graves weren’t crammed together. Also, you couldn’t find any big, bulky structures or elaborate statues on site.
The last characteristic of the cemetery that I will remember is that it also included a plot of land for animals. Yes, there was a pet cemetery included in the actual people cemetery. Although it is off to the side, I had never seen people and animals both buried so closely together before.
I am told that I need to go to Charleston, South Carolina, to see some major league type cemeteries. I hear they are kind of like the cemeteries I encountered in Boston. If anyone else has any graveyard site suggestions for me to see, please send a message my way or comment below. For a history buff like myself, a cemetery is like a playground. Don’t Blink.