Friday, January 6, 2012

History right here in my own backyard

Not long after we moved in to the new house I realized that there is a little cemetery right behind the house next to us. You can see from the picture taken from the cemetery how close we are. That's Richard's little yellow car in our drive way. During the summer it's mostly hidden by the trees and bushes but now that it's winter it's a pretty clear shot.
If you take a walk around the neighborhood you'll find lots of history and fortunately lots of information as well.
The cemetery (built in 1750) is called Broad Run Hillside Cemetery and it has gravestones dating back as far as 1834. Peter Oatyer holds the honor of being the oldest stone. He was born in 1751. From what I can gather Peter Oatyer's daughter married a man with the last name of Caylor and they had a daughter who married a Lefevre.
The majority of the stones are from the Lefevre family. Samuel Lefevre (1828-1904) was a Civil War Veteran. His brother John Lefevre (1829 - 1903) and John's wife Elizabeth Howser Lefevre (1835 - 1911) are also buried there. According to the plaque, "From 1750 to 1911, 35 family members and friends were laid to rest here. Among them are farmers, a possibly Revolutionary War Veteran, A Civil War Confederate Prison-of-war and a local postmaster."

The cemetery is pretty run down but several of the graves are still visible.
If you take a left from the cemetery you come to this tunnel that runs under the street. Coming out of the tunnel you come to "The Lefevre House." This house was built in 1874 and while it is closed to visitors, local elementary schools still visit the house, teaching valuable history lessons about the building and it's owners.
So you see, it's an interesting walk in my neighborhood. Along with the cemetery and the house, we have a great club house, pool, and walking trails that include butterfly houses, playgrounds and tennis courts. So, if you are ever in the neighborhood, stop by .... I'll fix you a cup of tea and we'll take a nice walk. You just may learn something.


Regina said...

Walk? when we could be quilting???? gasp!!!!!!!

CritterLady said...

I'm so tickled to see you like exploring cemetaries. In my faith, we are big into finding our roots and "turning the hearts of children to the fathers." We search for our ancestors, so we can bind them to us for eternity, and cemetaries are a wealth of information, as you mentioned.

For one of the activities at our church, we had the children go on a cemetary scavenger hunt. They had to look for information on the headstones. It was done very respectfully and they learned a lot. If you'd like I can share you the list of items they had to search for. Thanks for sharing these. If you come up during the nice weather, perhaps we can visit our grandparents' graves in NYC together. :)

jillytacy said...

Great history in your neighborhood. I'd love to stop by for tea and a walk.