June 25 – St. Michael’s Old Cemetery

June 25 – St. Michael’s Old Cemetery

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Sometimes you find yourself in places you didn’t know existed, even though you thought you already knew the place that existed.


What I mean is: I’ve had a passing acquaintance with St. Michael’s Church (and cemetery) over my lifetime, having been there for funerals and family reunions. But what I didn’t know about, what never ever even registered in my sight–although it was right across the road from the church in plain view—was the church’s old 18th and 19th-century cemetery.


Here in this little country cemetery are buried what must have been some of the first German immigrants to this area, their tombstones (in German) speaking to dates from the 1700s. The stones are all lined up in orderly rows, as are the apple trees (I think–or cherry) planted through the middle. A metal arched gate and partial white wall make a half-hearted attempt to create a boundary between the dead and the country road that passes them by.


It was evening when I visited, the farmland settling down for the night around these people who worked so hard to plow it under, this New Place they came to so long ago.