This week I accomplished my goal of getting my memorial stone ordered, produced, paid for, and set in the ground---which called for a visit to Maplewood Cemetery in Harrison, Arkansas ( www.harrisonarkansas.org ).
This pyramid-shaped pavilion, with the U.S. flagpole beside it, is a good place to start your visit .
Under the roof of the pavilion, you will find the names of individuals who have made donations and memorials to the cemetery fund, to help shape it into the serene and majestic setting, that you see today.
The steeple of the pavilion contains this bell, and you can listen for the melodic notes of hymns played, using bell tones, at the beginning of each daylight hour.
The Twentieth Century Club, organized in 1901, has been an important factor in the life of Maplewood Cemetery. This organization has been critical to the maintenance and beautification of Maplewood Cemetery over the last century. A list of all the members of the Twentieth Century Club can be found engraved on a plaque, under the pyramid pavilion. The marker shown in the photograph, pays tribute to their efforts to complete the lovely and functional pavilion, in 1986.
Another of their major projects was the survey and assessment of all the maple trees in the cemetery, following the devastating ice storm of 2009. The tiny, unobtrusive silver dot you can see on the tree trunk in this photo, shows an example of its "name tag".
A closer photo shows that this tree, numbered 688, has been assessed by a professional arborist, and records of the results are on file, under the number "688".
There is also an enclosed box under the pavilion, that lists the names and locations of all the graves within the boundaries. Note: If you are looking for a specific name, be sure to take a pen and paper, so you can record the long list of names/numbers you will need to achieve your goal.
There is a glass-enclosed map that shows the "Google Earth" view of the cemetery, as well a detailed diagram showing the identification numbers of the entire cemetery. However, the individual, grass-covered grave sites do not have numbers, which is why paper and pencil will be handy to assist you in making a sketch of the map.
The corner locations of the major intersections have numbered posts (see the #8 post in this photo), which can be of some assistance in locating a specific grave.
The newer sections of Maplewood Cemetery have also been planted with maple trees, which are doing well, and provide nice borders to the car trails throughout the area.
In the older sections of Maplewood, the stately maple trees have grown to form a canopy of unequaled beauty in the area. They are famous for their fall colors (see the blog I wrote about them on October 20, 2008). You can go to the website www.arkansas.com to get weekly fall color updates on the color progression at Maplewood Cemetery, and other locations in Arkansas that are famous for their "flaming fall reviews".
My parents and grandparents are buried in the family plot at Maplewood, as well as all but one of the siblings of my parents, that grew to adulthood.
The exception is my uncle, who is buried in northern California, in a cemetery that is even older than Maplewood Cemetery. According to records, in 1874, James and Sarah Sanford purchased some of the land (where the cemetery is now located) from the Loney family. They planned to build a church, but James Sanford died before church construction could be started, so his wife buried him on the property to start the cemetery. The land was later deeded to the Nevada County Cemetery District.
The Loney-Sanford Ranch Cemetery ( www.nevadacemeterydistrict.com ) is described as a historic, natural cemetery---in contrast to a cemetery designed to be like a lawn.
Since it is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, famous for their granite outcroppings, it is not surprising to see that this ancient oak tree has adapted its growth pattern to peacefully "coexist" with the gigantic boulder by its side.
I was reminded of time I have spent at cemeteries, when I was trying to think of a visual aid to help me recall one of the memory verses for my First Place 4 Health class ( www.FirstPlace4Health.com ). It says "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." (Romans 6:4). The cross of Jesus Christ that stands at the entrance of Maplewood Cemetery, is a wonderful reminder of this important verse from God's word, and it is a promise that gives me "MILES OF SMILES"!! Tricia