Green's Prairie Cemetery is a one acre remnant of the prairie that once covered the area of southern Wisconsin where it is located. It is a "pioneer prairie cemetery — a place where family history, local history and natural history intersect," according to the information Mark picked up on his recent visit. It includes six pages of names and information about the people buried here as well as a map noting their location. The site is fenced and you have to climb these stairs to enter.
The earliest known burial here was that of Polly Crowell, who died on October 23, 1845 — three years before Wisconsin became a state.
The oldest person buried here was 97-year-old Lucinda Hilton. She was born in Maine in 1789 and her ancestry can be traced back to the Mayflower. Members of her family fought in the Revolutionary War.
There have only been three known burials here since 1900, the last being 1917.
The cemetery is filled with prairie plants like the Penstemmon seen growing by a marker in one of these photos. A peony — clearly planted as a memorial — still blooms in June all these years later.
The cemetety is home to three veterans of the War of 1812. Buffalo, where I grew up, was burned by the British in that war. It is part of our local history back there, but unusual to come across references to it in the Midwest.
Not surprisingly those veterans were all from the east coast. One of them, Elisha Gorham, was a merchant marine in the war's naval battles. Erie, PA, where my sister lives, is home to one of the most famous American ships from that war: Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's US Brig Niagara. That city and the entire Great Lakes region just celebrated the Bicentennial of those events. When we were in Erie the summer of 2013, the history of the War of 1812 was much in evidence.
Robert Peebles, who is also buried here, was in two campaigns with the New York State militia in Canada in the War of 1812, including breaking the siege of Fort Erie. We visited this old stone fort a number of times on summer weekends when I was young.
The cemetery has six Civil War veterans buried in its confines; not surprising given Wisconsin's role in that war.
Two of the men are actually buried where they died — Fredericksburg, VA and Nashville, TN — but are noted on the markers of their parents.
The cemetery's handout points out that among the many plants growing here the prairie contains dramatic things like compass plant and big bluestem grass. What that means is that the looks of this place change a lot as the summer continues.
But no matter the season, this place must look much like it did when the people who are buried here walked these fields. Unlike these folks, few of us today find ourselves in a final resting place so close to home.
Note: All the information in this post is from the Cemetery's printed information.