Flags and Cemeteries
Saturday was a beautiful day. Temperatures were heading to 70 and it seemed like a perfect day for a ride on the Spyder, so we headed to Boonville. We love the roads to and around Boonville and we especially love eating at Maggie’s when we get there. After lunch, we walked around the main streets of Boonville and I took some photos of bits and pieces of some of the historical architecture. Then I requested a drive through Walnut Grove cemetery. If you only see Boonville from I-70 you are missing out, drive in and get close to the river. The houses, the streets and yes, the cemeteries are something to see.
The Walnut Grove cemetery was formed in the 1850’s. In the early 1800’s, rural, park-like cemeteries were tourist attractions on the East coast, this was also the goal of the founders of Walnut Grove, not sure how well that went, but they got me a few years later. The Cypress trees that were planted in the 1880’s have taken control in a beautiful way. You can get a Wolf Pack van through the original roads, but I would not suggest it, a Spyder or bicycle would be a better choice. If you can take your eyes off the trees for a minute, you will be treated to some amazing monuments. I love cemeteries for their history and I believe the tombstones hold all the stories. Walnut Grove’s stones speak stories of wealth.
As we left the cemetery, I was taking in all the old houses when we came upon one with a variety of flags displayed. A large flag with the f word and Biden held the top position of the house. Under this flag were at least 3 more small flags, one of which was a confederate flag. My mind was starting to wonder more about what the history of Boonville had to say, when current day held some ugly things for sure.
John then took me to Sunset Hills Cemetery, the first officially established cemetery in Boonville, but that is not what he knew it as. In an article written in 1989 the writer notes that “freed slaves and their descendants primarily used this location since they could not afford the lots at Walnut Grove”, hmmm. Sunset Hills is known as the “colored” cemetery. The trees and hills are beautiful; the monuments are different. Their stories seem quiet, but powerful. Many places are not marked and ones that are, bare little information for the inscriptions are worn away. This was my first trip to Sunset Hills.
One block from Sunset Hills we encountered another flag. This flag had 4 different hearts on it and said something to the point of “In this home, we love all people.” This gave me hope, not all of what Boonville has to say is ugly. We then headed home and started, “Amend,” a docu-series that looks at the fight for equal rights in America with specific reference to the 14th amendment. This took me down another road with more history.
Black History month has come and gone and only 1 book was checked out from Kate’s beautiful and informative display highlighting our black history collection. We still have so much to learn, in 1989 the man who wrote the cemetery article noted that cost was the reason for the segregation of the Boonville cemeteries, 121 years after the 14th amendment was passed. Check out Robert E. Lee and Me by Ty Seidule or be the first to reserve The Black Church by Henry Lewis Gates, Jr. or The Sum of Us by Heather Mcghee. A simple afternoon drive, flags and cemeteries reminded me that some stories still need to be heard.
Upcoming Events: 4/7 Story Time in the Community room (masks required for adults) at 10am, 4/8 Board Meeting at 5:15pm, 4/12 Adult Crafts in the Community room (masks required) at 6:30pm