Friday, October 29, 2010

Pioneer Cemetery

{{ this is a re-post from earlier this year. but I thought it was very fitting for October. }}

If you are a reader of my blog, you know that I have a fondness for tombstones and cemeteries.
There are numerous small cemeteries to be found in this area should one look. Many are family owned and just as many have been forgotten and reclaimed by Mother Nature. But a few can still be seen. One of these is Pioneer Cemetery, located not far off the highway on Rich Mountain.

Back in November Hubby & I went to visit Pioneer Cemetery. There isn't much to see, most of the tombstones have long ago been claimed by the elements. The graves are now marked only by large stones. But the story behind this little spot is what took us there for a visit.....

This part of Arkansas is mountainous (by eastern standards - nothing at all like the Rockies). In fact we live in the heart of the Ouachita Mountains, a mountain range which extends from central Arkansas to southeastern Oklahoma and the ONLY mountain range in the United States which runs east to west instead of north to south.

This area was settled in the early 1800's by hardy pioneer families. Life was hard. The nearest town was 80+ miles away.
As the story goes, a small group of pioneers settled in the Rich Mountain area, finding the climate mild and the soil rich with nutrients. Pioneer Cemetery was utilized by this group of settlers.

One winter, the mother of one of these families fell ill. Her three daughters nursed her as best they could. (The father is not mentioned in the legend - perhaps he was off fighting in the Civil War or maybe he was away getting supplies.) Late on a windy, snowy night, one of the daughters left the safety of their house to go to a local spring to get her mother some water. The daughter never returned. She was found the next day, high up in a tree, frozen to death. It was believed that she had been chased by wolves and had climbed the tree for safety. This poor young girl was buried in Pioneer Cemetery.

It wasn't long after her burial that people began to see a floating light in the woods near the cemetery. The sightings of the floating light soon gave way to an apparition of a young girl.

And to this day, it is said that on certain starless nights, a young girl can be seen seeking water to take home to her ill mother.

Hubby and I went to the cemetery in the afternoon and we saw nothing unearthly. Though the area did have a sense of disquiet about it. And a faint mist can be seen in the photo above.

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If you would like to read more about the Strange and Unusual of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and even some points beyond, then you might like these two sights ~


Pixie said...

My step dad and mom lived in Sunset, just about 9 miles from Winslow. There is just so much rich history in that area, it is amazing. We cannot imagine the hardships these folks faced. If you are interested in reading more, the book 'Hillfolk' gives a really good insight into the settling of Arkansas, mostly the Ozarks. Good stuff

Suzie said...

How cool that you were able to visit, and that you know that sad, but wonderful story!

Whenever we visit a cemetery, I always seek out the oldest stones. Besides the dates, you sometimes get glimpses into the person's life or personality. Another link to the past.

Thanks for sharing this "field trip" with us, and some background of your home range. I learned something new!

The Frog Queen said...

Thanks so much for the virtual tour and stories! Love hearing the local legneds.


Bridgett said...

What an interesting history. And yes! I do see the mist.

Love these cemetery pictures. Thank you for sharing them with us.


JenW!~ said...

My husband and I also enjoy visiting old cemeteries. I often find myself drawn to the headstones from the 1800's. I try to imagine what their life was like. Thanks for sharing that story.

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Wow, what a neat cemetery. Thanks for sharing the photos!

JoyceAnn said...

I love old cemetaries too , enjoyed reading about this one. There is a mist that can be seen in your photo , very interesting.

~ Be Blessed ~

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying your blog, but if you're going to disable right-clicking, could you fix it so your links open into a new tab rather than navigating away from the main page? I want to explore your links, but not lose my place in your blog.

Jeanne said...

stonemaven - I shall see what I can do about that!

Róisín said...

Great post, it had a wonderful atmosphere. The images were lovely and the tale perfectly spooky. I just loved it, thanks!

Heathen said...

Very cool. That's a creepy little story! Thanks for sharing the history and photos.