“What is lovely never dies, but passes into another loveliness,
star-dust or sea-foam, flower or winged air.”
—Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Neill and I explored Wallingford and Durham over the weekend. One of the interesting places to visit in Durham (according to my Connecticut Guidebook) was the Old Durham Cemetery. (Poor Neill who always agrees to visit old cemeteries and other historic places with his wife). Anyway, the Old Durham Cemetery dates back to 1700 and reminded me of the Colchester Burying Ground in some ways.
Though there was something amazing at this cemetery that I had never seen before (maybe you have!) One of the local Boy Scouts made it an Eagle Scout project to work with the Durham Historical Society to have great signage at the cemetery. There was information on some of the people buried there and a map to make it easier for visitors like us to find graves. There were some QR codes placed discretely near some of the graves so that you coud scan the code with your phone and find out more information about specific people.
For instance, there was a grave set apart near the wooded edge of the cemetery. The headsone reads:
A Indian Girl
died Dec 9th
After scanning the QR Code we learned that Yale University once requested to open the grave of Ann Cornelius to inspect it for possible artifacts. When I got home I googled Ann Cornelius in Durham and discovered more information about her from an article in The Middletown Press (local journalism for the win!) For instance, she was most likely part of the Wangunk Tribe. And just this year, members of Durham’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee honored Ann Cornelius. An indigenous woman buried at the edge of the cemetery, honored 247 years after she died. I found this all to be hopeful in various ways. What is lovely never dies.
Photos by Rev. Lauren L. Ostrout
Thursday Thoughts 5/18/23