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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Longbranch (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Silver Creek Slim, Camille Eonich)  |  Topic: Prairie graves. 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Prairie graves.  (Read 863 times)
nagantino
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« on: October 18, 2015, 12:43:08 pm »


I don't live in the United States but I've always read that the pioneers, while crossing the prairie to new life, would bury their dead and try to mark the gravesite with a marker as best they could. Is it true that these headstones became signposts for those that followed? Can these headstones still be seen?
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St. George
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2015, 04:06:29 pm »

Mostly, no.

Graves were marked with what was available - sometimes a plank, sometimes a stone and some were covered with rocks to keep the animals at bay.

The planks and crosses didn't survive the elements and occasional prairie fires, while the scratchings on the stones was eroded by the winds and rains over time and the rock cairns were sometimes toppled by the greedy and curious.

What markers one sees today were placed later - by relatives who returned to the gravesites long after their forebears passed.

The pioneers also left furniture and other un-needed articles along the trails in order to lighten their loads - no evidence is left of that today, but many pioneer diaries reference the seeing of it along all of the trails.

Scouts Out!
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Blair
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2015, 04:26:13 pm »

It is also important to note that many of these trails are well known today.
However, they may also be as much as 50 miles, or more, wide paths they took. This was to allow for enough grazing of the herds they had with them.

They look like nice fine lines on a map, but can be spread out over a rather large area.
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 Blair
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Blair Taylor
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2015, 06:08:18 pm »

In the area where I live there are many cemeteries dating back to the 1840-50 period. many of those old stones are unreadable now. I'm sure that the actual headstones they used would have lasted better than any makeshift markers used along the trail.
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Longbranch (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Silver Creek Slim, Camille Eonich)  |  Topic: Prairie graves. « previous next »
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