Thursday, February 23, 2006

Cross Cemetery

I recently went to St. John's Catholic Cemetery, at River and Clark Road, to visit the grave of a friend who died last year. After the visit I took a walk around the grounds of the cemetery, and while at the north end happened to glance at the empty lot on the other side of Clark Road. There, standing amid the trees and bush, was a small white cross.

I happen to know that the lot is the site of an abondaned cemetery, known as Cross Cemetery. Why it is known as Cross Cemetery is something of a mystery, as no one named Cross ever owned the land or is buried there. A better name woould Petibone Cemetery, as the site was given to Superior Township by the Pettibone family in 1830 for use as a burying ground. The Pettibone family, Milton, his brother Lyman, and their sister Hannah, lived nearby and are buried in the cemetery. Hannah, who died in 1888, is the last person known to be buried in the cemetery.

Thrity-one pwople are known to be buried in the cemetery, which is about an arce in size. This is known because Louis White, the first Ypsilnait City Historian, recorded the inscriptions on the headstones there on September 13, 1931. The true number of those buried there is likely to be higher, as over the years the headstones have been covered over, carried off by pranksters, and damaged by vandals. Today only a few headstones are to be seen, some just corners of stone sticking out of the earth.


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