The morning was crisp and a little on the chilly side. I got up bright and early at 5:00 am and got ready for the cemetery outing in Van Buren. I had to meet my ride at 7:30 and as usual I was lagging behind. However, I managed to get on the road at 6:40 am after cleaning some frost off of my windshield and battling the fog along the way.
I got to my destination in Springdale and soon my ride showed up and we headed to Van Buren for the get-together. This was a planned outing to take pictures of stones in a fairly good-sized cemetery. With more than 4700 graves, I imagined it would take us awhile to finish it. However, after we arrived I seen that we had plenty of help and that it was not going to take as long as I thought.
I was able to meet several key people in the Arkansas Gravestones project and meet several new people who are volunteers like myself.
Entrance sign for Gill Cemetery
Overview of Gill Cemetery
Another overview of Gill Cemetery
It was very neat to finally put faces with names and the outing was very enjoyable. But then came the work of photographing the stones. There was quite a few interesting stones. Here are a few of my favorites:
My section included the infant section and since this stone had a picture, I had to get a close-up of this cute little girl.
And some got really creative with the stones for their loved ones.
Cute teddy stone for an infant
Ofcourse, having a big interest on “anything” Cherokee, when one of the co-volunteers showed me a military stone for someone who was in the Civil War in the Cherokee Regiment I had to have a picture of it.
Co J 1 Cherokee
This Francis Kirk served in a regiment under Brigadier General Stand Watie. His commander apparently was Bluford West Alberty. The particular regiment was organized on October 4, 1861 and the muster date was June 15, 1862. Francis Kirk’s Confederate record indicates that he served as a Private.
After all was said and done, I took about 271 pictures at the Gill Cemetery. I was pleased with how most of them turned out. However, some are not that great and I think they will have to be retaken. But that is another trip.
We finished our day having lunch with all of the volunteers.
Lining up to eat...yum yum!
After eating, some finished up their sections in this cemetery. Others headed off to another cemetery even bigger than this one. We headed home.