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Saturday, November 17, 2012

SETTLERS CEMETERY


Before I write about any more famous haunted cemeteries, I would like to
 write about an abandoned cemetery in north central Illinois. I can't
give the name or the exact location because it is private property. It is back
off of the road quite a bit. I will call it Settler's Cemetery. But it excites me to go there.
My friend Tami found out about the cemetery from a farmer she knows who
farms the property. The cemetery is whats left of the first settlers in
Goodfarm township in Grundy County. They came from New York and Vermont.  Reverend Elnathan Lewis and his family were the second family to move there from New York. He
had 4 daughters and a son and wife living in his household in the 1850 written
census, but tombstones reveal 2 other Lewis females not listed in the 1850 census who died in 1852 and 1853.
 The children living in the household in 1850 were
all two years apart. Arvilla f 19, Alvina f 17, Fanny f 15, Alfred m 13, Lavina f 11, Alvira f 9 .The first time we visited we found about a dozen tombstones. The trees and weeds are all over grown and what looks like atv tracks running
through the middle, over this flat tombstone. I  don't why people abuse cemeteries this way. It is abandoned, there is a deer stand in the middle also besides the tire tracks going through it, how shameful! We took pictures and
explored a bit. When I got home, I Googled the cemetery and the names we
could read. The last burial in the cemetery was 1906, the first was
1848. Seven of the tombstones were removed from the abandoned cemetery
to another cemetery which is still used today. The list of the names of
people buried there and the list of names from the removed stones were
on the genweb (genealogy) page for the cemetery. The first pictures we took
showed nothing but a pitiful looking cemetery with toppled stones and a 4
wheeler trail through it. There was one stone leaning against a tree
belonging to a 14 year old girl named Lottie. Her tombstone was one that
had been removed and placed in another cemetery in another town....how did it get back here? and Why?
Our second visit was awesome, as you can see in these pictures.. We knew a lot of the history of the
settlers so we could talk to them. I explained to the Reverend that we
were Christians and love Jesus and hope to see him one day. I told him I was raised in the Bible Baptist Church.  He was a Reverend of the FREE WILL BAPTIST. I told them it was year 2012, and explained that the camera was a modern photograph taker. I explained the EMF
detector as modern technology and explained its purpose. Then I took some pictures. As I was taking one of the pictures, I called out to Tami, 'did you see that
black shadowy mist just come right up to me?'.  I got cold chills. The hair on my arms was standing up! It felt  the same as when lightening is ready to strike close by.  She said no she wasn't looking. Just then the EMF went off. I told Tami to feel
the detector, it is ice cold. It went off again! She agreed it was
extremely cold. I took a few more pictures before we left. I was excited
about the mist walking right up to me. When I looked at the pictures on the computer, it
revealed that something did walk right up to me. See that blue mist there at
the bottom. It was right in front of me! Several pictures had orbs in
them. Now we felt like the settlers were our friends. I again looked up on the computer as much information as I could find on the settlers, mainly Lewis' and Stevens. We made another trip out there. We focused on the Reverends family, talking to them. I said that I knew that everyone in the township donated supplies and skills to build the first school house and six people gave one dollar each that paid for the rest of the things needed for schooling. I said that I read Elvira Lewis was the first teacher in the new schoolhouse. But I think the names were wrong in this gen web history because Alvira was only 9 years old when the school was built . I am thinking probably Arvilla, who was 19 or Alvina, who was 17. Alvina and Alvira are so much alike in spelling. It was one of the reverends daughters! T
 This time there was a quiet heaviness through the cemetery. The air felt electrically charged as we stood at the graves of the Reverend and his family. There was
one bird flying from tree to tree screeching every time I asked a question. We talked directly to the Reverend asking questions. I asked him to walk close
to the EMF detector if the answer was yes to any of the questions that I ask, but nothing happened. I sang them a church song
called DO LORD....I took Jesus as my savior you take him too...lol! We were
getting ready to leave and I stopped to talk to Lottie, the young lady
whose stone was moved to another cemetery then brought back. I told her
that I knew her stepmother was Fanny Lewis and her dad was Ebee Stevens and biological mother Betsy Stevens. I asked if they were buried there too. Fannies name wasn't on the list of names of
people buried there from the genweb site, but we found stones of others not on the list. Ebee and Betsy were 2 of the stones moved to Mazon ,IL cemetery called Brookside. Only the tombstones were moved, the bodies are still buried here. She was happy again to see us and let us get her picture several times as I talked to her. I  had a hunch on a spot so we walked a little to the south of Lottie and I told Tami I feel really strong like we are being watched. I got this strange shadowy apparition in 4 different pictures. Click on it to make it bigger. It looks like a girl in 1800's clothing!. She is watching us!
Do you know that the old legend about the use of a tombstone states that a large heavy stone was placed over the grave to keep the spirit of the dead inside....so does that mean that they roam free when a tombstone is removed? hmm just wondering! Just then a pick up truck pulled up with a male and female deer hunter
inside. They told us we need to wear orange out here its deer season. I
was standing about 15 feet from the truck but Tami was up to the window
talking to them telling them what we were doing and the guy who farms the land told her
that we could come out here to check this cemetery. The EMF went off
when they said it was deer season. I said "what don't you like those
people?" It went off again. The lady in the truck looked amazed when she
saw the lights blinking and the beeping sound!
This is our most active cemetery. I think we will get good pictures every time we visit. We have
adopted them as our family. We piled branches up across the 4 wheeler
trail and found an old rusted no trespassing sign we stuck in front of
the branch pile to help keep people from driving on top of tombstones. I
just don't know how people can abandon cemeteries! It seems like area
churches or organizations would adopt these old graveyards, since it
contains the first settlers of the area....our history! It really ticks me off that people drive over the tombstones and graves. How would they feel if this happened to their last memorial. These are someones relatives, why don't they care? The family surnames are ANDREWS, CROCKER, DEXLER, EMPIE, GOODSPEED, GOULD, HALL, LEWIS, LOUDEN , SANDER, SAYER, STEVENS, WOOD and two unknown. There may be more because Polly Lewis is buried there and not on the list. Maybe if they are your relatives  you can clean off their grave. And for the deer stand in the cemetery, isn't it illegal to hunt in a cemetery?

We visited the cemetery again on November 29th, Again we had fun with Lottie! The above three pictures are by Lottie's tombstone. The Reverend  and Polly Lewis are her step grandparents.The next three pictures are from the graves on the southeast end.  
The stones are covered with tall grass. For some reason I get orbs in the pictures here too every time that I visit, in the same spot. I take other pictures in other cemeteries with this camera with not that many orbs upon request! I take a lot of nature photos too. I just find it odd that this place has all of theses orbs, every time we go and at various times of the day with different weather conditions. Whatever this may be, we will never know, but it sure is fun visiting this one.


 I added this video of the Oak Ridge Boys singing Elvira because one of the Reverends daughters name is Elvira and we sang the part we knew to her while we were here.....this is for you Tami and Elvira!
update
Part of the mystery has been solved now about Lotties tombstone, the one here at settlers cemetery is her original one, obviously not moved, the one at the other cemetery is a newer stone. Unfortunately, with the wrong birth date on it. Fannie Lewis is buried at the cemetery to where the tombstones were moved. Ebee Stevens his children and first wife's tombstones are there too. The bodies are still out here at the old cemetery.
Also after speaking to local residents we found out that the boy that lived in the house across the road from the cemetery dug it up looking for money and jewelry....What a creep he is!...... and the farmer that let us visit has said that he is still letting his kids drive their atv's through the cemetery. WOW!