While standing before the sign I looked around but couldn't find the headstones that would be associated with a pioneer cemetery or any cemetery for-that-matter. I cautiously walked up a small deer-like trail that led to the edge of a young forest with a makeshift worn fence boarding the deer trail. About half way up the fence line, a brand new gate stood, no older than a year, welcomed me, but still no sight of a cemetery. I opened and entered through the gate. The grassy trail led into the trees.
According to cemetery records, a baby...the daughter of Isaac Chandler is also suppose to be buried in this cemetery. But, the birth and death dates are unknown, and there is no headstone to be found.
Records also list J.H. Chandler birth as being July 11, 1881, but no death date is listed...even though it is clearly carved on the headstone. One possible explanation to the lack of his death date could be that most of the bottom half of the headstone of J.H. Chandler is buried and being engulfed by the roots of the nearby Douglas Fir tree. On my visit, I could clearly read, March 7. I wanted to know more, but felt it would be disrespectful to dig out enough debris to finish reading the year, then again, no is here, but me, right?
Something I observe while standing before the five headstones of the Shook family, was that the headstones belonging to both the son and uncle were the two largest and most decoratively engraved headstones of the five family members.
One would think the parents headstones would be the largest and most decorative. In theory, since both the son and uncle died prior to the death of the woman of the house, Mrs. Shook, one can assume, Mrs Shook was the one choosing the headstones for the two. Then when she died, Samuel Shook, the husband, most likely had the responsibility for his wife's headstone and might have taken a more financial approach to getting a smaller sized headstone for his wife.
According to Milo's death certificate, Milo C. Shook died at the age of 20 from Septicemia, or blood poisoning, after complications following a ruptured appendix. Milo's death spoke to me personally, for I had just recovered from a battle with Septicemia following insect bites that got infected.
In my book, the Gravelford Pioneer Cemetery is a cemetery like no other that I have been to. To find headstones sharing the same burial space with a thriving forest, amazed me. Most graveyards are manicured in different levels. But, at the Gravelford Pioneer Cemetery the caretaker is nature itself, and for that alone made my journey into the depths of a darkened forest worth it.