Sunday, June 8, 2008

Horse Drawn Hearse ...

We did something historically interesting yesterday ... The Mellette Foundation hosted walking tours of Mount Hope Cemetery where most of our founding citizens are buried. At their graves were actors dressed from that place in time, and they spoke of themselves and the city. Watertown was a booming place back then, as it is now too. Eastern South Dakota consisted of the most prolific farming country ever developed in America. Trains left here daily, pulling railroad cars loaded with corn, wheat, barley, oats and hops. They then headed for all around the US, and eventually most places around the world.

Watertown's firt hearse was on display. It carried the coffin of Governor Mellette, the last Governor of Dakota Territory and the first Governor of South Dakota. It also carried my abusive childhood dentist, Dr. Wiles. What a jerk!

I took this photo without realizing the headstones were even in the background. That's why I like it. I wasn't trying to do a number on you, or myself. One of the horses that pulled it is also buried at Mount Hope. He has a horse head headstone.

My sister, Wendy, who passed away suddenly two years ago, is buried there as well. It was great to do something fun regarding Mount Hope. My regular visits there are usually with a heavy heart, but yesterday was very different.


  1. Thanks for coming by. You have some awesome photos on the blog!

  2. What a rich way to recall and respect your town's history. It is so important to learn about, and from, history.

    I am thankful that you were able to visit the cemetary in a "new way," to add another dimension to your experiences of it. It sounds as if it is sacred to the entire community; what a blessing. I am not personally familiar with any cemetaries, but highlighting, and integrating, its importance as part of the life cycle of your community seems beautiful, to me, and a powerful teaching to all.

    Your photo is fascinating, and I enjoy its subtlety.

  3. The reflection adds a nice touch. Thank you for the comment on my blog.

  4. Very interesting visit. usually I stay away from such places, but this is so rich in history.
    Sorry to hear about your Sister.