27 February 2017
A few years ago, I visited the U.P. (Upper Peninsula of Michigan for those not in the know), including Sault Ste. Marie. A memorable trip as I almost got a speeding ticket while visiting the area. Fortunately, a kindly cop just warned me to watch for moose as on dark narrow roads they could be found and that typically a speeding car will lose if there is a run in with a moose.
Remembering that trip, my radar often notices news from the area. The most recent bit of news is actually of interest to genealogists! Forgotten mass grave in the U.P. finally gets recognition tells how one person, Caroline Grabowski, researched a long-abandoned potter’s field.
“Nobody in town knows the potter’s field is here,” said Caroline Grabowski, a Soo resident, author and historian who discovered the grave site a few years ago and made it her mission to bring it to the public’s attention. “Nobody knows who’s buried there.”
But she does. She pored over documents at the county courthouse, old newspapers at the library and burial records at the cemetery, trying to piece together the lives of these unknown dead, who were buried here between 1890 and 1935. She was compelled to find out who they were.
“They were the very destitute, the poorest of the poor,” she said. “These truly were the forgotten. There was nobody for them.”
The article provides stories for many of those buried in this particular potter’s field.
Who do you know who has put names to those long unidentified in a cemetery?
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