Well it is that time of year. It is almost time to start collecting new sites and I look forward to new and interesting locations and photos to be able to share with you. The most exciting thing I have to share right now is that we have been invited to speak at the Dorchester County Historical Society and I finally have a date for that to share with you.
The presentation will be held on June 15th, 2016 at 12:00pm (bring your lunch!). It will be held at the Dorchester Historical Society Building at 1003 Greenway Drive, Cambridge, Maryland, 21613.
I would like to extend an invitation to everyone who has been reading along and sending in locations, and supporting us throughout this project. I couldn’t have done this without all of the help from tips coming in through email and spotters keeping lists of sites they see while driving, and the guides for taking me to some of the more remote parts of the county. I would love to see you all there and be able to thank you in person.
Remember to keep those tips coming in! There are just some graves that we could never find without your help!
Anyone going out now working on their own research remember, Spring has Sprung. Make sure you use bug repellent, I’ve already heard reports of ticks, chiggers, and mosquitoes. I have also seen some snakes while I was out, so be safe and make sure you keep an eye on your surroundings.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but my professors at college are so excited about this project that they’ve allowed me to use what I’ve collected so far as the capstone project for my geography degree. Between the scope of what I’m trying to accomplish and the sheer number of hours I’ve spent researching, interviewing, and collecting they decided it was well worth the 3 credits necessary to count this as an independent study project.
As a thought provoking addition to the map of gravesite locations I will also be laying my collected GPS points over a map of the 100 year flood model for the county. This will be both informative and at the same time, sad to see. In addition to the graves currently at risk, we will be able to see which sites are going to be in jeopardy in the foreseeable future. Sadly, from what I’ve seen, we will be losing a great many of some of the oldest gravesites in the county.
For the next several weeks we will be taking a break from field collection. This comes at a great time since hunting season just opened and it’s bad time to be wandering around in the woods. Also with the holidays here it’s just easier to put things on hold so no one is stressed and everyone gets to enjoy the holiday season.
For the next three weeks I will be creating the map based on the GPS points I have collected so far. I’m not sure exactly how many I have right now, but I do know it is over two hundred. Not a bad start and certainly enough to build a very detailed map to put on the website for now.
I know I’m behind on uploading the pictures taken at each site; I have over a hundred sites that still need to be posted to the website. Hopefully once the semester is over I will have the time necessary to get them up there, so I thank you for your patience.
I’d also like to thank everyone who has been helping me along on this journey, and I can’t wait till we get to pick it up again after the New Year. Until then, I hope you enjoy the Holiday Season with your families and loved ones.
Well… November is definitely not going to go as smoothly as September and October did. We now have two new challenges to consider on our field collection days – Daylight Savings Time and Hunting Season.
When the clocks rolled back they severely cut into the daylight hours we have for good visibility and decent photos. The days from here on out are only going to get shorter and shorter; not much I can do about that except go out more often, just in shorter bursts.
Hunting Season is making things tricky. I have already completed all of the easy to reach cemeteries and graveyards so the only ones left are the more remote and hard to reach sites. Therein lies the problem. I’m not the only one mucking through the woods and marsh anymore, and I sure don’t want to become an accidental target. So I went out and bought a lovely Day-Glo orange hunting vest. I think it really brings out my eyes. We definitely stand out now…
Better safe than sorry…
But on the plus side there are no more ticks, chiggers, or mosquitoes lurking about. Or at least I haven’t seen any. Blast. I’ve probably jinxed us now. Never mind.
I know I am SO far behind on posting new gravesite photos, I have tons downloaded from my camera, and I just haven’t had a chance to go through and sort and resize them yet. I promise to get some new ones up soon. But for now here’s where we stand.
Count as of November 1st – 175 Gravesites located in Dorchester County.
Thanks to everyone for following along on this adventure.
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I hope everyone is enjoying the lovely fall season. It has been beautiful driving around the county doing field work this past month. I found myself wanting to take more pictures of the landscape than of the graves sites I was looking for. Since my search has been going so well and I have had so many volunteers taking me around the county, there isn’t really much to report by way of challenges or discoveries this week.
Here is a collection of spooky shots taken from around Dorchester County.
Some vultures surveying the area…
A Haunted house if ever I saw one…
A black cat crossed our path…
A strange floating orb… sunshine… or spirit?
I would like to thank everyone who has been following our blog. Hope you are enjoying reading it as much as we enjoy writing it and here’s hoping you have a safe and fun Halloween!
Well it has been a couple weeks since our last post. Apologies, I was on vacation last week so I did not get a chance to post the pictures from the previous weeks collection. Now I am two weeks behind. Sigh…. However I am very excited about the sites located during the last outing!
Also, I would like to take this opportunity to thank some of the locals in the area who have taken time out of their afternoons to be our field guides on this project. Most of the sites located were on private properties or farmland and we would never have been able to get out to the sites without the permission from the owners, and our field guides knew exactly who to call to get these clearances. So I would like to thank them for their time and efforts in assisting with this project.
Additionally this adventure has been humbling as I have realized that even though I was raised in one of the most rural counties in the state, I am not the well rounded country girl I once believed I was. As we were trekking through various corn and soybean fields it suddenly occurred to me the very real possibility of running into slugs, spiders, snakes or any other brand of creepy crawly. Just about the time I gave myself a pep talk and was enjoying my new found courage, my field guide pointed out the holes and burrows surrounding the grave sites and told me the groundhogs or foxes would not be too pleased if we stepped on them… Oh, and they bite. So much for courage…
Exhibit A: It’s like Whack-a-Mole, if the moles were vicious, man eating, carnivores.
We had a short but successful collection day this week. The Trimble GPS device is fast in collecting the coordinates and very user friendly. I will have to go back and count but I believe we have already located more burial sites than are on the official county list. This is a little like comparing apples to oranges however, because the county does not track all of the small sites on private property but I wanted to emphasize that there are so many more than people realize.
One of the biggest challenges we have encountered when going out and collecting these points is to stay on task. Driving down some of the back roads of the county reminds you how truly beautiful the area is. I find myself stopping to take pictures that are completely unrelated to the project but the scenery is just so captivating.
The second issue we have come across is that there are still many unpaved “official” county roads. That is; these are county roadways, county maintained, and yet they are still just dirt roads. The official field research vehicle for this project does not appreciate us exploring these roads, especially after a heavy rain. Apparently we are not operating an All-Terrain Camry.
And finally, For the time being all the photo pages are named either for the common name for the burial site, the road they were found on, or after any signage located on the property. The “Official” names of the burial sites are used when available, but we will have to do some more research to be sure we get these names exactly right.
In case it has not become abundantly clear by now that this page is not maintained by professional photographers, let me set the record straight; all photography is entirely done by amateurs. I apologize. This site is more a labor of love and less an artistic endeavor.
Geographers, Possibly. Cartographers, Hopefully. Photographers, unlikely.
Lets hope it doesn’t get this bad…
That being said, we do try to take nice pictures of the grave sites, clear pictures of interesting stones or monuments, and effective documentation of wear, damage, or vandalism to these markers or locations.
Also, since the one thing Dorchester County has an abundance of is water, occasionally I will post pictures of landscapes, in addition to big skies, and sunsets. Additionally some local points of interest or historical sites will be showcased, but as the primary purpose of this project is the burial sites, these photos will only be incidental.
The update for last weeks field collection is as follows;
We went to a location a local had told us might have some stones and we could not even get 10 feet into the field. The insect swarm was so thick the Deep Woods Off couldn’t even keep up. Yet another site that will be waiting until fall after the first frost.
I will leave you with the most interesting find from last weeks collection.
Check back next week for more progress.