Dearly Departed Series: Hands Off The Body!
In Florida, United States
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You are seeking a uniquely disguised 35mm film canister outside the cemetery. Please be careful to replace exactly as found. And remember to be watchful for slithery things. BYOP
Julington Creek Cemetery aka Sloan's Landing: A historic location... The War of Northern Aggression was still a vivid memory when the horse-drawn carriage brought Wm McQuaig to his final resting place. Coming several miles down a dusty track with family and mourners on horseback or in buggies, the procession probably came from a solitary cabin, maybe a simple farm near Fruit Cove, Bayard or Durbin. They might have held a meager service in a clapboard church somewhere across Durbin Creek, or made their way down the Kings Road, making good time on the packed-earth pike. The year was 1871. Federal troops were still posted to billets in Jacksonville, overseeing the beginning of the Reconstruction. In St. Augustine, it was illegal to fly the Confederate flag and almost every citizen in town had been coerced into signing a statement swearing allegiance to the restored United States government. Those who didn't ran the risk of having their civil rights, like suffrage, witheld. Worse, you could be considered an enemy of the state, carrying the stigma of a criminal record. No electricity or running water existed yet in the former territory of East Florida, paved roads were rare and didn't extend past the biggest cities. The golden age of rail had yet to dawn. A single railroad line reached tenuously through the thick pine forests to Gainesville; a short spur ran from St. Augustine to the St. Johns River at Toccoi. Steamships- sternwheelers -moved everything in and out of the interior of northeast Florida. This was the world Wm McQuaig lived in. There may be earlier interments in Julington Creek Cemetery, but if they sleep there, the names have been lost to time. This humble burial ground itself is unknown to almost all who live here now, yet lying under the sandy soil are the pioneering families who helped tame a savage landscape. Almost all are related in some way: Smiths, Altizers, Russells, Drakes, Kinlaws, Stevens and Zeiglers....hardy individuals who have lived in this area for nearly 150 years. Some died prematurely as infants, children or young men. Valerie Sapp never made it to her first birthday. Andrew Vinson almost did, surviving 11 months and 6 days, before surrendering to death the year I was born. Vinton Shugart crossed over at the age of fifteen, while Jesse Whitley had his life cut short at 32. In the fall of 1900, the mortal remains of Effie McHale would retrace the journey the McQuaig family had endured three decades earlier. She probably lived and died in a frame house, hospitals being too far away to serve the Florida frontier. Fifty-five years after becoming a state, Florida's population was still sparse, 1 person to every 10 square miles. Seventy percent of Floridians were living north of Gainesville; the rest of the land between the coasts to the south held fewer than 150,000 homesteaders. Even so, she would have seen and heard the approach of the twentieth century. She may have seen the first car in the state when it came to Jacksonville, a Stanley No. 2 Locomobile. Maybe she had a chance to actually use a telephone during the last decade of her life. She could have seen the first building in Florida wired for electricity, the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine. People came from miles away to marvel at the Edison electric lights when they were switched on at dusk. In 1888, St. Augustine was a city of the future, the Epcot Center of its day, with running (potable) water piped into every home and hotel, bathrooms with running water connected to a sewage treatment system and paved asphalt roads. No doubt she would have known about the reputation of the county sheriff, "Long Joe Perry", a lawman who was equally admired and feared. She also would have known veterans of the Spanish-American War, who would have returned home as heroes in the winter of ' 98. Other veterans, other heroes slumber silently among the tombstones here. Alfred Ingram was a private with the Alabama National Guard during World War I. Jack Vinson also served as a private with the infantry in the second World War. The last burial at Julington Creek was this spring, when Ed Zokus was laid to rest. One hundred thirty-seven years after Wm McQuaig closed his eyes in eternal sleep, the Zokus family made the long ride out to the clearing in the forest. Carried by a sleek and shining hearse, Edward J Zokus, Sr was lowered into a hand-dug grave to spend eternity on the banks of Durbin Creek. He was sixty-two. In those years, he had seen the coming of the interstate highway system, the first American in outer space and the first human to step foot on another planet. He would have watched the advance of telephone equipment into computers and palm-sized devices without wires. So many changes... Yet for all the technological advancement, the human aspect remains fundamentally unchanged. Each of these people had hopes, dreams and aspirations. They loved and were loved. The fact that they were just like us seems to erase the passage of time, as if they left just yesterday. We have a tendency to view those who came long before us as actors on a stage; they might have thought of us as shadows in a vision, born of imagination. Yet they are us and we are them. Only the flesh decays... or DOES it??????? http://tfdotr.net/2008_blog_archives/jul_crk_cem.html
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Last Updated: on 9/4/2017 11:31:51 AM Pacific Daylight Time (6:31 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum