Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Abandoned Barnett Cemetery at INAAP, Charlestown, Indiana

Located just off US 62 in Charlestown, Indiana, the abandoned Barnett Cemetery is on the grounds of the old Indiana Army Ammunition Plant.  The stones are all quite old and detailed, but the most notable feature of the cemetery is its stone wall.  Join us today as we examine it in more detail.

An aerial view, with US 62 in the foreground.  The cemetery is, of course, the grey square.  Image from Bing maps.

Marker for the old cemetery.  All of the INAAP cemeteries show similar signs.

Eye level view of the cemetery, showing off the wall.
When INAAP was built in years leading up to World War Two, it was built entirely of land that taken through the use of imminent domain.  Must of this was farmland, and on it lay many small family cemeteries.  Largely closed off while the plant was in use, the cemeteries are now available again for inspection and burial. 

View over the wall.

Gravestone, broken and repair.  The government has taken pretty good care of the place, despite the lack of any other apparent outside concerns.  The grass is still mowed.

One of the larger stones in the place.  The most interesting thing about old cemeteries are the small details carved onto the stones.  Note that Phebe dies in 1893, in the Oklahoma Territory.  Statehood was not granted until 1907, an idea very strange to the modern mind. 

The grave of Captain John Blizzard.

A lot of these stones show the exact age of the person, in days, months and years.

An interesting stone with a tree of life carved into it.  This is a rather pretty design.

I did not place this flag, someone else did.  Still, an interesting touch.

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  1. I like reading the old stones with the detail as well. There's a very old section at Crown Hill Cemetery in Salem, IN. I can't quote the one I have in mind, but it reads something about the fellow being a part of the Illinois regime and what happened to him. I'll try to wander that way and photograph it for you :)

  2. Do you have any idea why their ages are marked that way? With the year, month and day? It just seems strange and something I have never seen before. Not that I've been creeping around a lot of old cemetaries but I have seen a few, still, never seen an age marked this way before. Thanks for the closer look! I live in New Wash and work in Jeff and have passed this place several times, it has caught my eye and I've always wanted to insepect it a bit closer.

    1. I've seen this in other places before, but its not common at all. I think it was a social thing, in that it was something valued by the people at the time, their age. Some of the stones says "wife of," or "consort of" or "child of," showing that the people placed an importance on their family relationships. Likewise, you'll see some birth or death locations, something people don't care about much today. A military rank is mentioned on one of these stones, Captain, something that even at the age of 73 John Blizzard and his family valued and wanted remembered.

      If you look carefully, the stones marked with a full age (d/m/y) are lacking a birth date. Having just the age and death date allows you to calculate a birthdate anyhow, but it shows that they felt someones age was more important than when they were born. Far too many people died at the age of 1 or 2, so a long life was to be cherished. Just my thoughts...

  3. The story was often told that a rock fence around this cemetery meant that people that died of smallpox were buried there.
    Also, as an FYI, it is "eminent domain"