The Baby Graves
Nestled in the hills is a quiet, serene world. It has gone from being a necessity to a place to be feared to finally becoming a historical place. The changes themselves have been an undertaking. Overgrowth of bushes and grass used to mark its spot in the deserted land. Now it is properly maintained by a caretaker and an American flag flaps proudly in the breeze. This is the site of the Baby Graves, located in my hometown of Midwest, WY.
The Baby Graves literally gets its name from the type of residents who inhabit this cemetery. Some date as far back as the 1800s, while a few others are as late as 1962. Many were the young infants and children of settlers and pioneers traveling through on their way to the Oregon Trail. Others were the children of the local residents. The pioneers endured many struggles. Women bore their children on the way. Many of them died. The culprits of their deaths were tuberculosis, pneumonia, scarlet fever, and influenza. Some were from complications during childbirth, in which both mother and child would not survive. The need for a graveyard for the settlers was also part of what makes their journey stand out and be remembered. It marked their trials, tribulations, accomplishments, and passage through unknown territory. Their family name still carries on.
One remarkable thing that has set this cemetery apart from others is that of the tombstones and what outlines the graves: remnants of cribs, toys, and homemade games. It was almost as if a part of the essence of that child was captured and available for all to witness. Needless to say when I first visited there, at about the age of 9, it was a very emotional experience. It was also a little haunting at the same time. That was the first time that I had ever visited a cemetery and to observe one that was so deeply personal has stayed with me throughout my life.
Unfortunately what used...