Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Austin Cemetery at Best, AR

Nestled deep in the Ozarks somewhere between Rogers and Clifty, Arkansas, sits the quiet little community of Best. Surrounded by trees, creeks and views, this community is home to one of the largest oak trees in the nation. But this small community is home to another interesting slice of history- The Austin Cemetery.

The Austin Cemetery at Best
At first glance, The Austin Cemetery is host to stunning views. However, as you look more closely, you will notice dozens of identicle small square headstons dotting the landscape.
These simple headstones, made of concrete and lacking inscriptions, were erected several years ago in honor of individuals whose graves had not been marked.
But finding these unmarked graves certainly wasn't easy. In fact, a lot of time and effort went into this privately funded project, resulting in the discovery of these unmarked graves.
So how did they determine where these unmarked graves were without a cemetery map or cemetery records? Well, they scraped the land and looked for areas in which the dirt appeared "different". And as they continued with their search they realized that the areas of "different dirt" were actually in perfect rows and even left room for a narrow pathway down the middle.
Determined that these individuals, regardless of their race, gender and history, lead lives worth remembering, the property owner erected small memorials on their behalf. But who are these people? Where did they come from and what did they do during their lifetimes? This project gained the attention of several area residents who are working to answer those questions. What an amazing project, indeed!

1 comment:

  1. Nice. This project is truly heartwarming. I cannot believe numerous people took their time to scrape land to determine which dirt seemed peculiar, just so they can find the unmarked graves. I salute the thoughtful citizens who gave importance to all of them. For me, these unmarked graves are enough to pay respect to those people who were not given the decent funeral any person deserves.

    Loria Schleiff


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