The Things You Find

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 13, 1910.
Rev. Shields was my great-grandfather. And Cermak was Cermak.
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And in case you wondered what a smartass looked like at the turn of the last century, we have this snip about women trying to get men to sign dry petitions.
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© 2019 Tori Brovet/All rights reserved

Unearthed: The Inglis Family (Part 1)

This story truly spans the planet. To get to Japan from Chicago, we have to start in Scotland.

Pack a bag.

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Unearthed: Hal Benson, Dr. Jazz

As always, it was the photos on the stone what got me. And the “Dixieland Jazz” inscription. And then the three keys embedded in its surface.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to figure out what the keys are about. If anyone from the Benson family shows up and would like to explain those, I would love to hear the reason for them.

Minor mystery aside, there’s still plenty to discuss when it comes to Hal Benson.

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Unearthed: McClanahan & McClanahan

It was lilac season, so of course we went to Graceland Cemetery.

My husband knows I’m a sucker for lilacs, and how much I look forward to that moment in spring when the bushes foam over with good-smelling blossoms. Graceland provides a particularly nice array of lilacs in season, so he suggested we take a walk through the cemetery on a Sunday morning this past May.

That’s where I spotted Archie. I was drawn at first to the fragile little flowers scattered on his cool grey stone. I took the photo for that, and because I’ve been trying to take more cemetery pictures of people who lived long lives. They leave more records, which makes my research easier, and they are more likely to die of natural causes, which helps my mood.

I’m also a sucker for father-daughter stories, and as it turns out, he has one.

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Snoop 101: Know Your Stones

Some years back, I was doing a cemetery walk with friends. While trying to talk about styles of grave markers, I had a momentary brain freeze and sputtered: “One of those… Oh, you know! The sticky-up kind!”

It was not a great moment for me, although my friends thought it was hilarious. So to spare you a similar moment, I’ve put together a few examples.

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Unearthed: Aunt Edith’s First Act

Drama teacher, world traveler, film actress, and single woman on the go.

This Unearthed post has been challenging and personal for me.

My blog avatar is a photo of my great-great aunt, Edith Mack. When I began this project, I wanted her to be the guiding spirit of my research. What I know of Edith is fantastic. I dearly want to do her justice and tell her story well.

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Edith, aged 22

However, what I DON’T know of her life is also extensive. Putting her life in my usual chronological format has been like trying to climb a ladder with missing rungs. The gaps from event to event are long.

But as she might say: The show must go on. Instead of a timeline, this one will be more like a scrapbook.

This is not the last time I will write about her. I’m not done with her yet.

Continue reading “Unearthed: Aunt Edith’s First Act”

Unearthed: Four Faces

My husband noted this week that I’ve only posted about newspaper finds lately — no headstones, no graveyards.

“It IS Graveyard Snoop, after all,” he remarked (pretty bravely for a guy whose wife hangs out in cemeteries).

Continue reading “Unearthed: Four Faces”