Note: Evidently it’s been too long since I’ve read The Brauns of Osterwick! Turns out Jacob Braun was not buried in this cemetery because he was no longer a part of the Old Colony Church; he was buried across the road from the cemetery. But, I’ll leave my error as it is, because it’s part of my journey of discovery, etc.
Last year, Andrew and I visited Osterwick (West Reserve), and I wrote about how I was hoping to see the old cemetery where my great-great-great-grandfather Jacob Braun was buried and then exhumed in 1903.
A memorial was put up elsewhere on the WR, referring to Jacob Braun’s original burial as well.
So I had found it quite dispiriting to only find the new, clean, tidy Osterwick Cemetery by the highway. This was not the Osterwick I had been searching for.
I had to return. And this past Monday, I did just that.
I headed north in the village and then stopped at the dead end, unsure how to access the private abandoned very old cemetery I had been told existed somewhere out there. Andrew suggested I ask the woman who was standing nearby, observing me. I was so relieved that I wouldn’t have to knock on any doors!
She was very kind, she told me that she and her husband owned this property and yes there is a cemetery out there and she told me how to access it. She allowed us to even take a shortcut through their yard!
And so we finally encountered the REAL Osterwick cemetery.
It was the perfect combination of wild yet cared for.
I was entranced, imagining the bizarre happenings on this very site in November 1903 when Jacob’s sons dug him up and moved his remains to his daughter’s property. (A site I have yet to discover.)
Somewhere around here, in one of these plots, my great-great-great-grandfather had originally been laid to rest.
I wonder if anyone took his vacated spot afterward?
I wonder if these trees had been standing then? Perhaps as little sprouts?
There are not many marked graves in this very old cemetery. Most original grave markers had been wooden and would have disintegrated over time. However, here are the few that I found:
The cemetery lies between the village and a gorgeous wheat field.
I encountered a delightful bumble bee enjoying the purple thistles.
We will definitely return. And perhaps next time bring a gift for the stewards of this property. (If you have ideas regarding what would make an appropriate gift, please let me know! I am very bad at this sort of thing.)