Monday, October 22, 2012

☽ "Cemetery of Children" The Liberty Cemetery ☽ [My Experience & Photos] | Hannabal Marie

The front gates that scream in agony as you move them to enter inside.  

Hello ladies and gents, 
Me and my family love to explore abandon buildings and sacred burial grounds.
It's a fun little Sunday afternoon thing to do, when you just want to explore nature
and remember the dearly deceased and sadly, forgotten.

Upon our trip to Galt--
(we occasionally like to do little road trips outside our city from time to time,
just to see what our little nook of the world has to offer in terms of hidden gems!)
we came across this tiny little hole-in-the-ground cemetery.

At first glance, it didn't look like a cemetery. If it wasn't for the big iron gates informing me of just that--I would have just assumed it was discarded land and forgotten vegetation.
For a lack of a better way to put it--it looked very dry, abandoned and sad.

Liberty Cemetery, after researching about it when I got home, has a history that is quite chilling and extremely heartbreaking. Mostly for the fact it has been reduced to such a sad state.
I know, as what I am about to show you, that the topic of restoration is being brought up but I still can't help but feel sad for it ever having to be in such poor conditions at all. With broken grave markers, vandalism and headstones being pulled right up out of the ground.
Age and the common wear/tear also being another factor, here.

The following is from Cemetery Records Online, which states:

As you can plainly see--there is such gold history rotting away right under our feet.
I'm happy to have read that they will, in fact, restore it but I have heard that so many times already in my own little home-town that you can't blame me for my uncertainty.
I am just hoping they are serious and take action before all that is left is dust.

In the car, we were too preoccupied with our own commotion to really gather what we were seeing.
Weeds and dry grass hitting thigh high, mighty oaks and sticky thorns was just a blur outside our car window. It wasn't until my eyes caught a glimpse of a stone pillar (what I thought was just a stone tower in the center of the field) that I placed all my attention on the cemetery.

 Our heads spun around when we noticed the entrance with the iron gates shining the words:
1 8 5 2    
L I B E R T Y    C E M E T E R Y
"A cemetery?" My mom screamed. "A CEMETERY!" we all shouted.
And that was how it all started. The reason I am creating this post and showing you this information.

We actually did two trips--once the first time, when we were all a bit suspicious.
And a second time, when we had the camera ready to take the photos to publish.
These images are from the second trip. The first was just to make sure we could visit--
what was inside, if everything was safe. Things of that nature.

The overall visit to this site was something I'll never forget.
Now, I don't know how much of a believer in the paranormal you guys and gals are--
but I am a firm believer in these sorts of unexplained things. 
Perhaps my mind was playing tricks or maybe I was being biased since the cliche of a cemetery is always tied with something paranormal but this, by far, has been the most active site I've visited with my family. (as I said, we do these sorts of visits all the time. Most of the time, it's just in and out--but this one was different. I felt uneasy. My stomach was churning and all sorts of sights/noises were heard.)

I will just go ahead and show you my photos now. Enough chatting. 
How to get to the cemetery: 
"Heading either North or South on State Route 99, you will see Liberty Road (exit 273) either about a mile before or a mile after Galt (depending on which way you're going!). Head to the East side of the freeway and right next to the freeway alongside Liberty Road is the gate. Information boards are right inside. You'll need to walk a few dozen meters across the field to the markers!"    

We went straight to this plaque, trying to watch our steps through the thick dead grass.
Around this time, my dad was telling me about an old Galt ghost story about some girl passing through, walking down Galt road. Apparently, she was dressed for prom and heading down some unknown direction. A car stops her, asks if she needed a ride. She says yes and that was that. Shortly after the ride, when he drops her off, he looks in the local newspaper and finds the obituary of a recently deceased girl...who looks just like the girl...that was just in his car. Apparently she died before she could go to prom. Probably an Urban Legend or a silly thing to tell your children, so they don't act up but I thought I'd include it. lol

This same story or something similar is also shared about Liberty bridge, as well. 

This is our experience at Liberty!
Stepping foot inside, we instantly got a feeling that crawled along the back of our spine.
An unsettling feeling of being watched or feeling as if you are waiting for some suspense that you know will undoubtedly happen. You can hear, as well as sense (since it was too dark to actually "see") the cars buzz past the cemetery from the freeway, which was located right on the side of the cemetery. We didn't know if the lights from the back of the place were actual light posts or car headlights...
...or something else. 
I'm not too sure what exactly was going on here but there was this slab out on the ground. In a heap of dirt. With a huge empty hole next to it. I smell grave-robbing! 
I must ask for your forgiveness in camera quality.
This was taken from a horrible "point-and-click" machine that you'd discard. 
But the images still do their duty, by allowing you into the fields and giving you an idea of what we experienced. 
Some tombstones and markers standing like crumbling saints. 
A family location--with names, dates and ages. 
A lot of the tombstones and plaques were enclosed inside a cement square for some reason.
Perhaps to mark the family's plot. We're not entirely sure.
One of the first plaques dedicated to a child. 
A few of these green "unknown" plaques were scattered all over the grounds, as well. 

"H U S B A N D
Edwin C. Tanner
You can't read it but it says:
George W - 1862-1935
Katherine G - 1872 1932
Velma J - 1896-1918
You can barely see it through the dry grass, but there was this huge plaque on the ground that has some old Valentine cards on it. 

Between dry patches of grass, there was also a ton of small stone pebbles around every turn. 
A view from one side of the cemetery. As you can plainly's pretty empty. 
More hidden plaques, two sons:
Son of
Mar. 19, 1800
Dec 9, 1882"
On the opposite side:
Son of
Mar. 30 1872
Dec, 10 1882"
A few plaques were sitting on this stage-like platform. Surrounded by so many trees and tall grass. 
A random shot of the top of a grave marker. 
Tall grass and another headstone.
"H U B E R T"
A family plaque, I assume.
Son of,
? 2, 1877Aged
2 Months & 3 Days." 

Son of
? 19, 1877
1 Month & 10 Days"
Hard to really see what the etched name says, due to the age and overall condition of the stones. 
Marlene Aldrich (?)
 1886- 1896 (?)
10 Yrs old. (?)

You can barely make it out but there are two plots in the dead grass.
Two paper valentine hearts can be seen popping out of the dead grass like daffodils.
A man and woman rest in those plots.

Another thing to note--the orbs! Are those orbs or dust?
I can't be too sure but the feelings I felt tells me that it was indeed paranormal.
Maybe it was the ghosts of all the children coming to play with us? 

"The Cemetery of Children...

and Forgotten Soldiers?"

Alongside the sad stones of small infantsyou will most definitely find a few soldier plaques sprinkled here and there. As if still proudly standing ground in a field of emptiness.
One marker which can be found just names a one "Geo. Wilson" with "U.S. Soldier" and no other message or hint of rank. Just simply written in a 'matter of fact' sort of way, acknowledging his passing but fading away in the tall grass.
Photo Source: hitraveltales
As what I've already stated, this cemetery is mostly built upon the remains of dead children--named and unnamed but large, adult-sized plots fill certain areas as well, much like this soldier plaque and the two valentine lovebirds. If you really think about it, this cemetery is one of the very few that made me feel a sense of sadness and pity. 

As HiTravelTales already stated in a previous review:
"There are other simple markers in the Liberty Cemetery California for toddlers and children, beloved wives and husbands.Traveling and living in the rugged West was tough for kids. Since June 2014, there is now a “Liberty Flag Pole,” dedicated by the same chapter of E Clampus Vitus, 'In the honor of liberty and freedom.'" 
Another unknown name that couldn't be made out due to age. 
Trying our best to not ruin anything, hard to do so with plaques under bundles of rubble, but we tried. 
There was this huge platform that I assume was holding a whole family on.
It was closed off from the grass around it by those thick bars encircling the area. 
 I thought this stone was rather beautiful. 
I couldn't make out what name is on it but beautiful nonetheless.

1949 - 1958
My brother can be seen here,
trying to clean off the plaque because this one was hidden under a lot of falling leaves and grass. 
Another view from the platform in the dark. 
Unknown Name. 
? 29, 1868
9 Years, 8 Months & 18 Days
Oct 6, 1864
Aged 5 Yrs, 9 Months & 18 Days. 
Oct. 2 1864
Aged 4 Years, 6 Months & 18 Days
Feb 14 1882
17 Years, 2 Months & ? Days
Wife of
Nov. 9, 1881
54 Years, 8 Months & 14 Days
Feb 26 1875
22 Years & 9 Days
A plaque that was completely ruined.
I am assuming it probably had one of those pillars on it, which was knocked down. Poor thing. 

Since this cemetery is located on 5 acres of land, right beside a freeway--vandalism would have definitely happened sooner or later. I hate to see the dearly departed treated in this manner but it's not shocking--not in the least. The plot is owned by the Galt Historical Society but even so, sitting beside a freeway and basically being hidden from sight is just calling for troublemakers to come and create some chaos in a cemetery. 

In the National Cemetery Records online, Liberty Cemetery has 425 graves recorded and documented, but trust me when I state that there is only a few visible and still in tact. 
(That's not even counting the possibility of burials under the freeway and/or out of city lines!)

Most of them are crumbling, some are just massive chunks of stone. Pretty much all of them has been aged so badly that the names carved in the headstones can't even be seen without having to get them deciphered. The Historical Society has made it evident that they too believe that there could be many more unmarked graves yet be discovered! 
Photo Source: hitraveltales
EDIT IN 2019: Apparently The Historical Society has claimed they have been cleaning up the cemetery and replacing old graves with newer ones. Photos that surfaced has shown new glossy plaques in place of older ones, with fields clean and neat. Flowers can be seen on a few of the plots that were victim to the chaos, to honor their namesake. It makes me so happy to see that people are taking things seriously and taking care of the place, even now in 2019! 

The broken pieces have been discarded and taken care of but I still have the photos I took when it was still in ruins. I will include them in this section for history sake and to remind us of the vandalism of Liberty Cemetery! 
These were just laying on a slab of stone. 
Some broken pieces, big hunks and chunks. 
A headstone that has been lifted and crushed to the floor. 
More broken bits and pieces. 
More headstones and desecration. 
I found this photo above quite interesting when I was there in person.

There was this huge stone slab hidden in some weeds a few feet away from the rest of the cemetery. Next to it looked like an imprint of something that was lying beside it. Something human and rather heavy.

I instantly thought "NECROPHILIA" because of the body-like shape laying in the grass...
but of course I could be wrong. They could have just been sleeping next to the grave, who knows.
This one we tried to put back together, to read the name.

Wife of
July 11, 1867
Aged 35 years and ?

Here are a few more images from inside the place. A pillar stands nicely erect. 
I can only make out the words J. H ? Hickey. 
This huge slab of stone. 
Golden symbols. 

Golden words that I can barely make out.
I don't know if it's from age or just the bad quality camera I used in 2012. lol
1861 - 1934
A haunting looking tree off in the distance. 
Strange looking pillar that I wanted to examine. 
A symbol carved into the cold stone. 
I can hardly make out the razor cuts in the stone. 
William J. & Emma A.
Another set of lovebird
This tree was HUGE! 
I was a little ant compared to the size of this thing. 

I was joking with my mom and I made up a story about how I think witches circled this tree at hours like this. And she took it to heart. 
But I don't blame her, nothing isn't possible, after all...
A photo of a lonely little bench. Just sitting there in the field. No other reason but to help people rest. But what people, you may ask? Exactly...what people? 
A huge tree that was hidden in the back of the cemetery.
I could swear I seen things moving in it--human things.
Human things that like human things like me.
I high-tailed it back to the crew, didn't want to end up in another Blair Witch Project Movie. lol
Dec 28, 1878
63 Years, 11 Months & 18 Days.
""If I only know that thou hast gone
but that the same returnless tide
which bore thee from us still glides on,
just we, who mourn thee, still glide"
Wife of 
Sept 3, 1877
Aged 58 Years
A pillar and some rubble. 
The cemetery at dark is such a sight to behold. 

Pulling away from the cemetery, I couldn't help but feel as small as some of the tiny plots inserted into the cold abandoned ground. All the baby plaques and nameless children haunted me.
The jagged pieces digging into the dirt, being crushed by time.
I can't help but feel an unsettling emptiness seeing some of these tombstones be reduced to nothing.
It really makes you feel your mortality. I just hope when my time comes, I am not forgotten and abandoned in such a way as this.

I feel so connected to this cemetery, for some strange reason.
Hearing the news of it's restoration has me hopeful for a future visit!
I plan to check it out soon, to see the changes and reread some names.
But until then--I hope you liked the post!
Allow me to end with a photo of the morning sky that I caught the day after this event. <3
Whether you are reading my post to gather historic information
or to see if you can find something lurking in the dark.
Thank you for viewing nonetheless.

If you'd like to look at the records of all 425 names and ages of those buried here,
you can find that information on the Galt Historical Society Webpage!
Gone but never forgotten! <3

1 comment: