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Ringgold County's Oral Legend & Memories Project

Hands-on Genealogical Research

How many times have you been out and about, looking for a country cemetery, an allegedly "still standing" rural schoolhouse or church and THIS is the sign standing at the beginning of the road you need to take? - the only way to get there! So you stop, re-read the sign, think about it. Is it worth the risk? How bad of a risk? How far will you hafta walk if need be, God forbid.

Common sense tells you to drive on. But your heart says to go for it.

You think about it some more.

You follow your heart.

As the road gets narrower and rougher, you begin to think some more. Just how much further does this "at risk" road go? Will there be "anything" when I get there? WILL I get there?

It seems like you've been driving for all eternity. You begin to wonder if you are hearing things or has the car started making a sound you've never heard before.

You know you are almost "there" when the dirt road turns into two tire tracks cut through the overgrowth. That's usually up over the next hill where it's too narrow to turn around and no driveway into a farm field anywhere in sight. That's also when you question your own sanity - but OH!! What's that?? Gravestones under those old cedar trees on the far horizion?? So you drive on, one eye on the 'prize' and other eye on the tire tracks ahead of you. Then when you get "there" you realize the grass and weeds are almost shoulder high. As you step out of the car, your brain reminds you that there have been reports of rattlesnakes in Iowa off and on. Still, you proceed to get to the prize.

Or, you end up coming upon a gravel or paved road at a T-intersection and realize there wasn't a prize. Well, not anymore that is. That's when you start to worry about what might have happened to your car's undercarriage & exhaust system.

There are two country cemeteries I can't find. It isn't because I haven't tried. I'ven eaten a lot of gravel dust looking for them.

I did find the sign saying "Oakland Cemetery ------>" and followed the sign, headed east. Then came on the next crossroad that had a sign "<-------- Oakland Cemetery." I though huh? So I turned around and went back west. I was like a ping-pong ball, bouncing back and forth between those two signs. I never did find Oakland Cemetery.

I've been looking for another country cemetery for about two years now. Everyone tells me where it is, located back in a farm field away from the road. It isn't marked by a sign.


I think I saw it the other day. The sun was just right and it sure looked like gravestones to me. I don't think it was a flock of sheep since nothing moved. Of course, I didn't have my binoculars with me but I'll bring them along the next time I'm in the area.


Submission by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2009

To submit your Tales For The Front Porch or to comment on any of the tales,
contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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