Michigan Back Roads: Graveyard Oddities
Ron Rademaker travels Michigan's Back roads, uncovering oddities, like the "Glowing Tombstones" in Evart.
Ron says the stories of these glowing tombstones go way back to the 1800's, long before lights were invented. The story is that the railway went by there and the brakeman had taken his son on a trip, and the son came up missing. A search found that the son had fallen off the train and died. The glowing stones are somehow related to the ghost of the brakeman searching for his lost son, for a century and a half.
Another story is of the meteor tombstone. This is way up north near Nisula, east of Bruce Crossing. The story is that a meteor fell out of the sky way back in the 1800's and were recovered by farmers. The wife loved the meteor so much that she requested that it be used as her grave stone. It's an odd pyramid shaped dark black stone that looks nothing like the others in the cemetery. You'll find it at Saint Henry's Evangelical Lutheran Church and Cemetery on M-38 in Laird Township near Nisula.
There's a condemned tombstone in Southwest Michigan near Buchannan. A man named Joseph Coveney, well-known rabel-rouser and trouble-maker was a "free-thinker", otherwise known in those days as an athiest. No local stone carvers would put "free-thinker" inscriptions on his headstone, so he had it done in Ireland and shipped to Michigan. Upon his death, it was installed and unveiled, outraging the local Christian community. One inscription reads ""The Christian religion begins with a dream and ends with a murder." The stone is still there at Oak Ridge Cemetery. There were lawsuits, but Ron says an obscure state law prevented anyone from removing the marker.
Another interesting graveyard is in the UP's Sceney Stretch, the most boring spot in the Upper Penninsula, except for the "Boot Hill Cemetery."