Pioneer Cemeteries and Their Stories,

Madison County, Indiana

Weddington Cemetery Reconstruction

Home Up

aka  Bowers, Gray, Wedding

Monroe Township

In the summer of 1997, the Madison County Cemetery Commission undertook the reconstruction of the Weddington Cemetery, located on a hilltop in Monroe Township on the Bowers farm, which is on the west side of CR 200W between 1025N and 1100N .  The first recorded burial for this cemetery was in 1840; the last in 1913.  Over the succeeding years, dense undergrowth and even small trees had encroached upon and had completely hidden the burial ground from view.  Many local people had no idea a cemetery existed in their midst.

 

Left and Above:The Weddington had been unfenced and in the middle of a cow pasture when rediscovered in the 1990s.  The cows liked the cool shade of the trees and rubbing against the taller grave markers.  Consequently, the damage to the stones was enormous.  Some stones were themselves buried in the earth.

 

       

                         

Above: The first tasks were to chop down the the undergrowth and trees, apply vegetation killer, probe for buried stones, research the original boundary of the cemetery, and put up a fence to prevent further destruction.

 

Note: Actually, the Weddington's problems did not begin at the cemetery boundary.  The cemetery was not located next to a road, but in a large pasture.  In order to get to it, one had to cross a stream and climb to the top of an adjacent hill.  So before much of anything could be done, a bridge had to first be built in order to get people and equipment to the site.

 

Left: Once the area was cleared, the graves had to be mapped as to their original locations.

 

 

       

  

Above:  After the floor plan for the original cemetery had been charted, the stones were removed to a safe place, in this case the newly erected fence, in order to begin grading the uneven earth.

 

Left:  Grading begins.

Right:  Work like this cannot be accomplished without dedicated workers, volunteers, and pickup trucks.

 

 Above:  Once the earth had been leveled, the stones were positioned, ready for resetting into the ground.  Afterward, the land was reseeded.

 

 

Before:  This picture shows the trees, winter undergrowth, and trampled stones previous to reclamation efforts. 

 After:  This picture shows by contrast the immense amount of accomplished work in clearing, re-landscaping, and reconstructing the entire area.

The final product: To help protect the Weddington Cemetery in the future, trees and undergrowth were taken out from the perimeters as well so that its location could be seen by anyone traveling on CR 200W. 

Sitting on top of one of the highest hills in the locality, the Weddington's gravestones now appear as soft white pillars against the dark wooded background--a visible symbol of early Hoosier history.

Go to Weddington Rededication Ceremony page for more pictures.