Cemeteries and Their Stories,
Madison County, Indiana
Pickard Cemetery Restoration Project, Monroe Township
The word "remote" does not begin to describe the location of the Pickard Cemetery. As of this date, summer 2006, the cemetery is actually inaccessible to anyone but a stalwart hiker. Situated in an overgrown woods behind farmers' fields on a hill overlooking a tributary of Pipe Creek, this family burial ground had been abandoned over the years and only visited by the occasional hunter of forest game. Very literally, directions in finding the graveyard would go something like this: from the cemetery sign on CR 1150, take the fence line through the weeds and tall brush straight north for a quarter of a mile; where the fields stop, head into the woods angling northeast until you come to the creek; search along the creek for the old cement bridge and cross it being careful of the far bank since the bridge is no longer attached on the north side; once across the creek, take the deer trail until it turns right; at that juncture, turn left and in about 200 yards among the tall weeds and fallen trees, you can start hunting in the heavy overgrowth for the few remaining stones.
So heavily overgrown, the cemetery is dark at noonday; the shots above had to be taken with the flash option on the camera. At left is young Mary Alger's stone, in the middle Nancy Davis's, 1806-1879, and at right is the pretty podium with tasseled drape and bible for Amanda Hall, who died in 1872 at forty-four years.
The Pickard family, in the late 1800s, did want their family graveyard to be nicely delineated from the surrounding forest since the burial ground is marked by tall, nicely designed, cement posts at the corners, gate entrance, original trail head. In the picture above, one of the corner posts has been marked by the surveyor with a bright pink ribbon. In the background, the tributary to Pipe Creek can just be discerned.
The Pickard Cemetery will be a long term reclamation project involving the construction of an access drive in order to get heavy equipment to the locations needing bridging, clearing, etc. Pictures will be posted on this page of the MCCC's progress over the next years--with any luck.