For a few years it had become a spot for some meanness, especially on Halloween as you can imagine. Thankfully the boom of new construction that happened a few years ago has put a stop to these individuals who used the area for drugs and other criminal acts.
Well me being me of course thought,NOPE not in my neighborhood.
First however I must tell you where it began for us....and I apologize that this may be a tad longer than my normal post.
When we began to build after 5 years of owning the property we drove out to meet the fellow who was going to do the perk test. That was when we realized we had a new modular home in front of our property and they were using some of our land. At first meeting we didn't want to jump to a conclusion that these strange people were anything more than just country,but we quickly learned that were criminals and had moved way out here to do criminal acts. Our new home had really put a wrench in their monkey business so to speak,and the grave yard had been their office area for transactions,of the unsightly sort.
|Our very long driveway and a peek of the fence to the right.|
|My son was in this area when they shot the rifle near him.|
|Not a close neighbor but one I pass every day who has oxen and was in our local parade.|
I contacted all of the neighbors and had an open house to meet everyone. That was eye opening I think because I discovered that many of the neighbors had lived here for years and years and had never met. That is a breading ground for bad guys. For the first time ever we formed a neighborhood watch group and had a meeting at a local church. It was there that we discovered all of the meanness that had been occurring up at the grave yard.The sheriff doubted us and said a watch group had never been done in a rural setting. But he did admit the department was glad because it would make their job easier.
Meth is growing and has started to move out to the country.This little wide spread rural area has started to watch out for each other,and report what they see. Neighbors exchanged names and phone numbers,it was empowering,and we all felt excited that we were taking back our neighborhood. If you've ever driven through the country you know how folks wave howdy to each other. Well now we wave because we know each other and that feels great!
|The back of our property|
But prior to all of that we took another costly step by fencing in one side(their side) of the 6 acres with farm fencing.Someone asked me once why we only fenced in one side,I answered that I didn't think they were smart enough to go around and I was right!
Finally just days after we moved in the second oldest not so bright familymember had just been given(or stole) a new hand gun,so what do you think he decide to do? Yep he decided to try it out by shooting into our property, not far from our house. OK NOW YOU'VE DONE IT. I called the sheriff and for the first time they were able to get inside of their house, and thankfully they found drugs and guns. They were all arrested!!
But sadly it took a full year after that arrest and being released on bail before they were gone. With no job,and theft becoming harder and harder they lost their house to a tax sale ( how sad ha ha )and finally the electric meter was pulled and that's when we knew it was over....and soon they would be gone!!!! Hooray!!!
A few of the neighbors have slowly started to go up the hill and care for the sweet little cemetery.Each time we go up now we see signs of repair and maintenance. The horrible spray paint has been covered up,and some head stones have been repaired. A few have been replaced with new small metal markers,one has a new more modern head stone, I feel that must be some of the descendants of that person.
But I think losing the older quaint ones is the saddest part of all. The simple design and shape of the older ones told more about the people and the time period than these new ones do. So many graves now are left unmarked, there may be no way of knowing who is buried there. Being a avid Ancestry.com person the loss of these grave stones is a sad loss to future genealogy hunters that may never be restored.
We noticed on this last visit someone has lovingly gathered up all of the pieces and has laid them all together in a sort of a grave of their own I guess. Almost made me cry to see them there.
I am always sad and happy when we go up to visit these forgotten neighbors. Sad to think about these people and wonder who they are,so many young people and babies and many died around the same time,what happened I wonder. Who were these people,where did they come from and what did they do in this area. I think I need to make a visit to our library to do some research. I really want to learn more about these families,and life during that time. This time we left happy because the dark days up here are over, forever I hope.
We now have a new family in that house who have 3 small children....a wonderful change to our little piece of country heaven..... so now we're back to peaceful, simple days all centered around our much loved Hopewell Creek.