Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Memorial vs tombstone

This dapper fellow is Aaron Jernigan (1813-1891), the first permanent American settler in what is now Orlando.

Disclaimer: He is also my great-great-uncle.

He is mentioned here today to remind all ye rabbits out there of the difference between memorial stones and tombstones.

You see, old Uncle Aaron is buried out at Lake Hill Cemetery in the Orlovista neighborhood just southwest of the city limits.

Sadly, Lake Hill is not as well maintained as other area cemeteries, especially when you consider it is the final resting place of so many of our pioneers. The low cinder block wall barely shields it from the hustle and bustle of adjacent Old Winter Garden Road. Yours truly has encountered vagrants on the premises on more than one occasion. Empty beer bottles and cans dot the grave sites, some of them holding wilted flowers.

Anyway, near the center of the cemetery grounds is a utility building. And, just in front of that building is this fairly recent memorial:

But, do not be confused!

This does not mark Aaron Jernigan's final resting place!

To find that, you have to turn to the right.

Just before the fence that separates Lake Hill from the Jewish interments at neighboring Ohev Shalom Cemetery, you will find the plot containing the much more humble tombstones of Aaron, his wife Mary, and many members of the extended family.

See, I told you there was a difference between memorial stones and tombstones!

(Lake Hill and Ohev Shalom are located at 5950-6000 Old Winter Garden Road, just east of Kirkman Road, west of Orlando.)

No comments: