Cemetery at McCulloch's Mills
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Cemetery at McCulloch's Mills

Port Royal Times
date unknown

McCulloch's Mills Cemetery.--Some folks like trees and some folks don't, and those who don't are generally of that class of persons who lord it over those who do. So I thought when I was the hot sun glaring down upon the last resting place of our dear dead friends. There are places in the world where people seek to know that those whom they have loved and lost are resting underneath the sheltering arms of some old forest king--places too where in the absence of spontaneous growth trees have been planted and reared with tenderest care. One congregation however, will have none of these things, as "the ax has been laid at the root of the tree" and they are fallen. Their giant forms, now torn and broken, lie just outside the fence of the cemetery at McCulloch's Mills.

For years they have thrown their shadows lovingly over the narrow houses of the dead. Little children were sleeping in the cool shade, old men who grew up with the trees had come with the silvery crown of age and laid it at their feet, young men and maidens, too have crossed their hands and gone to rest where the leaves were ever singing softly to the dead. Here the mourners have come and sat down to weep o'er buried hopes while the whisperings in the tree tops like angel voices stilled the wild trouble of their souls. Oh! It makes the heart ache to look there now and see the whole hill-tops seem to burn in agony and every tombstone glare in the fierce heat.

Who cut the trees town? The men of course. They met a day when the women had to be at home with the work and decided that the trees must come down. In vain a few right feeling ones cried out against the barbarous set and by noon only a few of the most beautiful old trees remained. But rejoice not, O ye simple minded ones who would have stayed the destroyer's hand! The wolf has tasted blood and will be satisfied. Listen--Stroke! Stroke! Stroke! Can you believe your eyes? The last tree has fallen to the ground.

Why did they do it? Echo answers "why?" Some say the trees were not handsome, I dare say not, to men who could cut them down. Yes, but the brethren who perpetrated the deed intend to plant ornamental shrubs in their place. That sounds very well but surely the two ideas could not be found in practical working order in any one brain of this congregation. Do these brethren expect to transplant these ornamental shrubs from the over stalked grounds around their own mansion or will they have them brought from some foreign nursery? The idea is truly brilliant and its development will not only establish in our midst one of the most beautiful and unique country cemeteries, but will, without doubt, tend largely to elevate the taste of the community to classic standards.

The liberal mindedness of the brethren of this congregation might find further exercise if they would place the old as well as the new part of the cemetery in the hands of a landscape gardener. No more funerals should be tolerated, monuments are much handsomer than graves. The present as well as all future generations be disposed of by the dignified process of cremation. Those already interred will cremate soon enough under the direct solar rays.
-- Observer

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