cemetery walking

   Posted by: liz   in faith, family

one night last week, we did what every other american family does on a coolish spring evening…we got ice cream and went cemetery walking!

before you think we’re the next Addam’s Family, let me explain with a little history. longtime smithical readers will recall the folklore of hauntings in our house. if you don’t, you can brush up on our “haunted” house history at this post.

since i wrote that post four years ago now, we’ve learned more about the original owner/builder of this house. we found out that the original owner and his wife are buried in a local cemetery, so we went to find their head stone (pictured – john and mary mcgarvey).

we have also learned that john and mary had a son named gerome who married a sarah and they raised their family in this house as well. it is believed that this son was the one who locked his daughter, a miss sadie, in the attic. she is rumored to be still living in the area, but is not quite “with it” any more. what has been confirmed was that gerome mcgarvey was found dead in the house. at the bottom of our staircase, to be exact.

we know this to be fact because it’s been recorded in official county records, and we have found it online. we also found a newspaper clipping saying that foul-play was suspected, but it’s a cold case.

people talk around here. we met a woman at a local back yard BBQ last year who did her own family history, and she said if you go back far enough, you realize everyone around here, if they were born and raised here, are related. it makes sense since it’s still a fairly rural area, and back several decades ago, there were even less people. and even farther back, you never went anywhere since you didn’t have a car, so you married who was around you. she had relatives that were related to the mcgarveys and she was who told us where to find the cemetery stone with the original home owners’ names.

the pencil drawings are still on our attic walls, but the period dress of the girls doesn’t quite match the stories that are floating around about a girl being locked in our attic, driving her to insanity.

what is factual is the death of gerome in our home. it’s weird to think that he was pushed, but that’s the rumor. at least the story is told with a wink-and-a-smile leading one to believe that it was not an accident.

regardless of the past history of this house, i choose to believe in the good memories we are making raising our family here. i want the walls to tell stories of family and unconditional support and love to the families who will one day move in and make these rooms their home.

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 12th, 2011 at 8:01 pm and is filed under faith, family. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 comments so far


I had forgotten about your attic drawings!!!! I think this stuff is fascinating!!!!!!

June 12th, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Wow – Mary outlived John by 23 years and was 5 years older than he was to begin with!

June 12th, 2011 at 8:10 pm

I have to read your “haunted” house history post, but I find this so fascinating! That is amazing that you were able to track down that much information about your home and its former residents!

June 12th, 2011 at 8:28 pm

That’s neat that you found their gravestones. Just yesterday, we were driving by a cemetery, and I was thinking that it would actually be fun to take the kids on a walk through one.

June 12th, 2011 at 9:09 pm

i share you love for house history. in our old 108 year old house, i loved that we were the first to ever buy it. i loved that aunt edith (the old spinster we bought it from) was born there and that her mom was known for her legendary tomato sauce. i loved that uncle vito was found dead under the apple tree. i wonder, now that we’re building our own house – who will know our stories in 100 years? freaky.

June 13th, 2011 at 7:38 pm

love that, stacy!!

June 14th, 2011 at 6:56 am

What a story. I wrote a history of our land as a Christmas gift to my husband one year. It was a fun project. It will probably stay with the house if we move.

August 16th, 2011 at 6:14 am

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