Healing Stuart

Discovering & Restoring Stuart Cemetery, Four Mile Township, Polk County, IA


I already felt badly for little StuartCemetery. It seemed to have an inordinate amount of damage for its size.  Between broken or damaged headstones and stone encompassed by daylilies, Stuart seemed to be crying, “Help!” Then I saw this.


 This was the final straw. The cumulative effect of everything I had seen broke my heart. This hallowed place need someone to look after it. I knew my job here wouldn’t be done when I finished taking pictures. I needed to find some way to help restore this place.

I didn’t know if I was sad, angry or both. If I was angry it was at the circumstances not people. I couldn’t be angry at the caretaker. It’s possible he inherited the situation and felt as overwhelmed as I did. I couldn’t be angry with the township recorder for similar reasons.

 I continued checking each headstone in each row for names on my photo request list, taking pictures when I found one. I drove away I was filled with conviction to heal Stuart. But where to start . . .


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