Wednesday, October 31 – 2007
08:50 – 21:00
Roads: Dry / clear
Area: Rochester, NY
Vehicle: 2007 Chevy Cobalt AYTK-941
Travelers: Wolf, Tori, Chris
Weather: Some Clouds
Plan: Annual Visit to Mount Hope
Our day started out waking up at 08:30hrs and getting ready to go. We left the house around 08:50 and headed to the United States border at Queenston-Lewiston. We took the rental gold Chevy Cobalt I have since my Niva got wrecked a few weeks ago and is still in repair. We arrived to be asked our place of birth, and when me mum said England, we got pulled over and questioned for a while as me mum didnt have all her citizenship papers. They eventually let us go and we were on our way. We took the I-190 to the I-90 East and headed towards Albany.
About an hour into the trip we saw a sign for the Kutters Cheese Factory and Flying J and decided to stop. We pulled in at the Flying J and bought a large coffee mug for Chris. We went on to the Cheese Factory which wasn’t really anything spectacular as we have seen in Montreal or other places. We bought some cheese curd which wasn’t very good as the one we had at the Granby Cheese Shop in Quebec. En-route back to the highway we saw a sign for a Halloween party but as we drove up to the place, sadly it was closed.
We got back on the I-90 and headed out towards Rochester and made our way to Mount Hope Cemetery. For no particular reason we have made this fateful trek each year now for over five years. This trip has kind of become our mini tradition. Mount hope has over 400,000 permanent residents. The cemetery was created in 1837 and is over four square kilometers in size and has some of the most unusual, diverse, and fascinating monuments which can be seen in North America.
We stopped at a flower shop across from the cemetery to buy two roses for a grave which we planned to visit. The woman in the shop had a huge bulldog and pug cross which we played with. We entered the cemetery off Mount Hope Avenue at the main entrance. and went to the welcome room, then started on to our journey through the amasing amount of graves here. It is difficult to document all the unusual things we see here. From the massive gothic churches which dot the landscape (sadly, none are in service anymore) to the small, half earth covered stones marked “baby”.
We started our journey today by paying a visit to the slavegirl Anna who is buried on this spot. Anna lays in section R, Lot 11. The founder of the city Rochester – Colonel Nathaniel Rochester brought his slaves with him when he moved from Maryland. Although he freed them, some stayed as his domestic employees. The headstone of one of these freed slaves carries a simple, poignant message: “we called her Anna” – a woman whose complete identity consisted only of a first name. We lay two roses on her grave. One from Tori and I, and the other from a friend of mine in British Colombia called Reptoid. We took some photographs so I could send him some via e-mail when we got home.
We spent the afternoon walking amongst the graves, examining some of the unusual things. We took tons of photographs of various baby graves, unusual adult graves – mostly in sephia tone to give them a very unusual look and feel.
At one point we found a gravestone with a nice, neat hole dug beside it. Chris grabbed her coffin purse and we put it in the hole, and took some photographs of it. We laughed and they turned out very unusual. We then found a bench which said Blythe Coffins. Aparantly placed there as an advertisement for a coffin company at some point. Tori and I took turns laying down on it with hands folded, and got some more photographs.
Around 13:00hrs or so we left the cemetery to stop at a local Subway to get some food, then returned to the cemetery.
We drove to the old section and walked amongst some of the greatest people in American History including Buffalo Bills son, World War I and World War II heros, Civil War Heros, Susan B. Anthony, Freemasons, and some of the wealthiest men and women in Rochester, NY.
As the day progressed and we explored some of the most forgotten graves, including some which had been smashed by falling trees, slipped down the sides of hills, and been consumed by the Earth herself, we decided to head home around 20:00hrs.
We stopped at the Cracker Barell just outside of Buffalo and then crossed the border with relative ease and arrived home around 21:30hrs.
It was a great way to spend Samhain.