Friday, May 3, 2013

Cemetery Log Date: May 2, 2013

Murphy's Creek headstone is located in a wooded area along Murphy's Creek in Putnam County.  The St. Johns River Water Management District called us to come take a look at possible cemetery sites and get them recorded on the state's master site file. This headstone is certainly unique.  It looks like an architectural feature (an arched brick windowsill) that was filled in with cement.  The other flat cement slab had us confused because it is so short.  Is it marking a human burial?  Could it be for a pet?  Does it serve some other purpose?

Difficult to get to as its on SJRWMD land, but we'd like to make the point that a headstone does a cemetery make.  The stone does not appear to be 75 years or older, but we went ahead and listed it to afford it future protection (welcome to the world site 8Pu1626!).  If a headstone or cemetery is listed on the state's site file, then future undertakings on public land or using state/federal money have to consider potential impacts to this cultural resource.  If you see a cemetery or even a headstone in the woods, it's worth listing.  Think of Florida during fire season- it's good to know where cultural resources are, especially when fire break lines are placed.
Who: Managed by St. Johns River Water Management District
What: Isolated headstone in heavily wooded area
Where: Murphy's Creek Conservation Area in Putnam County
  • May not be able to visit this select stone, but let us know if you see other isolated markers in the woods!  They need protection too.
  • Good example of vernacular architecture feature reused as a headstone
  • Archaeologists don't know everything (not even close) and in many ways this stone represents more the kind of issues we get called in for to assist local government.
  • Was the 1,626th historic resource recorded in Putnam County, hence the site number 8Pu1626

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