Headstones with age and initials only: What’s the story behind this interesting find?
There are several aspects of geocaching I most enjoy: In rough order of preference they are the exposure to locations I would not otherwise have visited, the history that goes with it, the occasional opportunity for urban exploration, the follow up research it inspires — and the technology which drives it. Of course many geocaches don’t meet all the criteria, but we look for those that do.
On a recent trip to discover colleges for our daughter Bo-Ashley we stopped in at Geneseo, New York. Bright and early one morning, before visiting SUNY Geneseo, we went geocaching for GC1FDBD To each his stone by Lucky46, whose profile picture is a piece of history in itself!
First a tip of the hat to the cache itself: A custom made container, submerged in the ground, that is completely natural and not out of place from above. More than that would be to spoil the enjoyment of uncovering this hide for yourself.
Next is the obvious question begged by headstones bearing age and initials only, why? Lucky46 answers that himself in the cache description “many long years ago there was a “Poor House” or County Home, as it were, north of the Lake Conesus Geneseo Road and west of where Walmart now stands. The buildings still stand. The larger in some disrepair. The others being used as businesses. It was also lesser known as an asylum. The poor souls buried here are said to have died at this institution, and their stones were only provided with initials and their age to protect their families from embarrassment.”
The graves are located here: 42°47’57.95″ N 77°47’9.22″ W.
The ruin of the Livingston County House is located here: 42°47’56.85″ N 77°47’29.17″ W
Back home we did some more research into this “poor house” and came upon the Livingston County House, Geneseo, New York — which I believe describes the institution referred to in Lucky46′s cache.
Now here’s where you have just got to love the Google Books project for out of print books: In the Princeton library there exists a copy of the Annual report of the State Board of Charities of the State of New York published by the State Board of Charities for the year 1903 wherein the Livingston County House, Geneseo, New York is described — in more detail than the clip shown above.
In a follow up email Lucky46 writes “Howdy, I’m glad to see you enjoyed my To Each His Stone cache, and thank you for the nice log. Just wanted to mention that I also have a cache at the poor house you took the photo at. Check out GC1GTXG it is the prequel to the one you did. Thanks again and happy caching.” Unfortunately we didn’t know about it at the time. We thought we only had time for one quick find — but this one was so close, we were right there, I wish we had done more research on site.
Suggested reading: Development of New York State Institutions 1800 – 1850, Livingston County House | Geocaches GC1FDBD To each his stone and GC1GTXG The Poor House-To Each His Stone; The Prequel