Monday, July 14, 2014

An Unexpected Trip to Dabbs Cemetery

Yesterday, I was on my way to drop off my oldest son at scout camp, and realized I would be passing right by the grave of Jim & Malinda Conder. It had been a while since I had been by there. On my first visit I found that his grave stone was broken in two. Both pieces were there, but the top portion was leaning up against the part still mounted on the ground. A few weeks ago I had seen a photo on his grave site where the two had been fixed, and I wanted to see first hand how well the job had been done.

I took the chance to take more careful notes about the way to Dabbs Cemetery where he is buried. Starting at the Hwy 48 & Hwy 20 junction, follow Hwy 48 south for 3.1 miles, turn left onto the unmarked road - it is called Fire Tower Road, but you won't find a sign saying it. You should see a big white sign for the Lewis State Forest. Drive south 3.8 miles to Kro Hollow Road and turn right. Stay on the paved road for about 0.6 miles. The cemetery in on the right, clearly visible from the road. If you don't see it, you haven't gone far enough. The first time I drove on the road I thought was venturing on someone's driveway near the end.

After parking I walked to the fence, battled the cobwebs on the gate, ducked under the ratchet strap holding the fence posts upright, and walked straight back to the graves. The wooden shed I used as a landmark last time was hidden behind some fallen branches, but I found my way anyhow. Below are Jim and Malinda Conder's headstone and foot stones; Jim on the left, Malinda on the right.

I was surprised at first that there was no indication that the grave marker had indeed been repaired. In fact, it didn't even look like the broken off portion had moved in the nearly two and a half years since my previous visit. Upon further inspection, the top had merely been placed on the bottom for the photo, not actually repaired.

Since I was there I decided it was time to decipher the writing on his headstone. Photos from my last visit had not turned out to have been clear enough to do this. So this time I was going to piece it out on site. The inscription reads...

JULY 11 1832
MCH 28 1911
Tread lightly upon 
this soil for beneath
this sod sleeps a
loving father

The markings on Malinda's stone have long since eroded away, leaving only a faintly discernible...

Malinda Conder

As I stood there, I pondered on the sacrifices these two made for the gospel truth and marveled at the humble nature of their graves. It is in keeping with what I have learned of their character in the years I have tried to study their lives. Though they could have asked for more from the Church, and were offered more on at least two occasions, they accepted very little.


Ardis said...

I feel like I've been on a pilgrimage this morning. Thank you.

BruceCrow said...

Ardis, it felt that way for me too.