A few months back, my wife Pam and I were out for a walk and I saw something shiny in the grass. When we got home, I looked up and saw “a goldmine”. When I got down on my hands and knees to dig it out, I almost fainted when I saw the amount of expensive metal that had accumulated over the years. We were both amazed at how much our great-grandparents had accumulated and it got me thinking that we had never properly honoured their final resting places. So we decided to do something about it. We began searching for a historic cemetery in the area that had a few hundred years of history and ended up finding one not far from our house. We decided that this would be the perfect resting place for our great-grandparents and it’s been sitting empty since 1921. We named it “Goldmine Cemetery” and it was truly a labour of love.

A Short History Of Goldmine Cemetery

In September 2020, the first anniversary of our great-grandparents’ burial was approaching and we still hadn’t found a headstone for our ancestors. We drove over to Goldmine Cemetery one afternoon and stood in front of the oldest markers, which were constructed out of wood in the mid-19th century. We were overwhelmed at how many pioneers, miners and other working-class men and women had resting places in such a picturesque spot. All of a sudden, the idea for a headstone project entered our heads. The next day, we went to a local office of gravestones and asked about headstones for sale. The woman behind the counter seemed surprised that we wanted to buy one but then she saw our great-grandparents’ markers and got excited about the project. She called over her colleague and showed them our great-grandparents’ stones. They were both impressed and remembered seeing similar markers in the area when they were children. They helped us look for options and recommended a slate headstone for our budget. The more we looked at them, the more we liked. We ended up choosing two adjacent graves, as we wanted to pay tribute to both our parents who had recently passed away. We also added an epitaph for Pam and I, as a couple.

The Cost Of One Of These Graves

Let’s back up a little bit and tell you about the cost of one of these headstones. A regular sized headstone for the same price as a standard letterbox would cost you around £800 today. If you’re thinking about buying one, you’d better make sure you have the money upfront or you’ll be in for a shock when the bank asks for the repayment of the loan. We decided that we’d like to add a small headstone for our parents’ graveside and as they had both recently passed away, we didn’t want to wait for the end of the year to add another one. So we chose a semi-circular headstone for £400. This would be a smaller and simpler option as far as headstones go and we were actually surprised at how quick and easy it was to put together. Plus, it only had one word on it- “Beloved” – which is all we wanted. It was a no-brainer. We decided that we’d like one for Matron’s grave as well and this one was even smaller and simpler with only her name and date of death on it. This one cost us £200. It was such an easy and affordable way to add these simple epitaphs to our parents’ graveside.

A Few Words About Our Ancestors

When we found Goldmine Cemetery, we were overwhelmed by just how many pioneer ancestors were buried there. The more we looked into the history of our great-grandparents, the more we learned about them. We researched their family histories and found that our great-grandparents had emigrated from England in the early 1800s and arrived in Wisconsin in 1851. They initially worked as miners in the area before eventually retiring and moving to a farm. When World War I broke out in 1914, my great-grandfather Jack enlisted in the army and worked his way up from the rank of private to the rank of captain before being wounded at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. He was subsequently awarded the Military Medal for bravery in action and his injuries forced him to retire from the army. He later died of cancer in 1935, aged 62. My great-grandmother Alice died just a few months after my grandfather in September 1936. They’re both buried at Goldmine Cemetery. It was a very emotional moment for us when we put together their epitaphs. We chose to commemorate their lives by writing “World War I” and “World War II” on their stones as the battles that they fought in are still being fought today. Our research also revealed that our great-grandparents were both intrepid women and it was particularly moving to see how they stood up for what they believed in despite the odds. It’s an incredible story and one that we’re very proud of.

How Do I Register My Interest In This Grave?

So you’ve decided to buy a headstone for your loved ones after all. Congratulations! You now have a spot reserved in paradise for the afterlife. The next step is to register your interest in the grave with the Cemetery Director. You can do this by sending an email to the Cemetery Office and they will contact you to make sure that you’re a legitimate buyer. Be sure to include your full name, contact details and a written indication of why you’re interested in this particular grave. You can also leave a short message for the departed to be engraved on the headstone. This will also make the whole process go much more smoothly when it comes time for the actual purchase of the headstone.