Pastor Loeber’s sister, Christiane, came to America with the Loeber family in 1839 at the age of 43. Like so many other German families, she was the Tante for the Loeber family. Often there was a single female in a family that ended up with the task of helping her siblings raise their children. Nowadays, it might be referred to as a family nanny. Unfortunately, Tante Loeber died about one year after arriving in Perry County.
When she died, the decision was made to bury her on a piece of property which had been granted to her by the immigration society. Unfortunately, her grave remains unmarked to this day. That property was located about half a mile east of where Trinity Lutheran Church would be built in 1845. Later on, the Loeber family willed this piece of property to the church, and it eventually became the site of their cemetery.
We had an eery, foggy morning here in Altenburg, and I decided to stop by the cemetery to take a few photos. After doing so, I became inspired to make the cemetery the topic of today’s blog post.
The first burials at Trinity’s cemetery were done close to the road on the other side of the entrance gate. As years have passed, burials became farther and farther from the road. So to this day, if you know the date of someone’s death, you can probably find their grave by finding other burials that took place around that same time.
The above photo is taken from the back of the cemetery looking toward the road. The graves in the foreground are rather recent burials. The graves which are farthest away from the camera are the oldest ones. The really old ones are beyond the only tree in the cemetery. That tree suffered much damage during the 2009 windstorm that also took down the steeple of the church.
As is typical of almost every Christian cemetery, the gravestones are facing the rising sun, as you can see in the above photograph. Near the white fence in the background, you can find an area of this cemetery which has been set aside for the burial of young children. I find that area of the cemetery to be a sad place to stand.
Members of Trinity Lutheran Church have to pay an extra fee to be buried next to a loved one, so it is common in this cemetery that you find husband and wife buried in different locations, depending on the time of their death.
Some may call me strange, but I find this cemetery a nice place to visit. Many of the characters that are highlighted in these blog posts are buried in this place. It’s just a waiting place for Christians. One day it will be an exciting place of resurrection. I, for one, look forward to the day when that happens. I am likely to be found right here when it does.