Saturday, October 29, 2011
A Ghost of a Chance
Local folklore around Mooresville, Indiana maintains that you will get one wish granted if you make it at exactly midnight on Halloween night (October 31/November 1) at the base of the gravestone of Samuel Moore, town founder (1799-1889), who is buried in the Old Methodist Episcopal (M.E.) Cemetery (commonly known as "Old Cemetery") two blocks from the center of downtown. I learned this from Broadway Gal, who held a truly cool and kinda scary Halloween stories reading last evening (Friday, October 28, 2011) at Mooresville Pioneer Park, where a candlelit crowd sat spell-bound as she told her moderately terrifying tales.
Broadway Gal's Spooky Halloween Storytelling
at Mooresville Pioneer Park Last Evening
(Broadway Gal is Standing on the Right)
Besides several families attending were moi, accompanied by minions (The Lady With the Red Hair and Scowl-Face), as well as "Flat" Cauli III. I kept in the dark at some distance away, as I like to observe news events unobtrusively, and, anyway, candle flames could scorch my fur. "Flat" Cauli appeared in my stead.
The Lady With the Red Hair and "Flat" Cauli III
(Extra-Spooky With Those Golden Eyes!)
I've blogged about Samuel Moore before, but if you really want the low-down on our town founder, you need to visit Scowl-Face's blog (try here and here and here and here and . . . well, you get the idea). He can tell you more than you ever wanted to know, or listen to, about Samuel or the town's history generally.
I was intrigued by Broadway Gal's firm grasp on our local folklore, but I had anticipated this particular legend and visited Old Cemetery before coming to the Scary Stories Reading. It was approaching dusk when minions, "Flat" Cauli III and I arrived. I was prepared for anything, and The Lady With the Red Hair and "Flat" Cauli showed considerable spunk, but Scowl-Face hid in the backseat of the car and refused to get out. (Can you say wuss-puppy?) So I had to operate the digital camera.
T.L.W.T.R.H. & "Flat" Cauli III
at Old Cemetery Entrance (Founded 1829)
"Flat" Cauli III Standing Guard
by the Maple Tree at
Old Cemetery Entrance
Samuel & Eliza Moore are buried near the back of the cemetery. "Flat" Cauli climbed the tombstone, but no disrespect was intended, since kitties climb everything, and Samuel liked cats. Eliza, not so much, but she appreciated hard-working, mouse-catching felines.
My little expedition also visited the graves of Washington and Mary Conduitt, which are just a few feet from Samuel and Eliza's. Mary was their daughter. Wash Conduitt built her a house, but she died before moving in. Broken-hearted, Wash couldn't bring himself to live there alone, so his parents-in-law, Samuel and Eliza, took possession of the house. It is the last standing home of the founder of Mooresville.
As we left Old Cemetery, The Lady With the Red Hair and "Flat" Cauli III posed by the commemorative stone indicating the approximate location of the old M.E. Church (1839-1882). You can learn more about the site by clicking here.
T.L.W.T.R.H. and "Flat" Cauli III
on the Old M.E. Church Stone
That's the Washington/Mary Conduitt grave marker sticking out of the top of The Lady With the Red Hair's head. Sorry about that.
Have we got a couple of videos detailing the history of the Mooresville M.E. Church? You had to ask. Once Scowl-Face gets going on local history, there's no stopping him.
So, what about my Halloween wish at Samuel Moore's grave? Well, for starters, it's not Halloween yet, so I'll have to return next Monday (October 31). Then we'll see how much canned tuna-in-oil Samuel's spirit can deliver for moi. That would probably be quite a bit, since, in life, Samuel Moore was a merchant. He established the first trading post in the area and had a general merchandising store for over half a century at the center of downtown (the intersections of Main and Indiana Streets). Once again, ol' Scowlly can clue you into the details. That is, if you can get him out from the backseat of our car. He's still shaking like a leaf, hiding there from the boogie men.
R.I.P., Town Founding Family,
Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Cemetery News Beat