A ring of trees hides the old cemetery from view, but it stands right next to an abandoned alignment of US 40 and the National Road just west of Plainfield, Indiana. It’s in the upper-right corner of this aerial image.

Image © 2020 IndianaMap Framework Data, Maxar Technologies, USDA Farm Service Agency. Map data © 2020 Google.

This scene is the only clue of the cemetery that’s visible from the highway. The small sign calls it Iron’s Cemetery.

Iron's Cemetery

The path back to the cemetery is dark.

Iron's Cemetery

When you emerge into the light, the hushed space seems to be a million miles from anywhere. US 40 is 150 feet away.

Iron's Cemetery

The oldest gravestone I found dates to 1872. The most prominent marker remembers a much-revered minister who died in 1885.

Iron's Cemetery

Unfortunately, many gravestones lie broken, as if casually discarded.

Iron's Cemetery

I’ve driven the National Road from its beginning in Baltimore, MD to its end in Vandaila, IL. To read everything I’ve ever written about it, click here.

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6 responses to “Iron’s Cemetery”

  1. David Avatar

    Nice. I, too, like old cemeteries. One does find them in the most unexpected places sometimes.

    1. Jim Avatar

      I’d like to learn how to photograph cemeteries better. My wide shots didn’t even begin to capture the scene.

  2. Lone Primate Avatar
    Lone Primate

    It’s strange that some of the headstones are in such disarray. It’s obvious that someone’s taking care of the cemetery otherwise. I recently visited a golf course that has been abandoned for only three or four years and was stunned at how quickly it’s gone to pot; plants half again as tall as me… none of that is in evidence in Iron’s Cemetery, though.

    1. Jim Avatar

      The cemetery at my church has similar problems. It’s one thing to cut the grass and trim the hedges, another to restore broken gravestones.

  3. kurt Avatar

    Jim-was there a church at the front of the cemetery, or does it appear to be more of the pioneer family cemetery?

    1. Jim Avatar

      There’s no church nearby. Probably never was one, given its place along the original road’s path. Couldn’t tell you anything more about it.

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