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Finding the Cemetery

by Jack,

I was paddling the length of the canal last fall and arrived at Upper Nicholsons Lock. I had been reading Ken Watson's guide and wanted to visit the old cemetery where rest the remains of workers who built the canal. I asked a staffer how to get to the cemetery. He didn't know. He had never been to the cemetery. He had to go off and look for a pamphlet.

I found it surprising that this individual, working at an historic place, speaking with visitors, had never been to a very special bit of history associated with his lock and was ignorant of it.

The staffer came back with a pamphlet and I proceeded to McGuigan’s Cemetery. It is a moving place, off in the woods, with upended field stones marking the graves of those who died building the canal.

When I returned to the lock station, I encountered another staffer. He said, "You walked up to the cemetery? It certainly has a vibe, doesn't it?"

I had to agree. "Yes, it certainly does."

The staffer I had initially dealt with overheard this conversation. He said, "I think I'm going to walk up there."


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