While I was researching the "Cemetery Safari" chapter for my upcoming book Weird Oklahoma, I came across an unusual burial site west of Tulsa that was entirely enclosed within a strip-mall parking lot. Once sacred ground, it's now a conspicuous patch of grass in a sea of asphalt, a quirky spectacle to the shoppers forced to drive around it on their way to Radio Shack.Link. Via.
The handful of graves had become an absurd sight gag that punctuated the often indiscriminate momentum of American progress. And it got me thinking: were there others like it?
Cemeteries in parking lots
From Roadside Resort:
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Hi Chuck, being from Tulsa I had to check this out. It is across the river, in Sand Springs. Nearly every single thing in the Tulsa area was at one time used by the Indians there. My parents' old house was on land that had been an important Indian meeting place and when I inherited it and was in the process of selling it, the records showed it had never been formally released from the tribe. My lawyer had to travel to the seat of the Cherokee nation in Tahlequah to get the papers signed so it could be sold. This cost me a lot of money and stress since I was living in CA at the time. The cemetary doesn't surprise me, but the shopping center around it does. No one must have challenged it when it was built. Progress.
Wouldn't you just love to be able to ask the people buried in those cemeteries what they think?
Yikes to me that seem disrespectful to those people to be in a parking lot. Even though they have an area for them. On the bright side they get a lot of visitors(-:
I think it's very sad that sacred ground has to be eaten up by progress. Asphalt, people walking on it, eventually it will diminish to nothingness.
I've wondered why people devote so much land to the dead since I was a child, and yet this seems sad and disrespectful. I would have thought they'd just relocate the graves, not pave around them. Maybe the developers were too frightened at the prospect?
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