Wee Infants-- History
The tiniest of infant bodies are buried at Greenwood Cemetery with no markers or identification of any kind. There apparently was a time when stillborn or dead babies were whisked away and buried, and even the mothers were not told the location. The best guess from the ledger is that the notes refer to babies buried from 1891 through WWII.
The official cemetery record indicates a general area at Greenwood where these babies were mostly buried. One of the ‘baby blocks’ has a plethora of concrete stones. Mike says he has to spend time on his knees attempting to read the actual inscriptions and then compare the ‘stones’ to the names in the book, in case the concrete temporary marker was placed but the location was overlooked. He indicates he can’t tell whether the wee one was a boy or a girl. Some do have first names or first and middle names. Just no location.
Mike continues, "then there are those in the aisles with no record at all. In checking the ground, there are depressions where small graves have settled over the decades, and it appears the wee ones were crowded in, with more in the unrecorded rows than in the recorded ones. Those are all in addition to the ones we have names for that will be listed on the front of the new monument. The ones we will be able to list range in dates from 1901 through the 1950s".
In addition to the unknown number of babies buried in hidden graves, there are over 40 infants that are listed in the ledger but without a specific grave location, often listed as "Baby" along with a surname. These babies cannot be entered into modern digital records because they have no known specific grave location. With a common monument to commemorate them, there will be a 'location' and so they will be represented on updated official records.
The Friends of Astoria Greenwood Cemetery proposed a monument to the Wee Infants that would commemorate them so that they will not be lost to the records and that era will also be recognized as part of the history of Greenwood Cemetery.
The goal was to raise $3500 by September 15, 2022 for this special project, but remarkably, by August 17 the goal was already met. This is clearly a project that resonates with all the Friends of Greenwood Cemetery. Please visit the Friends of Astoria Greenwood Cemetery website for more information about how you can help!
The photos above are OM Stone artist's proof of the front and back proposed engraving for the Infant memorial. Work is underway and the engraving has begun! Please watch for future updates!
The "Donate Here' link will take you to the secure Cornerstone Payment page on the Friends of Astoria Greenwood Cemetery site where you may enter any amount for your tax-deductible donation. Please use the drop-down menu and select either 'Special Project' or 'General Account'. We thank you for your generous donation!