This is the Whitefish Point Cemetery. To find it, take M-123 north through Paradise for about 10 miles to W. Wildcat Road, a gravel road marked by a sign to the Centennial Cranberry Farm. Turn left. The cemetery is about 1.5 miles down the road, on the right, with its entrance marked by this sign.
It is a peaceful place in the woods, with family burial plots, some old but some new. There are graves marked “unknown. There are graves of many, many small children. There are finely carved modern headstones and a few finely carved old ones. But mostly this is a place of simple grave markers that leave you with a strong sense of just what a hard-scrabble place the Eastern U.P. has been and still is for many.
I’ll mostly just let Steve’s photos tell the story. First, meet Jennie House, an early postmaster, seen here hanging on the wall at her grandson’s nearby cranberry farm.
This is Jennie House’s grave.
Mark and Arlene House are buried here.
Sunlight filters through the tall pine trees. Moss covers the ground in many places. The forest floor swells with small hills and sinks with small valleys. This cemetery is a compelling, sobering place. It feels very peaceful and not too sad.
Some of the names of the dead are lost and have been marked “unknown.” But this grave still has the smooth Lake Superior stones in place, arranged as a cross. That was how someone chose to mark the place where their loved one was buried.
The names of the now-unknown dead are gone. But pieces of their original grave markers remain.
Even some of the recently dead are buried with very simple memorial stones
and very simple hand-made markers.
The cemetery has sections divided into small family plots. Some people can even visit their own burial site, reserved just like a table at some fancy restaurant.
Here’s a link to who’s buried here and photos of their headstones.