North Dakota and Montana have several country cemeteries. I’m not sure how other states compare, but due to the amount of homesteaders that lived off the land in the “middle of nowhere,” many small sites were erected. To pay tribute and educate the geocaching public, one cacher in particular, SGT red jeep, has taken the time, energy, and money to create an expansive MonDak Cemetery Series. He was kind enough to answer a few questions concerning his interest to build this tour. I’d like to share with you his interview, a bookmark list of these caches, and my experiences and photos of this series. Enjoy!
An Interview with SGT red jeep
Jangie: “Why did you start this series?”
SGT red jeep: “I started this series because I had found a number of cemetery caches in other states hidden by groups of people, the caches dotting the areas and helping one to explore the country sides. Cemetery Caches, why put one in a cemetery? When I first started caching, the very first cache I found was outside of a cemetery. Early on, I found some caches in cemeteries but they weren’t my favorites. After a while, I actually started to enjoy these a little more than other caches. In the smaller cemeteries, I like to look at the names and try to imagine the nationality of the earliest residents. This gives a glimpse of who the people were that settled the area. One of the biggest reason that I like finding cemetery caches is that a person can wander around the cemeteries and look amongst the likely spots for a cache and no one will bother you.”
Jangie: “What have you learned while placing these geocaches?”
SGT red jeep: “I have learned a little about the people who settled the area around here. In the north between Culbertson and Williston there were lots of Scandinavian, English, Irish and Scottish. I found French names at Trenton. Ukrainian showed up as I got near Belfield and I stumbled across a Polish Catholic Church south of Wibaux.”
Jangie: “Do you have a favorite geocache and/or cemetery? Why?”
SGT red jeep: “In Rollo, Missouri, I did a multi-cache that tracked a person from trial to jail and to hanging and finally to his resting place. The one at the Little Big Horn Battlefield is another of my favorites. The favorite one that I hid is Poker Jim.”
Jangie: “How did you find all these small cemeteries?”
SGT red jeep: “Cemeteries show up on my Garmin Topo maps but I also searched the internet. I used the following website for Richland County in Montana: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mtrichla/richcem.htm.”
Jangie: “Do you intend to place more geocaches at other cemeteries?”
SGT red jeep: “Yes, I have about 4 more in the Lambert area but that is probably going to be it.”
Jangie: “Anything else you’d like to share about geocaching in the area?”
SGT red jeep: “I hope other cachers enjoy driving the gravel roads to some of the more remote locations as much as I did on trying to find the cemeteries. The area is mostly pasture and farmlands but there is an occasional jewel witnessed along the way.”
MonDak Cemetery Series Bookmark List
I look forward to completing this series. Let me know if you have found any of these caches or have any good cemetery geocaching stories. Please share pictures too.
Link to List: MonDak Cem Series
My Experiences and Photos
Over time, I have found many of SGT red jeep’s geocaches. They have all led me down dirt roads that I would not have driven if not for these hides. These geocaches’ locations are quiet, rarely touched pieces of history that allow me to appreciate the hard work and tribulations the first residents of this land had to endure. In college, I took a history of North Dakota class, which gave me a new perspective and admiration for the first people to call this MonDak region their home. It was tough. Sod homes. Barren land. Extreme conditions. Montana and North Dakota both became states in 1889, fairly new to the fifty, but with a lot of history to share. From my pictures below, taken only from three of SGT red jeep’s cemetery hides, I hope to show you a little of the prairie’s story.