Sunday, July 20, 2014

Miss Ida Vedquam's Church and Gravestone

Some of you might remember my strange quest to find information about a woman named Ida Vedquam.  If you don't remember or would like a refresher, click HERE for my previous blog.
Independence Day weekend found us in the Bottineau area and on the highway that passed near Mouse River Lutheran Church.  I knew this to be Ida's church; the church she grew up in, played organ for, sang in the choir and her final resting place. 
A thought just came to mind (bear with me here).  We don't find that in our society very often anymore.  By "that" I mean having one church church building for our whole lives and beyond.  I no longer attend my childhood church, nor the church I was married in, nor the church in which my child was baptized.  Until now, I never really thought much of it.  Many of our pioneer families build these little rural churches and that church was their church for the rest of their lives. How often does that happen anymore?  Not often I would suspect.
So, we turned the car onto the gravel road, drove the one mile south, and paid Ida a little visit.

Such a beautiful church with it's stained glass windows, covered by strong metal mesh-like screening. (I suppose that's a commentary on the world we live in now-a-days...full of vandalism and theft.  Or maybe they just don't want birds bonking into the windows).  Whatever the purpose, the screens detract a little bit from the beauty of the windows, but I'm sure they are still beautiful from the inside and maybe even at night from the outside.  That is, if the church were ever open for something like a late-night Christmas Eve service, full of singing people and warm light from the inside.  I think that would be a pretty sight to see from the gravel road.

We found the cemetery to be well kept and freshly mowed.

We found a couple of Vedquam family stones and this one above is Ida's family stone, located in the southern, front part of the cemetery.  She is buried alongside her parents.

We brushed the grass from each of the Vedquam's flat stones and could then see the names and dates.  I thought it was nice that her family was buried near the lilac hedges that grew tall and thick. Lilacs are hardy and can endure the cold winters and hot summers of North Dakota, much like these faithful pioneers.  And lilacs seem to be everywhere you look, both in small town yards and on country farms.  Ida probably lived with lilacs both on the farm and town.

A picture of the church from the south part of the cemetery. 

The very top of the steeple there stands a weather vane with the year 1905 on the arrow.  I found that to be really interesting.  I regret not looking for a cornerstone on the church, but we had to get going on our way.
It was a beautiful, calm day, and a nice little visit to Ida's grave.  Maybe someday we'll be able to see the inside of the church.
Until another day, have a happy, sunshiny day. 

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