The first part of this post is a sequel to a 2010 post, That's My Queue, and if you haven't read that one, I suggest you read it first. That earlier post deals with the original "family plot" at Disneyland that lasted less than nine months before being replaced with additional queueing. The Imagineers tried to make up for the loss by putting a new cemetery up on the berm. That one lasted until 2000, then . . . poof.
at least put together something resembling a coherent narrative, even if it has some holes in it.
If this sort of thing smacks of trivia for trivia's sake to some of you, let me smack back: (1) there are a lot of Mansion fans who would love to see the berm graveyard return, so it's still a live topic, and (2) this thing should be documented while it's still possible to do so, before the memories fade any further. The berm graveyard has been gone now for fourteen years. If not now, when? If not here, where? Besides, there are whimsical twists at the end that will send us out in search of artistic influences, a Long-Forgotten staple, so fear not, oh ye right-brain-dominated readers.
but the stone itself was new and redesigned.
"Wathel"; #6 "Dodd" > "Claude"; #9 "Chauncey" > "Francis"; #12 "Mister West" > "Master Gracey").
stones still to be found in the WDW graveyard, but the designs are different.
the texts (#8 "Old Cousin Huett" > "Cousin Huet"; #11 "Borden" >"Gordon").
for that crime, anyway. Below, we'll discover the true reason for the disappearance.
The original family plot was removed in May of 1970, but precisely when the berm cemetery debuted I don't know. It actually came in two stages, the first one brief and miniscule, the second one big and long-lasting. That second stage is the one people are thinking about when they speak of the "berm graveyard." This photo proves that it was there by December of 1977 at the latest:
The earliest photo I've seen that shows tombstones on the berm, however, is probably the one below, which you'll recognize from the earlier
post. That's #1 ("Wathel R. Bender") and #2 ("Phineas Pock") somewhere near the top of the ridge, sometime between 1972 and 1977.
(How do I know? The snapshot is from a batch of DL photos taken after Country Bears but before Big Thunder Mountain RR.)
their original home at the family plot for as long as you've been reading this blog.
the family plot was dismantled, perhaps immediately. Also, this is probably when the names on the crypts first appeared.
(*I suppose it should be noted that if by some freak chance #3 "Edgar" was not added until later, then it's conceivable that #1 and #2 hung around for awhile in the new graveyard. Since our only photo of Edgar dates from 1989, such a possibility cannot be ruled out entirely, but currently there's no evidence in favor of it, and the simpler working assumption is that the new graveyard went in en masse, not piecemeal. Furthermore, that 1989 photo shows Edgar in need of repair, suggesting that it had been there for awhile.)
Right now that's the best I can do with the 1970s, and it's not a lot of solid info, is it? That's okay; wave bye-bye and say a rubber ducky to Wathel R. Bender and Phineas Pock, because they play no part in the rest of our story.
number of snapshots of the berm in 1989, and by cunningly stitching together a couple of them,
we can see what the left end looked like. Here's a montage of some of his separate photos.
The disappearance of "Edgar R. Bender" (#3) ensured that this headstone would sink into obscurity more quickly and deeply than the others. Carter's 1989 snapshot of "Edgar" is the only one I have ever seen, and even in that photo it looks like it's in trouble. It appears to have swiveled awkwardly out of position on its base. That might explain why it was removed rather than repositioned in 1990-91, but who knows? If any of you remember it, you're doing better than I am, because frankly, without Carter's photo, I wouldn't have known that this tombstone ever existed.