• Tue. Nov 24th, 2020

Grief-stricken mother builds stairs that lead to daughter’s grave so she can comfort her during storms

ByHasan

Oct 29, 2020
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If you ever take a walk through the Natchez City Cemetery in Mississippi, you will find one particular grave that might look like the others but it will catch your eye because it has trap doors behind the tombstone. It was in this grave where a 10-year-old girl named Florence Irene Ford was laid to rest around a century and a half ago, after she passed away from yellow fever.

Source: NatalieMaynor/Flickr

Florence was born on September 3, 1861 and she passed away on October 30, 1871. All these years later, the story of her grave is still being passed on because of how unusual it is.

While Florence was alive, it is said that the little girl was terribly scared of storms. So, whenever there was a storm outside, Florence would run to her mother to feel safe. After living a short life of just ten years, Florence passed away, leaving her grief-stricken mother inconsolable.

Florence was born on September 3, 1861 and she passed away on October 30, 1871. All these years later, the story of her grave is still being passed on because of how unusual it is.

While Florence was alive, it is said that the little girl was terribly scared of storms. So, whenever there was a storm outside, Florence would run to her mother to feel safe. After living a short life of just ten years, Florence passed away, leaving her grief-stricken mother inconsolable.

Being overcome with the pain of losing her daughter, the mother made a strange request for Florence’s grave; the ordinary tombstone was not enough for her. The mother had some space specially dug behind the tombstone, and it was deep enough for one to be at the same level as the buried coffin.

Florence’s casket had a custom-made  glass window so that the girl’s head could be visible from the outside. Steps were constructed behind the tombstone so that the mother could descend down the dugout space and see her daughter’s remains through the glass window. This way, whenever there was a storm, the mother could go to the grave and comfort her deceased daughter.

The metal trap doors were included so that the mother could have her own shelter as she weathered the storm just inches away from her daughter’s dead body. Years later, a concrete wall was erected in the mid-1950s so that the glass window would be concealed. This was done to avoid vandalism, according to The City of Natchez website.

At the same cemetery, visitors can lay their eyes on another interesting sight—The Turning Angel. The angel monument can be seen watching over five graves that are lined up one after the other. These graves belong to five people who lost their lives after a massive explosion took place at the Natchez Drug Company on March 14, 1908.

The youngest employee who lost their lives that day was only 12 years old. According to The City of Natchez website, the owner of the drug company was so distressed after his employees’ deaths that he installed The Turning Angel monument to watch over the graves.

Turning Angel, Natchez City Cemetery

Posted by Harry W. Brewer on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Now, why is it called The Turning Angel, you ask? At night, when cars drive down the Cemetary Road, some drivers find the angel turning as their car passes by when their headlight shines upon the statue. Safe to say, we have no plans of ever driving along that road alone at night. Or day.


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