Caldwell Gravestones Come Back to Life

It was more than 140 years ago when Thomas Caldwell, founder of Caldwell Pottery, died in 1870. He and his wife Eleanor, who died in 1863, started the business when they moved to Callaway County Missouri in 1826. They had a grandson, Henry, who died on Christmas Day on his 16th birthday. Their gravestones stood together for years until they were likely knocked over by cattle. For the past 30 years we had them leaning up against cedar trees. When Herb Domke died in 1991, we formally registered the Domke-Caldwell cemetery.

But last week, Dave Snyder of Jacob’s Ladder, Cemetery Restoration Specialists, came out and did what seemed like magic—he raised the stones of the dead. I had heard from Jon Warren, President of New Bloomfield Historical Society, that Dave was giving a presentation to the society one evening, so I called and asked Dave if he’d come out earlier and fix the stones.

He did. It was fun to watch his process of cleaning, setting up new bases, and setting the stones in them. And then suddenly there they were—together and upright again!



About Lorna Domke

Since 1981, I've lived on the land that surrounds, and will eventually be integrated into, the Prairie Garden Trust with my husband, Henry. Our long-term goal is to build on what Henry's parents began and create a nature garden of sorts for others to enjoy. Over the years I've planted prairie, mowed trails, created a website and done whatever I could to enhance what's here. For a few years I served on the board of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. Since I retired from my role as Outreach & Education Division Chief at the Missouri Dept. of Conservation in 2010, I've started to put more time into the PGT. The PGT Nature Garden blog is one result.
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One Response to Caldwell Gravestones Come Back to Life

  1. Jamie Coe says:

    I was much inspired by Dave Snyner work on the Caldwell Domke cemetery. I wonder where the clay came from to form all the pottery that came from tis property. I wonder where all the Osage Orange came from that replaced much of the native flora came from. I just wonder a lot. Jamie

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