Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Mystery of The Thomas Graves

When's the last time you set out to discover a mystery?

A friend of mine called me a couple weeks ago to tell me about a small graveyard that she remembered from her days of working at Glacial Park in McHenry County, Illinois.  According to her, The Thomas graveyard was nestled in the middle of this enormous state park and you had to hike to get to it. The prospect was too cool for words, so I put on my hiking boots and set out to find it, which we did. 

This video caused quite a stir among my family and friends who viewed it a couple of weeks ago. They thought the details of the family's lives might unnerve people. I also began to be concerned that people might freak out when they saw this stomp.  You see, the Thomas family moved to the area in the 19th century from New York to do some homesteading.  They took an incredible risk and paid an unbelievably high price for it, as you'll see in the stomp.  To leave the stomp at that just wasn't enough. The mystery of what happened to the Thomas family and the question, "Was the risk worth the price?" are left looming at the end of this video. So many people are afraid to take risks because they fear the consequences.  Many will tell you to follow your bliss and everything will always be smooth sailing, and you will always be protected.  I'm not going to insult your intelligence by saying anything like that because, as we all know, that's not always the case; as this video shows.  But that's not where the lesson of this stomp lies.  The price for never taking risks is to shamble like a zombie through a life half-lived and to keep from making a lasting impact.

Unfortunately, no one knows what happened to the Thomas family after they moved out of the area.  There is no record of where they went.  But I want you to consider this as you watch the video: two descedents of the Thomases have been found.  One in Northern Illinois and one in California.  If the Thomases had not taken the risk to move out here, those descendants would not be here today, nor would they be situated where they are.  I think if you asked those descendants and their loved ones was the risk their ancestors took worth it, they would say, Yes, it most definitely was.

My thanks to Ricki Linnenkohl for directing me to this graveyard and to Kim Caldwell from the Priairie View education department for the background on the Thomas family.


  1. Well done! Great message, and Mr. White - thank you Sir! Continued success. Jennifer R. Bernard

  2. Thank you, Jennifer. Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. McHenry County was first populated in the 1840's. Back then, any parent, even rich and comfortable ones, who raised all their children to adulthood were a major rarity. Even on film, I could feel the Mother's heartache at the loss of her children.
    Barb Blair

  4. You. Are. Awesome. Loved it!! Going to share it around, and I'll be back to your blog for sure!

    Leigh Clements
    The Mystery Maiden

  5. Leigh: Thank you so much. I'm glad you got something out of this. It's why I'm doing that other people are motivated to kick life in the ass!