Since I moved here almost 6(!) years ago I've been hearing about the Waldo Cemetery. It's an old graveyard and not easy to find since the town of Waldo is long gone. You have to hike around for a bit to get to it. It's a small cemetery with a handful of markers (some are missing but are marked with posts) and all the graves are pre-1930s. Most markers are from the mid 1800s. I can't help but wonder- who were these people? What did they look like? What did they care about? What did they dream about? Were they loved and missed by family back east? What was their life like in the southern Oregon wildlands in the 1800s? They couldn't just trot over to Shopsmart or Dairy Queen when they needed a bite to eat or pop on over to the clinic when they were sick.
We can read history books and go to reenactment villages but I don't think we can ever really understand what life was really like for anyone in the past. There are so many complicated layers to a society at any given point in time that I think it's not possible to really know. I wish someone would invent a time machine!