Have You Seen Riverside Cemetery’s Civil War Memorial?
The Civil War Memorial located inside Riverside Cemetery faces to the left of the engraving, do you know why?
Riverside Cemetery is one of the two big cemetery's in Kalamazoo and some of the first buried here were relocated from what is now South Westnedge Park. Also buried here are some of Kalamazoo's heroes like Colonel J. Westnedge.
Also buried at Riverside is the Rev. Leonard Slater, a missionary who came to the town when it was just a trading post and cabins, is still beneath his 1866 headstone. Slater, however, was originally buried at Prairie Home Cemetery. To make room for a growing Kalamazoo in the 1800s, all those buried at what is now a park by Westnedge in the Vine neighborhood were moved to Riverside. Well, almost all.
On top of the hill here is a Civil War Memorial that does not face the roadway like the engraving does. I had to do some checking to find out why. According to legend, lore or whatever (there is no actual historic reason for this) Civil War Memorials are faced in specific directions. What I learned is this: A memorial in the North will face South, facing the conflict. Same goes for a Southern memorial that will face North. What if it depicts a particular soldier? Well, it goes like this, If they died in the war, they face the conflict but if they died after the war, they face away from the conflict, towards home. Kind of cool.
This memorial is not of a specific soldier so it faces north, which is also facing the graves of the civil war soldiers that are buried here.