Mysterious Stone Wreaths in the Elmdale, MN Cemetery Explained
Not much was known about the church by local historians in Morrison County, but this is where the power of the internet shines through. So many people came out of the online woodwork to share stories about the church and information on the history of the building and cemetery.
One thing that really interested me on my stop was the old cemetery on the church grounds, mainly the stone wreaths that had been laid on top of multiple gravesites. I thought I would never find out what the story was behind these unique pieces, but once again the internet came through.
I received an email from Cheryl Seelen of Little Falls who let me know that it was her grandfather, James Christian Madsen, who made these gravemarkers.
He poured concrete in a mould around the grave and filled it with gravel. He used a mold to form the wreaths and cover the concrete with decorative stone.Great Grandfather Rasmus Madsen helped him with a few before he passed. The stones were to cut down on the mantiance on the graves to keep them looking neat. The wreaths as far as I know were just to dress up the graves.
I attended the funerals of my Grandfather James and Uncle Russell at the church. Its Scandinavian, plain on the inside it feels warm and welcoming that is all I recall of it.