Ritchey has had two weekend long activities with Relay for Life – for the American Cancer Society – for the past two weekends. This was our weekend to spend together. Sunday after church we drove to Springfield to eat lunch at Mordecai’s. Naturally, you can order from the menu, but everyone gets the buffet. Normally I do not eat from buffets, but this is the one exception I make! Mordecai’s has the most fantastic food! In fact, their wait staff wears shirts that say, “Life’s too short for average food!”
A sign outside the door announces the menu for the day – well, at least part of it! Turkey and dressing caught my eye! There was also fried chicken, ham, Italian green beans, sweet potatoes, corn, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce, breakfast items, a station to make omelets to your specification – so many choices! I’ve waited until this moment to mention the whipped red potatoes – light, delicate, just the right amount of butter and cream – so very good! The salad bar is always fresh and includes a huge platter of fresh fruit. There are several soups offered and at least five or six desserts. I always get cherry cobbler – it’s my favorite, so why mess with a good thing!
Our hostess seated us immediately. It is a very pleasant atmosphere – a hometown feel – which, of course, it is. Most people there were locals – some were having breakfast, some Sunday dinner. Friday and Saturday nights draw people from out of town – several counties away – to enjoy the good food and company. It is especially a homecoming for me since my mother grew up in Springfield. The building that houses Mordecai’s used to be the IGA foodstore – I was there many times with my grandmother!
Since I didn’t know, as we left I asked our hostess why they chose the name Mordecai’s. Abraham Lincoln’s uncle, Mordecai Lincoln, lived a short distance outside the city limits of Springfield. His house, built in 1797, is still standing in the original spot. Abraham’s father and mother were married in Washington County, very near the Mordecai Lincoln home. This is Lincoln country! Lincoln Park is just past Mordecai’s home. As a young child I remember visiting the park and going through the buildings – remembrances of days gone by. But I had not seen Mordecai’s house!
As with anything else new, Ritchey and I couldn’t resist driving to the Lincoln house for a photo. The rest of our day was spent driving the backroads of Washington County, looking for small cemeteries and taking gravestone photos. We actually follow maps since it is easy to get lost on the tiny roads – some that are so small it’s hard to meet an oncoming car! This doesn’t sound interesting to most people, but it is what we do. At the rate the older stones are deteriorating it will be impossible to photograph all in the neighboring counties before they are unreadable. This is an important part of our heritage. No one should be forgotten.
I photographed all the stones at Hillsboro Church – many have been broken and removed! This church is no longer used for services. The sky was such a gorgeous blue! At a cemetery at the corner of Coulter Road and Glenn Creek Lane the grass was waist high! We will return in late fall and try to get better pictures.
We tried to find several other small cemeteries on our map, but with no luck. As we were driving back to Harrodsburg Ritchey asked if I had ever been to the Old Mud Meeting House, one of only two that have survived in Kentucky. I had not. Then he told me a cemetery was beside the meeting house. I was excited, but not prepared for what we found. This was a Dutch Reformed Church, established by 50 families who came to Mercer County from Pennsylvania in 1781. There are 25 – count them – 25 Revolutionary War veterans buried in this cemetery! The Sons of the American Revolution have placed plaques with their name, birth and death dates, the name of their regiment and their rank.
Many of the stones are in bad shape – lichens are destroying them little by little. Erosion from the elements plays its part, too. Both sides of this stone look alike – the writing has faded – time has taken its toll.
My goal is to get good pictures of each stone and each plaque; and draw a map of the placement of stones. If not done now, in a few years most of the stones will be unreadable.
This is a fairly large cemetery, all old stones – with a few of the above ground monuments that were popular at one time. A couple of these are crumbled and broken. The Old Mud House is being restored to be viewed and enjoyed by future generations – the cemetery needs the same care – to be photographed and cataloged for posterity. Instead of a recipe, today you got a genealogy tour and a history lesson!