Dan and I went back to Greenville Recreation Area. There were just too many of my readers who wanted to know the story behind the carvings on the dead tree in the cemetery.
I tried to find out online. However, no one responded to my chat or my post on the Old Greenville Campgrounds Facebook page.
It seemed that the only way I could figure out the mystery was to return to the cemetery in the campground.
So we did.
As a reminder, Dan and I had camped at Greenville Recreation Area in Greenville, Missouri. Located right there in the campground is an old cemetery, and in the cemetery is a tree with three carvings on it. That tree, in the feature photo above, has the following three carvings on it.
Upon our arrival, I asked the campground host about the carvings. According to the campground host, the first carving is of Jesus. The campground host did not know what the second carving represents. The last carving is of a native American.
Now, how did the carvings get there?
Well, every year, the Greenville Recreation Area hosts an event called the “Black Powder Rendezvous.” A man who attended this event regularly made these carvings on the dead tree in the cemetery. He did one carving a year for three years.
With this information, I went to the Wappapello Lake U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Facebook page. This page is administered by the USACE Aff and promotes the “Black Powder Rendezvous” event. I asked if anyone knew anything about the carvings. There, I was told that the carvings were done by Mike Clippard. Mike was a member of the Crowley Ridge Black Powder Club. He did pass away in 2020.
In Mike’s obituary, it says he passed away due to complications from Covid-19. Mike was married for 52 years to his wife, Gail, and he retired after 31 years in music education. Mike was a deacon and a Sunday school teacher. He enjoyed many hobbies, including camping. During his retirement years he became a skilled woodcarver and enjoyed native American folklore. I felt inspired after reading about Mike’s life.
Those wood carvings really do tell a story, a story I am glad to have discovered. Thanks to you, my dear readers, for pressing me with your curiosity. I am glad Dan and I went back and searched for answers.
Now, for full disclosure, I must tell you, Dan and I did return to Greenville, but it wasn’t solely for the purpose of finding out about the carvings.
The back story is that we had decided to leave one day early on our trip, so we wouldn’t have to leave home on a rainy day. It just so happened that the Greenville Recreation Area campground was on the way to our original destination. So it was a convenient place to stop for the night, and it allowed me to resolve the mystery of the carvings sooner rather than later.
Now, as a side note, I did capture some additional information about the Old Greenville Courthouse. So, Suzassippi, you won’t have to wait a year to learn more about that old Greenville courthouse. Now, the jury is still out on when exactly I will write that post, but based on “ChambersontheRoad” precedents, it will likely be when we get back home after this trip.
Where are we going? Well, that’s another mystery you’re just going to have to wait a bit to find out.