The Black Cat's Box  LbNA # 56313

Placed DateOct 31 2010
LocationBlooming Grove/ Cottage Grove, WI
Found By speech teacher
Last Found Jun 25 2013
Hike Distance?

Location: Hope Evangelical Cemetery
Just east of Madison, from the intersection of I-90 and U.S. 12 & 18, go east 1.6 miles. Turn north onto county highway AB, and continue for 1 mile. The cemetery is on a hill to the left.

This cemetery borders on the townships of Cottage Grove and Blooming Grove, situated within Blooming Grove Township.
The cemetery was begun in the late 1800s by Hope Evangelical Church, and is situated just south of where the church had been. It does not appear to be used since 1996.
The town of Hope is not incorporated at this time. The small church that had been near this cemetery was torn down many decades ago. Blooming Grove Township took over ownership and maintenance of the cemetery after the church was dismantled.

The clues are in the following story of Hope, the black cat.
Oh…I have been here for a very long time. It all started with Tom, who found me when I was just a small kitten. He raised me and provided for me a wonderful home. Tom was, in those days, the keeper at Hope Evangelical Cemetery. He named me after this place. Tom and I would spend hours here, mowing the grass, planting flowers, trimming trees and preparing graves. We would stand back by the stone shed and watch the mourners arrive with their departed loved ones. They would come in horse-drawn carriages then, everyone dressed in black. It was sad to watch. When the family left, Tom would fill the grave with fresh soil, sew some grass seeds and then he would stand, in silence, for what sometimes felt like a lifetime.

Tom taught me as a small kitten to be respectful of this little cemetery on the hill. I was not allowed to walk over the graves. I was not to meow loudly, either. Tom had a great respect, actually, a love for this quiet place. Over time, I felt the same way too.

Then one day Tom was hit by a bus. And then ran over by a herd of cattle. Then eaten by a pride of lionesses. Only his little finger was left. It was a sad day. . .Oh I’m just kidding. Tom always said I had a terrible streak of dark humor (I am a black cat!).

But Tom did pass, and I was left on my own. I decided to live here at Hope Cemetery because it is quiet, beautiful and peaceful. Hardly anyone comes here anymore. I would love for you to stop by. I have curled myself up into this little box and I look forward to meeting you.

To find me you will have to follow the road directions listed above. Park your car at the base of the hill, please do not drive up. Follow the grass road up the right side of the hill until you get to the stone building with the lost headstones lying against the walls. Start on the South side of this building.

Begin walking south until you find Mary Louis under the great grandfather pine. Continue south and find the Brinkhoff family stone. Still looking south, find the marker that is now four pieces. Very close to this spot you will see four identical markers, in a row, where the rain has washed away all the names and dates.

Looking West to Korfmacher’s stone. Read the inscriptions. Count the letters of this inscription and subtract 6. Using your answer, take that number of steps to the south. You will come to a spot where a fence and a tree have become one. If you walk the fence line west, you will find another such tree. In between the two is a younger oak. Behind this, you will find me.

It is not the best hiding spot, but I wanted to respect the land and the people here. I ask that you do, too. Hide me well when you’re done.

Now, take a walk and look at all the beautiful art and craftsmanship on these stones. Some have been here for over 150 years!