Susan By: Susan

Jonathan and Mary E Reed, one of the greatest Love stories that I ever heard...

After Mary E Reed was laid to rest in her father's tomb on March 19, 1893, her husband began to stop by frequently. His father-in-law's objections stopped that, but after Mr. Gould died in 1895, Reed purchased another vault overlooking the same small lake (now gone). Reed had his wife's casket transferred to the vault, where he installed an empty casket in which he would eventually lie. He them settled into what became his second home. Domestic furniture stood in the vestibule, a woodstove provided heat, and scattered about the vault were a clock, some urns filled with flowers, her photographs, paintings on the wall, a deck of cards, Mary's half finished knitting, and the family's pet parrot (first alive, then stuffed).

Jonatha Reed came out early every morning, unlocked and opened the tomb's door and announced "Good Morning, Mary, I have come to sit with you all day". He did just that, reading to her or gazing at her face through the casket's glass plate until evening, when a guard came to gently announce that it was time for him to return to his other home.

As word of Reed's vigil spread, company began stopping by. By his count, 7,000 people visited in the first year alome. "I had 70 priests one day," he boasted. "22 people came from England, 6 from Germany, and 6 from Jerusalem". Seven Buddhist monks appeared to say that they had traveled all the way from Burma to visit the Reeds. People were always coming out to see him, more and more and mostly women. They wanted to know what his idea was and he'd explain to them that he told his wife that he would never leave her. To others he said that she was not dead at all but merely chilled, needing the warmth of the stove. Occasionally he declared "I love my wife's dust!"

In May 1905 Reed was found unconscious on the tomb's floor with his arms stretched out toward Mary. After he was laid to rest a few weeks later, the vault door was closed for the last time; there was an unfounded rumor that the keys were thrown into the Lake.

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Taken on March 9, 2009
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