Photo of The "Pietz Cemetery" near Scotland, South Dakota

Weekly Gem #114 A corner that is special in some ways

Published 4/15/2017

Location:   This 'hidden gem' is located exactly 1 mile south of the intersection of highways 25 and 46, south of Scotland, SD (see the Clue Me! Map). Imagine driving through rural South Dakota, and every mile you come to an intersection with a gravel county road. Pretty routine. Crops, roads, farms. Then you drive past the Pietz Cemetery, which at highway speed, could have been something you only imagined. I mean, why would someone be buried there?

You know what they say about curiosity, and yet you still turn around for a second look. Sure enough, there is a headstone. Barbara Pietz, 1840 to 1891. Looking more closely, you see another headstone, this one for Andreas Jose, 1849 to 1898. That's it. No sign, nothing else around. Just the two headstones.

Which brings us back to "why would someone be buried here?" As opposed to (for example) the Rose Hill Cemetery on the north side of town. We know that Barbara immigrated from the Ukraine, with her husband Adam, and her daughter Anna Maria. We know that Anna Maria had seven children, some stayed and some left, and there are four Pietz's buried in Rose Hill Cemetery.

This spot must have been special to Barbara. Special, as in, "I want to be buried here!" And I imagine there must have been some reason Andreas said "I want to be buried near Barbara!" And for the last century and change, the two graves have been tended, the crops have been set back a respectful distance, and some passersby have wondered.

If you're driving near Scotland, it might be worth a couple minutes to see this special corner, and see if it doesn't stir your imagination as you continue your own journey.


Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.


Ashes to ashes


The "Pietz Cemetery"

Why It's Interesting

It's just a tiny cemetery, no markings other than the two headstones, and it makes you wonder.

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