The word gate means an opening permitting passage; to defend or adorn an entrance. Gates are practical. They keep things in or out of businesses, homes, and gardens. A gate across a driveway to defend a home is practical; most are installed to protect the homeowners and their families. They make us feel safe and secure.
A garden gate is very different, it’s welcoming and intriguing. I like to look at gates as decorative portals to secret and secure places. An invitation to a special enclave the gardener or owner wants us to enter. Gates can be used to separate and define a garden within a garden. The North Fork is home to many secret places and beautiful gardens.
I’d like to take you on a little journey from Riverhead, our gateway to the North Fork, to the small hamlet of Orient. I’d like to share with you some special places that are hidden behind these gates.
Some tell a sad story starting with the little known slave cemetery on Narrow River Road in Orient. Overlooking one of the hamlets most peaceful vistas, this serene resting place beckons us in through a simple white gate. Humble blocks of stone, commemorate the unknown slave’s final resting place. Two large headstones look over these simple stones. The plaque outside the gate tells how Dr. Seth Tuthill and his wife, Maria, wished to be buried with their former slaves. How sad, we will never know these slaves names or their final wishes. This cemetery is peaceful, unadorned and tucked away down a narrow path with a reflective eminence that is hard to describe.
Next what can I find behind the gates of East Marion?