We got to talk a lot of science in a rural setting over the weekend, in the Spring Mill Inn in Mitchell, Indiana (original home of Gus Grissom, the second US astronaut in space). We had an afternoon off to explore the surrounding Spring Mill state park, which we did with great gusto. In case anybody is wondering at the amount of padding that I have on, it was entirely due to the weather being approximately -18 degrees C.
This is a graveyard for the Hamer family. We could not read the carving on the earliest graves, so do not know how old they are. The ones we could read ranged from 1850 or so. Sadly there were many little graves of very young children. The information sign said that the average age was 27 of the people buried there. Many graves were of US soldiers and had little flags by them. I assume that they lived in the pioneer village that we visited next, but it was not clear.
Pioneer village, leather shop. The door was locked so could not get in.
Blacksmith's shop. Right next to what I presume were the stables, which were actually filled with a wagon and carriages and what looked like a sled.
The pioneers had to go in the woods... because their toilets were closed!
It's great to see the progress of science, both at the conference, and during the hike. The horse-drawn carriages and lack of restrooms reminded me of the progress in technology that enabled me to visit this place with very low risk. The graveyard reminded me of the high infant mortality of the 1800s. It also brought home that adult lifespan has increased since then due to progress in the biological sciences. Unfortunately we have not progressed so much socially since then, soldiers and civilians are still dying due to war, that has not changed since the 1800s.