This Graveyard in the Middle of the Woods

This Graveyard in the Middle of the Woods
Image Credit: Unruly Stowaway
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We went out searching for an abandoned house in the woods. We didn’t find the house, but we did find this old graveyard.

So I guess cemetery is the proper term, but graveyard just sounds so much cooler and spookier.

About ten years ago a buddy of mine and I were trailblazing in the Mianus River Gorge nature preserve, trying to get to the end quicker, and we happened upon a small abandoned house in the woods. Naturally, we went in.

The house had a tiny footprint of no more than 200 square, seemed relatively old, and wasn’t occupied when we entered. There was a twin mattress inside, and a small second-floor loft, but that is mostly all I remember of the little brown shingled structure.

Ever since that day the place has been a fascination of mine. I’ve revisited those woods several times since, trying to find the house, but have never had any luck. On my last visit in October of 2019, I took some photos. We didn’t find the house but found something else.

First Some Background on Mianus

If “Mianus” sounds familiar, you may have been a fan of the show “Jackass” at one point in your life. The place, Mianus, is named after Native American chief Sachem Myn Myano, who lived in the lower Southwestern Connecticut area he is now named after before Connecticut was Connecticut (the 1600s). The proper pronunciation of his name is my-anne-o, and the area, my-anne-us. But the comical pronunciation of the area is my-aye-nus, or my-anus.

In the fifth episode of its first season, “Jackass” filmed a bit about the area where Johnny Knoxville and his buds ask local people stuff about their (my) anus. Here’s a clip (blurry, but hey):

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The Mianus Burial Ground

Isn’t it creepy that this cemetery seems to officially be called “burial ground” and not cemetery?

Here are some photos of the Mianus Burial Ground, located in the middle of the woods:

Mianus Burial Ground

Mianus Burial Wide Shot

Mianus Burial Two Lage Graves

The next few are closer up. Can you make out any of the inscriptions?

Mianus Burial Large Grave

Mianus Burial Large Grave 3

Mianus Burial Small Grave

Mianus Burial Grave

A Random Bone We Found

From the cemetery we went on hiking, looking for the house. Found this bone. Not related to the cemetery, WE THINK! The bone was a decent way away from the cemetery.

(Guessing an animal bone?)
Mianus Gorge Bone

The Mianus River Gorge

After a couple of hours and miles hiking, we gave up looking for the house. The season has turned colder now, so maybe we’ll look again in the spring. We were close enough to the end of the park that we decided to hike down to the gorge. Here are some photos of the valley where the reservoir begins:
Mianus Gorge

Mianus Gorge Upstream

Mianus Gorge Downstream

A Photo of My Buddy Posing With A Tree

IMG_6886

And Lastly, Remember, If You Ever Visit Here…

If you do ever go venturing out to find this little place in the woods (or any other cemetery) remember, be respectful!

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Steven Richard

Steven Richard is the publisher here at Unruly Stowaway. He has written a memoir which will be released one day.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. michaeline

    We are descendants of Mianus, Im very excited to see this post about a cemetary. Do you have any more information on Mianus ? We are a tribe located in NJ . We have traced our roots back to Ridgefield , Stamford, as many of our sachem are on land deeds from 1680 on. The missing link of information is sachem Mainus, which we have heard , died in 1683 ?

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