No Longer Forgotten-Skanee Slate Cemetery

This artwork titled “No Longer Forgotten-Skanee Slate Cemetery” is a 9X12 plein air transparent watercolor of an old Swedish family graveyard in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with unique headstones made from local slate.


No Longer Forgotten-Skanee Slate Cemetery

As a teen in the seventies, my uncles and I were hunting in Skanee Michigan, an old Swedish Settlement located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. 

As we were slowly driving down this dirt road, they stopped and said to look closely in the brush for black slate headstones. After searching for a few minutes I could finally spot the long black objects looking like fingers poking up in the overgrown cemetery. I remember the experience was a bit spooky but very cool.

One October a few years ago, my wife and I rented a VRBO on the same road right by the Ravine River. As we approached where I remembered the cemetery was, I wondered if it was still there or if it would be hard to find. Instead the slate headstones popped easily into view as it had been cleared out and developed. The cemetery looked great and there were interpretive signs but overall some of the mystery had been lost.

I came back the next day with my art supplies and painted this painting on the spot. 

For more information about this cemetery, see this Arvon County site and visit my Flickr page.

Photos of the Cemetery Taken While Painting