The things you see when you take the dirt road and not worry about where it leads… Some of Iowa’s greatest historic landmarks, inspiring and scenic views, and unknown treasures can be found in places that rarely show up on tourism brochures and websites. Rural Monroe County is home to such a place.
My entire life I cannot recall a time that felt nervous or frightened to be in a cemetery- day, night or early morning. In fact, I’ve always found them peaceful, relaxing, and full of history. The old prairies of Iowa’s landscape are peppered with an amazing amount of resting places that hold classic and unique stories, but only one has a story like Hickory Grove’s great pyramids.
According to Blake Georgie from the Iowa GenWeb Project, these pyramids were built in 1939 and reserved for two local men who studied Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza. A local publisher, Axel Peterson, wanted his sarcophagus to be entombed sitting in an upright position facing his best friend who would also have his final resting place in one of the pyramids. Unfortunately, Axel and his friend’s dying wishes were never granted as they were both placed to rest in different cemeteries while Hickory Grove’s pyramids remain vacant to this day.
Not even the great pharaohs of centuries ago had complete control of their dying wishes. Only the good faith that their caretakers would obey the last orders given. Little is known on why Axel Peterson was never placed in his beloved tomb that he commissioned. Perhaps someday his remains can be located and be placed in Hickory Grove. Perhaps a modern day Tutankhaten-like excavation of Mr. Peterson is in order and he can finally take the eternal sit he wanted. Leave me out if scorpions, toxic powders, and poisoned spears are involved. I’ll be happy to cover the project from a far if that’s going to happen.
Thank you for reading! -Team Goodvin