Boone-Hutcheson Cemetery officials will apparently find out this Saturday.
It is then that cemetery officials will unveil their new 2,500-grave section that should serve the burial needs of the community for the next 200 years.
The so-called "open house" is scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the historic cemetery in Washington Township, southwest of Greencastle, just around the corner and up the hill from Houck Covered Bridge.
Keith Hutcheson notes that the expansion project has been 10 years in the making and has been accomplished with all volunteer help with the physical labor all coming over the past two years as the former cornfield gave way to a grassy expanse. It represents 200 to 300 hours of work, Hutcheson said, from the time the excavator cleared the ground and the land was tilled up, seeded and covered in straw.
The property was previously part of Forest Hutcheson Estates with a significant portion of it donated by one of the Hutcheson brothers.
Some 680 markers were buried to enumerate the gravesites. That was graciously accomplished with the aid of Putnam County Sheriff Steve Fenwick, who allowed the jail trusties to help out at the rural cemetery.
The cemetery has about $38,000 in the project, Hutcheson said, noting that it only brings in about $3,500 a year through lot sales (about 15 annually). That amounts to half the annual cost of mowing and other upkeep ($7,000).
So the hopes are that lot sales in the new section will boost that, especially after Saturday's first look at the sites.
"We want to show people what we've done," Hutcheson said, "and give them an opportunity to buy lots. Somebody will have the opportunity to get first choice (in a cemetery section) for the first time since 1949."
And they need not be a Boone or a Hutcheson.
"Anybody can be buried out here," Hutcheson assured, noting that in addition to those Boones and Hutchesons, you will find plenty of other Putnam names like Sutherlin and Albright around the historic grounds.
Cemetery officials estimate that only about 75 sites remain in the original section and eastern expansion that was completed in 1949.
Next year Boone-Hutcheson Cemetery will mark its 200th year, having opened in 1812 as a family cemetery. More than 900 people are buried there.
Gordon Hutcheson, longtime cemetery board member, says one stone in the cemetery bears the year 1812.
Perhaps the most famous gravesite belongs to Susan Boone Rissler, sister of famed frontiersman Daniel Boone.
The small original marker is still there on the west side of the cemetery, overlooking the valley below. It is accompanied by a larger marker denoting the Boone family.
"Most people think she's still right here," Gordon Hutcheson said, pointing to the site.
"We're still burying Boones," he added. "We buried John not too long ago. He had two sons. The two (Boone) boys say she's not there, that she's buried in Kentucky, according to the Boone family."
Coins often line the top of the headstone, left by visitors for good luck.
You may not have to be a Boone or a Hutcheson to be buried in the beautiful little cemetery, but it helps. Looking around, it seems the Hutchesons outnumber the Boones.
"I think there are more Hutchesons than Boones," Gordon Hutcheson conceded. "I'd say the Hutchesons stayed here and the Boones left.
"But it doesn't make much difference what I say," he adds, "somebody's going to dispute it. They'll be out here next week counting Boones and Hutchesons."