That’s all there is left to Holland Island, really. A patch of spartina grass. Wooden beams poking up from the waves just off shore, where the last house stood.
And about a dozen gravestones beside a pile of bricks. Above the small island rises this enormous, twisted tree -– its branches filled with dozens of cormorant nests. From the trunk of this tree, at an angle, juts a bone-white slab of stone that is being absorbed by the tree roots.
The headstone is now part of the tree. Next to it is a stone that reads: “In Memory of Effie L. Wilson, daughter of John W. and Anne E. Wilson. Born Jan 16, 1880. Died Oct. 12, 1893. Aged 13 years, eight months, 27 days.” And then an inscription: “Forget me not, tis all I could ask for.”