Local mystery: who is dressing up the Grave of Carrie Frances Kiene?

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — It’s the mystery of a child’s grave. An anonymous local has been dressing her statue up for decades.

It’s the Grave of Carrie Frances Kiene. Her grave and statue have been at Mount Hope Cemetery in Topeka since 1921.

“Carrie was a 5-year-old girl who died of malaria,” Fred Holroyd with Mount Hope said. “It’ll be a hundred years this summer that she has been here.”

Carrie died in 1885 and was buried in the Valencia, Kansas cemetery before being moved to Topeka. Her father bought 24 grave spaces all in the same area when he moved her grave there. Carrie’s legacy continues beyond her short 5 years on earth.

“Her statue gets decorated with clothing depending on the time of year and season,” Holroyd explain.

Employees said they haven’t seen when or who is changing the statue.

“It’s kind of a mystery we don’t have any idea whose doing it. We just know it gets done and you can drive by and if the weather warms up, she may have a hat and some flowers.”

“Quite honestly, I don’t think we want to know. It would kind of take the mystic out of it.”

Fred Holroyd, Mount Hope Cemetery

It’s never the same clothing. Holroyd explained you will see different hats, scarves, toys, etc. depending what time of year you visit.

“We just think it’s a wonderful testimate that somebody is doing it. Somebody is remembering a life that they really didn’t know.”

It’s a local mystery, decades in the making.

“Somebody cares. People’s heart is in the right place maybe. They’re doing something for somebody who they don’t know who they are,” Holroyd said.

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