|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Over most of the active lifetime of this cemetery it was called simply Thompson's Burying Ground. In general early settlers were not given to providing fanciful names for their graveyards but followed the straightforward practice of using the landowner's name. Although the name was supposedly changed around 1870, old habits tend to persist and it was still being called Thompson's Burying Ground up into the 1920s. The new name was borrowed from the post office officially christened Ostend that was established down the road from the cemetery on the west edge of McHenry Township. The Ostend post office operated from 1846 to 1878. As is often the case, the birth of this cemetery is a sad story. Apollos Thompson had farmed successfully in several locations before coming to McHenry County in 1842 where he purchased 320 acres of promising land. His son Asahei went back to Ohio to send on the rest of the family while Apollos set to work building a new home. The eldest daughter Abigail stopped off in Lake County to do some seamstress work for a family there but soon became ill. Apollos' wife Lucinda returned to Lake County to nurse her daughter back to health but apparently developed the same sickness which quickly killed her. Apollos was left with the sorrowful task of installing his wife in a new cemetery instead of a new home. Despite the unhappy beginning, Apollos and his son Asahei worked the farm for about ten years before selling out. Apollos bought another place, closer to McHenry and without the unfortunate memories, but eventually retired to Woodstock to live with his daughter Abigail. He returned to the farm for the last time in 1861 to be buried beside his wife. This was a true neighborhood cemetery with names reflecting many of the nearby residents and their children who over the years chose this as a final resting place. Loren Thompson's book Ostend details the lives of many of these people. Today the city of McHenry creeps closer and traffic rushes mindlessly past in ever increasing noisesome herds. Although this burying ground is surely destined to become part of the city, it seems likely to retain forever its present aura of invincible country tranquility.