I found the gate locked, and since there was a phone number posted on it I took this photo, thinking I'd call later and hopefully be allowed an appointment to go in some other day.
Just the information here made me want to see the inside. The smaller plaque to the side states that the graves of 17 WWI era German Soldiers are also at this cemetery.
I was about to walk on, but then someone called to me over the gate and about a minute later, the door opened.
There was an old man in there with two younger men--the old man explained that I was welcome to see the site for $4. I didn't have $4, but I did have LL 20,000 ($13). For about half a second I weighed my options and inwardly rolling my eyes at myself, I handed over the LL 20,000. He told me I wouldn't be allowed to take pictures, but I insisted that I would and he said no more.
It was wild in there, weeds grew up to my knees. Most of the headstones were broken, and many of them had German inscriptions--not just of soldiers, but regular people. There were several nationalities in there. I tried to take good photos of everything but fell short.
This one in particular caught my eye. Here are two views of it taken while facing north (on the left) and east (on the right). The inscription in the photo on the left reads "Appointed United States Consul to Beirut Syria September 21st 1893". Times have changed. Beirut isn't in Syria these days. The inscription in the photo on the right says:
Far hence he lies in some lone Syrian town,
And on his grave with shining eyes
The Syrian Stars look down.
I have a third photo of this marker that gives the death date as September 20, 1896. But somehow I missed the fourth side that would have included his name.
It took an insupportable amount of googling, but I did eventually find out who the American Consul to Beirut was in 1893. His name was Thomas R. Gibson (T.R.G.). He was a newspaper editor from Georgia, appointed consul to Beirut during the administration of US President Grover Cleveland and died of small pox while in service. Gibson was a childhood friend of Woodrow Wilson, who was elected US President years later (1912). It is through that connection that I found a brief biography of him, from which almost all of what I've related here was taken.