Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cemetery Photos Part 3

Now for a few of the larger, more in-your-face gravemarkers in the cemetery.

Most of the big fancy monuments in our cemetery are made in pretty much exactly the same style, no matter how many years or decades stand between them.  They've all got urns on top, with only slight differences in design:






And these aren't even all of them.  There are very few exceptions, like the one you can see in the background a couple photos up that has a big ball on top, and this one, which looks much more modern than the rest, but still dates back to the mid 1800's:


This poor guy outlived three wives.  The "Irving" listed on the side of the stone lived til 1917.  I'm assuming he had to be a son.

Anyway, here's the one and only example I found of a monument with a completely different style urn than all the rest:


When I was a kid, I always thought that the thing on top was a peach with a big leaf sticking off it.  Now I realize it's an urn with some kind of cloth hanging out of it.

The many, many urn-topped monuments in the cemetery are actually the newer ones.  Well, the newer old ones, anyway.  The oldest ones are all obelisks and pillars.  And considering how small our cemetery is in comparison to the average, there's a lot of them.  The vast majority of the obelisks have freemason symbols on them, usually on their backs.  There are four in this photo alone, and it only represents half of one row of the cemetery:


And then there's the big daddy of the mason monuments (in this cemetery, anyway):  the gravesite of a family actually named "Mason".


I had a terrible time trying to take pictures of this one yesterday.  The sun was in a very bad spot when I was there, and the statue's front was cast in shadow no matter what angle I tried from.  The whole reason the idea came to me to take these pictures at all was this statue.  Can you believe I'm getting on toward 40 and I never once, in my entire life, noticed the damn thing was there until now?  All the dozens of times I've been there and I never saw it.  Or my eye continuously passed over it.....the biggest thing in the whole cemetery.  The reason was the huge tree that was in front of it, it's branches hanging down and obscuring the statue, until a couple months ago when a wind storm did a lot of damage to the area.  Now the tree's gone and the statue's gone back to being the first thing that draws the eye when you look at that particular plot of land.

So, anyway, this statue is standing in the middle of a cordoned-off gravesite that sits on a raised kind of berm.  All four sides of the monument are covered with the names of extended family, some of which appear to still be alive, since there are inscriptions for them but no death dates.  And sadly, there's even mention of the loss of an unnamed baby,  which isn't uncommon on the older monuments.

The best photo I took all day was of the back of the statue, because the sun was shining in just the right direction to make the colors of the sky and the statue pop:


And because we're covering the freemason-related graves in this entry, I'll throw this one in as well, to finish things up.


The cold weather kept me from spending a ton of time reading things, but from what I DID read, as far as I can tell, this is the original cemetery.  The oldest spot.  I may be missing something, and when I go back again to look things over more closely, I'll retract if I have to, but I'm 80% sure this is it.  The pillar rising above the rest of the headstones has a mason symbol on the back of it, and all the stones neatly lined up to its right belong with it.  They were put in around the 1830's, and are much thinner than the headstones laid in later decades.  I imagine that's why a few of the ones in the back are broken.  That neat row of stones in the middle that's associated with the pillar are very interesting.  There are inscriptions I'm extremely interested in doing some rubbings of, as that might make it possible to read them.  And all of them have a simple rendering of a willow tree stamped at the top.  Mysterious!

So, that's it for cemetery photos!  For now, anyway.  We have one in a nearby town that's listed on the historic register, and it's much bigger and higher-hillier than ours.  And possibly older.  And there's supposed to be all kinds of neat stuff going on in there, with mausoleums and all.  So stay tuned!

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