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Posts Tagged ‘erie street cemetery’

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Archways represent the passage from mortal life to eternal life.

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Archway

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One of my favorite decorative elements on old tombstones are the little rosettes and carvings that appear on the shoulders of the stone.

Crosby (2)

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Can you guess who it is?

At First Presbyterian Church in East Cleveland, Ohio:
First Presbyterian (10)

At Erie Street Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio:
Eliakim Nash

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To the Memory of Esther

To the memory of Esther
Wife of Smith B. Clampitt
Formerly of New Jersey and late of Philadelphia, PA.
who died March 26, 1835

Esther Clampitt was a well-traveled person for her time. Of course, I’ve been to Philadelphia and Cleveland and parts of New Jersey several times, but I live in a world of cars and planes. She lived in a world of horses and shoe leather. The journey from New Jersey to Philadelphia to Cleveland would have been very different in her world of 200 years ago. I do historical re-creation, but I sometimes wonder how well any of us would do with the physicality required of living in earlier times, without the innovations that accomplish a lot of the bodily exertion that peoples before us would have done as a matter of course.

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One of the most common euphemisms for death that you find on tombstones is the phrase “departed this life.”  I found it on E. L. Crane’s tombstone in Adams Street Cemetery in Berea.

Crane Monument

It’s on Louise Keppler’s tombstone on Erie Street Cemetery in Cleveland.

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It appears on Mary Ann Matter’s tombstone in Old Carlisle Cemetery in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

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The epitaph on the stone, “Though lost to sight to memory dear,” is, according to my cursory research, a both a popular epitaph and an enigma.  In 1880, a London newspaper published a song with that title and with that line as a refrain, stating the song had originally been published in an earlier magazine in 1703 by one Ruthven Jenkyns.  However, the “earlier magazine” did not seem to have ever existed, and the whole story seemed to be an invention.

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As a shock of corn cometh in his season, so are matured souls gathered to the garner of God.

The epitaph for Robert Quiggin is from the Biblical book of Job. It is an epitaph that speaks of a life fulfilled and lived out rather than being cut short (though from our current perspective, 58 hardly seems old) and being ready for death and meeting one’s maker.

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Mary Spencer

Widow of John Spencer

Late of Hartford, Conn.

Died while on a visit to Cleveland

July 26, 1851

Aged ? years

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Chief Thunderwater

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Children

It wasn’t until I had examined this photo several times that I noticed that there are fewer names than there are children listed on this monument – seven children but only 5 names – John, Margaret, Mary, Joseph, and Mary Jane. That’s five if you count Mary and Mary Jane separately. My photo of the other side of the monument isn’t very good, but it seems to only hold the names of these children’s parents, so it appears that the parents reused names. Specifically, they seem to have reused the names of the new baby’s dead sibling. The technical term for this a necronym – a name of or reference to someone who is deceased. This appears to have been common cultural practice a century ago in the United States, and some genealogists have verified that they see the same folkway in the western European cultures from whom they are descended.

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