Archive for January, 2011

The Ancestors at Rest Graveyard Rabbit has a lovely photo of a tombstone from Cornwall surrounded by wildflowers and with ivy growing up the face of the stone itself.

In fact, the next stunning photo I found that I just had to link to was also from the same blogger and featured ivy-covered tombstones. This Graveyard Rabbit does not post as frequently as I do, but the blog includes some lovely photos of Cornish churchyards, so I encourage you to drop in and see some of them.

I love the capture that Irish Eyes JG managed to achieve here.

And finally, a winter wonderland photo post

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One thing I can rarely resist photographing in a cemetery is a grave marker with an unusual or old-fashioned name. Names have fascinated me – how some remain common, a few become obscure, and others cyclically fall in and out of favor.

The patriarch of the Edwards family bore the name Adanijah. This seems to be a variant of Adonijah, one of the names of King David’s sons in the Old Testament.


Almus Witter was a Civil War soldier. Almus is the name of a Catholic saint and a town in Turkey. It’s also the name of a European company, but that didn’t exist in 1844 when the Witter parents were naming their baby boy.


Zenas Kent lived to an old age. The name Zenas is biblical -Paul mentions a lawyer with that name in the letters to Titus.


I’m going to guess that all three of these names entered the family at some point due to their biblical origins, even if these men received them in honor of a relative.

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McClymonds family

Bowler-Burdick family



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This little Maltese cross isn’t very tall – probably only a little taller than your average individual head or foot stone in a family plot. I’ve never seen another marker like it.

Julia E. Crowl

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The Swanson family lost three children in the Collinwood School Fire. Edwin, Hulda, and Fred rest along with their brother Paul, who died as an infant. (If you look along the side of the monument in the photo below, you can see the inscription for Paul.)


My friend Mary Louise, the president of the Collinwood-Nottingham Historical Society and driving force behind their research of the Collinwood school fire, was showing me the location of the Swanson children’s graves when she told me there was something else I had to see. She pointed out to me that their mother, Minnie, was eventually buried next to her four children.


There’s a space on the other side of the Swanson children’s stone where you would expect their father to be, but no grave marker. We found Mr. Swanson’s marker several feet away, looking out of place, and, worse yet, upside down.



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Fair Rilla Perry

Of all the common types of stones that you find in cemeteries, I find this one to be the most unusual. A lot of people don’t know what to call this variety of grave marker, but those who I have found classifying it often refer to it as a bolster, probably due to its resemblance to the pillow variety that bears that name.


I just don’t understand the logic that made someone decide to form a stone into a cylinder and then balance it horizontally on a stone base.  Most of them date to the early to mid-20th century.

Aarne Pehrman

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I posted this photograph a few weeks ago for my “Not Dead, but Asleep” post on how I find figures like this a little disturbing.


After getting the ooky feeling out of me, I studied this monument with renewed interest. Cemetery monuments, or at least their bases, generally boil down to rectangles or squares (sometimes circles). But this one was a bit odd – look down. How many triangles do you see in a cemetery?


Am I actually seeing the figures of three children on the weathered monument top, or am i imposing order on it to explain the shape? After much examination, I was able to make out the barest lines on each side of the monument and verify that each of the three sides had a wreath in relief, presumably with a name below it.


I looked behind me and discovered that a nearby monument had a similar triangular shape. I’m going to guess that the three children interred here were associated with the Smith family of the triangular obelisk.


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As I’ve posted before, reading other bloggers who are interested in cemeteries adds to my list of places I would like to see someday.

Over Thy Dead Body has posted numerous photos of St. Jerome Cemetery in Dublin, opened in 1836 and still in use.

Holisticrocs writes at Sleeping Gardens on the Island Cemetery of San Michele of Venice, Italy. Sleeping Gardens has also featured posts on this little churchyard at St. Leonard’s in Old Warden, Bedfordshire. I don’t know anyone buried there but I love the carvings on the stones.

Over Thy Dead Body has put up several posts on the Old Burying Ground in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, starting with this one that is only photos. It is the burial site of the earliest residents of the town and is filled with interesting old stones. Halifax also contains one of the other cemeteries I would most like to visit – Fairview Lawn Cemetery. Fairview Lawn is the final resting place of 121 victims of the 1912 sinking of the Titanic, including 44 who have never been identified.

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This is my 3rd post on my most viewed photos. I find it very enlightening to see what other people find interesting, and I also remind myself that more people would probably find more of my photos if I would keep up with labeling them.

The 7th most viewed cemetery photo in my Flickrstream is the breaking point I’ve been wondering about – up until this point, the grave markers have been famous because of what or who they commemorated, rather than for the markers themselves. And as I suspected, the first famous marker to get hits without necessarily marking the burial place of a particularly famous person is the Haserot Angel.

Haserot Angel in Snow

This statue has to be on of Lake View’s most famous, and it is only natural that my photo of it would receive a lot of views.

The next most viewed are back to famous people. First we have a monument to Rebecca Nurse, executed in Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

Rebecca Nurse grave

Next is the grave of famous suffragist Susan B. Anthony, a scan of a photo taken on an old cheap camera that isn’t really even readable.

Susan B. Anthony's Grave

Rounding out the top ten is the marker for Eliot Ness, whose ashes were scattered at Lake View Cemetery in 1997.

Ness Monument

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A small number of monuments have two statues upon them. On the Cooper family monument, the seated female statue seems to be comforting (or perhaps educating) the younger kneeling figure.

Cooper monument

The Chamberlain monument has an even more striking representation of the older hopeful woman comforting the kneeling figure. In this one, the seated woman gazes into the skies, but keeps her hand on the figure who has buried grieving sobs in the folds of her dress.

Chamberlain Monument

The statues atop the Morris monument seem to have blended aspects of many other individual statues – one stares upward into the heavens while the other casts her eyes down in grief. The one looking up holds an open book, while the one with downcast eyes holds a closed book, often symbolizing a life ended, along with a memorial wreath.


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