Archive for April, 2011

3 Graces

The Three Graces fountain stands in Forest Lawn’s Mirror Lake. The fountain is a casting of the original by Charles Cary Rumsey.

3 Graces plaque

Forest Lawn water

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Haldeman Bigler


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Thompson (3)

I originally snapped this photograph rather unthinkingly, as I do tend to photograph any stone that has a GAR marker next to it Someone else pointed out to me the date, so I walked around to the other side, expecting to find Alex’s father or uncle was of an age more likely to have served in the Civil War. Instead, I found what is more likely to be his son, who died in France during the First World War.

Thompson (2)

So was Alex Thompson, who was born in 1852 and therefore would have been only about 13 at the close of the war in 1865, really a veteran of the Grand Army of the Republic? He is buried, after all, only a stone’s throw from Charles Seebold, who was a drummer for the 1st United States Cavalry when he died at age 14 or 15 in 1864, and the National Civil War Museum displays stated that the youngest documented drummer boy was only 9.

Or, as sometimes happens, is the GAR marker there for an otherwise unmarked burial of a Civil War veteran?

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Daniel McKinley, D. D.
died Dec. 7, 1855 in the 55th year of his age.
He was an eminently zealous and successful minister of the Gospel of Christ and labored various periods as pastor of Presbyterian congregations in Bedford, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Pittsburg and as agent of the Boards of Foreign and Domestic missions of the Presbyterian Church.
Erected by members of the Presbyterian Congregation in Chambersburg, his longest pastoral charge.

McKinley (2)

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Daniel Cromer (2)

Daniel Cromer was a Confederate prisoner of war who died on April 10, 1865. He served in the 15th South Carolina Regiment. The temporary wooden grave marker that once marked his grave at the prison is now in the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Civil War Museum’s information indicates he was fifty-eight years old and the cause of death was anemia.

Daniel Cromer

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Chestnut Hill Cemetery (6)

We just took a brief drive around Chestnut Hill Cemetery. According the “Civil War on the West Shore” self-guided tour available from the Cumberland County Visitors Bureau, during the Gettysburg campaign, this Chestnut Hill Cemetery was mistaken for an entrenched Union position and caused the Confederates to change the direction of their advance. I never thought there were soldiers camped up there, but I can honestly say that after having driven/ridden by the eastern side of the cemetery probably well over 100 timers in my life, I also never realized there was a graveyard there. You can’t see any of what is up on the plateau from below.

Chestnut Hill Cemetery (7)

Other than the cemetery sign and driveway, the only item really visible from the road to the north is this one vault built into the hillside.


These photos were taken from the road that clings tightly to the side of the hill to provide access to the cemetery.

Chestnut Hill Cemetery (2)

Chestnut Hill Cemetery (4)

And here is the drop-off down to the main roadway, as photographed from the passenger side of the car.

Chestnut Hill Cemetery (3)

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Haldeman cribs (2)

It took me a while to figure out that the carved creature at the foot of this crib is supposed to be a rabbit. Look very closely and you will see the long ears laid flat against its back and the powerful haunches to power the backlegs.

Haldeman cribs (3)

I don’t know what, if any, symbolic significance the rabbit has in funerary art – I’ve not been able to find it in my usual references. Maybe it is a symbol we are missing or maybe the Haldeman child buried here had an affection for rabbits or a particularly treasured bunny, whether real or plush.
Haldeman cribs (4)

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Some cemetery statues having flowers in hand, just about to be dropped on the ground. According to a number of cemetery symbolism websites I’ve looked at, this symbolizes the spreading of blessings, sort of like a flower girl (my flower girls were flinging petals into the air with all their might, but maybe some flower girls drop them more gracefully and sedately like the statues).


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Seiler Robert



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I’m sure the family of William Blair thought his fighting days were through by 1863. After all, by the outbreak of the Civil War, the veteran of the American Revolution had been dead for 59 years. But Mr. Blair took one more shot in the Civil War – or rather, his tombstone did.

Blair William (2)

Blair William (3)

The hole that damaged William Blair’s tombstone was caused when Confederates entered Carlisle during the Gettysburg campaign of 1863. Although the only major battle was fought a bit south in Gettysburg, there were skirmishes along the west shore of the Susquehanna River at several different points. During one of these, the tombstone was struck.

Blair William

At some later point, Blair’s tombstone was reset in a a larger monument. The larger stone contains his name and birth and death years as well as the notation that the damage to the original stone was caused during the Civil War. The walking tour distributed for the cemetery cautions visitors not to stick their fingers in the hole, as it is apparently a frequent home for wasps.

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