Archive for July 8th, 2011

Anyone who has followed my blog for very long knows how much I love porcelain portraits on tombstones. Well, when I visited St. Paul Cemetery in Euclid, Ohio, I found more of them than I had ever seen before – I’ve seen other cemeteries that might have had more if they were all intact, but the vast majority of these were still in place. So over the next few weeks, I want to show you these faces from the past, a rare opportunity to see what the people whose graves we now visit looked like.


It makes sense that there would be more of these porcelain portraits, as the practice was strongly associated with eastern European immigrants in the United States, and St. Paul is a heavily Slovenian Cemetery.


Vitantonio (4)

Vitantonio (2)

The particular geography of the cemetery probably aided in their preservation, as well.  The cemetery is fenced on three sides, and the open side still has a small guardrail to set it off from the church and school parking lot.  Until fairly recently (the diocese closed the parish in a cost-cutting measure), the buildings would have been bustling with all manner of people with a good view of the cemetery from the windows of the school and what appeared to be the parish house – a good deterrent for those who might otherwise think of venturing into the cemetery for disrespectful purposes.

Lesjak (3)


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