Archive for the ‘Cemetery Sculpture’ Category

I’m fairly certain that the symbol on top of this stone is a sunrise, and if so, it’s hard to imagine a more fitting representation of the family’s faith.

Anna (1)//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Our society perceives sun and sunshine as almost overwhelmingly positive. It is a powerful symbol of belief in an afterlife of hope and comfort.

Anna (2)//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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The winged hourglass is a symbol of mortality, but it is a much rarer find than a weeping willow or an urn. Imagine my delight when I found multiple examples in the Olmstead family plot in Harrisburg Cemetery.


Olmsted 5//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

A winged hourglass adorns each step down to the family plot.

Olmsted 3//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Olmsted 13//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Olmsted 10//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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Harrisburg Cemetery has a lot of lovely old funerary art, and willow trees are a personal favorite of mine.

I’m guessing based on proximity to another monument that the surname on this one is Haehlen as well. It’s a slightly different style of willow than I’ve posted in the past.


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On a trip to south central Pennsylvania to visit my family, I noticed that there were zinkers in the Silver Spring Presbyterian churchyard. As fascinated as I am with this type of monument, I had never noticed this well-preserved pair of monuments before.

Parker Sarah and Williams (1)//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Parker Sarah and Williams (1)//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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Frank Irvin

The shell on this tombstone in Lake View Cemetery intrigues me.  A shell like this, specifically a scallop shell, is the pilgrimage symbol for Santiago de Compostela in Spain, where there is a shrine to the apostle St. James the Greater.  The shrine holds bones that are reputed to be those of the saint, also the patron saint of Spain, and has been a pilgrimage site for Christians since the 9th century.  Medieval pilgrims would wear a shell as a symbol of their journey, and such scallop shells are still available today.  Did Irvin make this journey and treasure it in such a way that a representation of it was to be on his grave marker?

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Phillips (1)



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