Posts Tagged ‘bird’



The bird, particularly the dove, is a common cemetery symbol. Birds are used as metaphors for the soul, and depictions of flying birds are often represenations of the soul flying heavenward. Birds signify hope and purity.


Margaret Vandegriff

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I think these birds are a little confused – this statue is of St. Patrick, not St. Francis of Assisi. There was a brief moment where both birds were sitting on him at the same time, but I didn’t click the camera fast enough.

St. Patrick

St. Patrick (6)

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Walking through Chestnut Grove Cemetery in Ashtabula a few weeks ago, I snapped the photograph above. Why? Because I recognized the monument style as being almost identical to something I had seen before in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland.

Sure enough, when I got home and compared the photographs, the similarities were striking.

Mercedes Escobar

I probably shouldn’t be surprised by this at this point, but it still gives me a little thrill when I can bring together photographs from two different cemeteries. First of all, the funerary industry is a business, and it isn’t surprising that a monument might be duplicated and appear in more than one place. And even if the monuments aren’t identical, the aesthetic and symbolism were a shared cultural experience, so artists would reach for the same set of images when creating memorials.

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I did this scavenger hunt that was posted to the Association of Graveyard Rabbits, although I didn’t get the post written before the deadline for the carnival itself. I twisted my ankle walking around Union Cemetery doing the carnival and then limped my way around Origins gaming convention for four days.

All scavenger hunt photos were taken this past Wednesday morning at Union Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio. Below I’ve listed the scavenger hunt item and then a photo of the grave marker that fulfilled that requirement.

Cross – The Birk monument culminates in a cross.


Heart – This very worn marker for a baby named Paul is heart-shaped. I can’t even make out his surname.


Fraternal symbol – For the fraternal symbol, we have the marker for Frank P. Walters, a Marine who served in the first World War and has a Masonic symbol on his tombstone.

Frank P. Walters

Monument – This seemed so general that I decided to feature the Gaddis family marker. A metal sundial sits atop the center column.


– A carved flower decorates the top two corners of the Hagans’ stone.


Hand – The gravestone for Amanda Evans includes a single hand holding the stem of a flower.

Amanda m. Evans

Angel – The names of the two Cooper children are flanked by praying angels.

Iris Lee and Rose Mary Cooper

Bird – A bird, likely a dove, is carved into baby William Wiedemann’s tombstone.

William Wiedemann

Tree – A weeping willow grows on the tombstone of John Lisle, whose 1808 burial must have been one of the earliest in the graveyard, which was only founded two years before.


– I wandered around looking for a star for while before it dawned on me that the Civil War veterans’ markers contain or are stars, like these two for George Lakin.

George W. Lakin

Obelisk – This obelisk memorializes the Lakin family.


Four-legged animal – The marker for little Mildred Ferguson, who sadly did not live to see her 2nd birthday, is topped by a lamb – a four-legged animal.

Mildred V. Ferguson

Photo – Dorothy Price Walsh’s tombstone preserves her likeness for us.

Dorothy Price Walsh

Military gravestone – For the military tombstone, I found the memorial for Medal of Honor recipient Joel Parsons, a Civil War veteran.

Joel Parsons

– Amaranth Abbey is a giant mausoleum.

Amaranth Abbey

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I had a challenging weekend, so we’re going to start the week out light. Because Lake View Cemetery is such a lush landscape, with lots of shady trees, grassy hillsides, ponds, and even a dam, it is filled with wildlife. Here are some of Lake View’s living residents, most of which I have disturbed or offended by wandering around and taking photography.


Just a tail:
Just a tail


Blue jay

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