Posts Tagged ‘lakeside cemetery’


I love the name True on this tombstone.  It’s not a name you see very often.



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The Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them who fear Him and delivereth them.

This epitaph was just different and unusual enough that I thought it needed its own post. It’s such an archaic-sounding epitaph that it seems odd that it is on the tombstone of someone who lived into the 20th century. Part of that is the old-fashioned suffix “-eth.” The other thing that makes it sound strange to our modern ears is the word “fear.” This was one of the words that I had the hardest time wrapping my head around when reading older texts. Fear doesn’t mean terror, like you feel when you are really scared. There may be an element of trepidation in it, but it’s more a matter of awed respect. Much of this connotation of fear has been lost to us, other than the adjective “God-fearing.”

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Unknown Soldier

According to Vicki Blum Vigil’s Northeast Ohio Cemeteries book, this replacement stone really does mark the burial of Bay Village’s own unknown soldier. One day, the residents of Bay Village were surprised to find a body washed up on the lakefront beach. The man was clad in a Union uniform. He was never identified.

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This has been today’s edition of juxtapositions of names on tombstones that make me giggle.

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While we expect that simple tombstones might be alike in some way, I think that there is an assumption that even I have that as a monument gets larger, it is more and more likely to be unique. There is a particular statue design, though, that I have found at least twice now.

She’s veiled and draping a wreath of flowers around a cross. I’ve found her in Lakeside Cemetery in Bay Village, Ohio.

Cahoon monument

I’ve found in her Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.


From the fact that the design is not unique and the amount of erosion on her compared to other statues, I’m going to guess that she is a slightly less expensive statue that those found around her. That still probably isn’t saying much – a monument with any statue is still far more costly than a simple, flat stone.

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One of the things I have noticed is how often death by drowning is mentioned on a tombstone, like this on at Fort Meigs Cemetery in Perrysburg, Ohio.

F. X. Belanger Sr.

Only a fraction of tombstones make any mention of how the deceased, well, got to be deceased.  The practice was more common in the early 19th century, but drowning continues to show up after other causes of death have disappeared from grave markers.

The back of the Prentice stone in Chestnut Grove Cemetery in Ashtabula tells us that Charles J. Copeland drowned in Lake Erie in 1887.


We already looked at photographs of grave markers at Lakeside Cemetery and Erie Street Cemetery that specifically mention drowning.

Dr. Cudell’s stone at Lake View tells us that he drowned:
Adolph Cudell, M.D.

Why does drowning elicit special mention? Is it our relationship with water – an element essential to our survival that can nonetheless be deadly? Does it have anything to do with the symbolism of baptism for Christians, who all of these dead seem to nominally be? Or is it because drowning is so sudden, that fatigue and water can overcome even the strongest, healthiest man within a short time?

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Some of the most compelling epitaphs I read are the ones that seem to ignore the cemetery visitor entirely and speak directly to the dead.

The Scholls’ grief manifested itself into a message directly to their lost son in Lakeside Cemetery.
William Scholl

“We miss thee, Willie,” the stone reads.

It’s a little hard to read because of the angle, but the inscription above Jonathan Bates’ name is “How desolate our home, bereft of thee…” This stone is one of the six behind the Lakewood Historical Society in their herb garden, and I could not get closer without stepping on the plants.

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