Posts Tagged ‘lexington’

The internet is a strange place. People come looking for all sorts of things, and occasionally they stumble on my blog and photographs. About once a week I check on the stats for the blog to see what brings people here, and I probably look at my Flickr stats about once a month to see what photos are getting the most views.

For reasons that I have yet to fathom, my most viewed photo on Flickr is a fairly grainy shot of my grandfather’s hunting themed birthday cake that probably predates my birth. But what I wanted to look at today was my most viewed cemetery photos.

The most viewed cemetery photo of all (4th most viewed of all photos) is one from the Nurse family cemetery at the Rebecca Nurse homestead in Danvers, Massachusetts. It lists the names of the people who testified on Rebecca Nurse’s behalf during the Salem Witch Trials.

Salem Monument

This makes a lot of sense to me, as the Salem Witch trials elicit a lot of interest even today. My 4th most viewed cemetery photo is the stone cenotaph for Rebecca Nurse at the Salem Witch Trials Memorial.

Rebecca Nurse stone

Number two is my rather poor photo of the stone for Helen Pitts Douglass from Rochester, New York. I’m guessing it gets the hits it does because Frederick Douglass, her husband, is mentioned in the description.

Grave of Helen Pitts Douglass

The third and fifth most viewed cemetery photos are for Confederate general’s graves in the same town: Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.

Stonewall Jackson's grave

Robert E. Lee's tomb

These photos, poor as many of them are, have received well over 100 views each. I’m going to revisit this again, because I am curious about what photos of mine that aren’t of famous people’s graves get visitors.

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Two years after the American West trip, I earned my final credits for graduation on another road trip course that toured the American South, and that was really the next time that I took any tombstone photographs. But I began to feel the pull of graveyards – during our visit to New Orleans, one of my disappointments was that I didn’t manage to squeeze in a tour of any of the famous cemeteries (My friend Matt and I did join in on a Ghost Tour that centered on the French Quarter.)

Robert E. Lee's tomb

Stonewall Jackson's grave

As part of the course, we visited the cemetery where General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson is interred and General Robert E. Lee’s tomb on the campus of Washington and Lee University. I still restricted my cemetery photograph to “famous” graves, but my definition of famous had expanded a little. In addition to Stonewall Jackson and Lee, I took photographs of other Confederate officers’ grave markers.

William Pendleton Grave

Col. Alexander Pendleton, CSA

I look back at the photographs from this trip, and I could kick myself. I see all those other tombstones in the background of the Jackson and Pendleton photos, and I wish I had known then how fascinated I would become with cemeteries.

And, why, oh, why, didn’t I get a photograph of the marker for Lee’s horse, Traveller, who rests just outside the chapel door?

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