Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Trip to a Cemetery

While visiting family, I wandered through the town cemetery. I lived in this town for 17 years and have visited at least annually for another 30, but I've never been in the cemetery.

Large gravestone with an anvil carved at the top
This stone, from the late 1800s, was probably the most distinctive. I assume Mr. Moses was a blacksmith. (Click to see any image at a larger size.)

Two 19th century gravestones for two women, married to the same man
These two stones mark the graves of two women who were married to the same man (not at the same time -- one died in 1820 and the other in 1853). The husband's stone is to their left. I wonder if the second woman wanted her stone to be identical to her predecessor's?

And do you wonder what that illustration is at the top? Does it appear to be...a pair of buttocks?

Rest assured that it is not. It's a tree:

Willow tree carved into a stone
...a variant of this much more nicely engraved one. "The [willow] tree was the most popular gravestone image in the nineteeth century up to 1860. It clearly emphasized the mourning and sadness of those left behind" (source).

Stone for a woman named Hepzibah
Here's one of those great names that none of us ever gives our daughters any more. I wonder why not?

Stone for a woman named Experience
And then there is Experience, wife of Daniel Churchill. Now that's a name that should be brought back. Imagine all those little girls called Ex for short.

Postscript: Almost all of us have words we habitually misspell. "Cemetery" is one mine. To me, the final "e" seems like it should be an "a." But I know I have this problem and so each time I write it I challenge myself to make sure it's correct.

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