Monday, March 31, 2014

Greeneville, Tennessee

From Adam's Rib:  If you live in the South (and even if you don't), go collect some data in your local cemetery. Find the final resting places of husband-and-wife couples and make a log of the micro-geography of their graves. Is the wife to the left or the right of her husband? Before you start, generate a hypothesis about the spatial arrangement you expect to be revealed by the empirical data. Grace Land Cemetery. [2009]

Some of Our Dreams Came True,
Others Dreamed Are Not To Be.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Blackstone, Virginia

Color Comes with Spring:  Spring brings a carpet of purple to a cemetery in Southside Virginia. Visitors love the 'wall-to-wall' color: it's a purple people greeter. Unfortunately, this ground cover looks like it might be exotic and invasive. An alien species in the graveyard: that's where science fiction stories begin. Grace United Methodist Church Cemetery. [2013]

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wellington, Ontario

Color Comes with Spring:  Yes, the tulips are heralds of spring, but far more interesting is the whirligig flying high above the garden. Wouldn't you like to know the story behind that? Crown Cemetery Puslinch. [2013]

Monday, March 24, 2014

Thurmont, Maryland

Color Comes with Spring:  Astronomical spring arrived last week. This year, however, it seems to have little to do with warmer weather.  But, just wait.  Soon, cemeteries will come to life – even though that may sound a bit oxymoronic. Here's some advice for your post-mortem future:  If you think you'll need a hug, plant yourself next to an azelea.  Wellers Cemetery. [2013]

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Bohemia, Virginia

Shamrock as Totem ~ Sacred and Secular:   What do the Bohemians share with the Irish? A cemetery and a faith. As you might guess from the name of this place, most of the folks buried here have Czech names. In America, however, cultural boundaries disappear and ethnicities get all mixed up. Not surprising, therefore, to find a shamrock in a Bohemian burial ground. Sacred Heart Cemetery. [2013]

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Windsor, Connecticut

Shamrock as Totem ~ Sacred and Secular:  Anyone can put a dash between date of birth and date of death. But why should a dash summarize a lifetime? If your name is Griffin, a shamrock might be a more appropriate liaise. What would you substitute for a dash on your memorial? As for the dimes....  Elm Grove Cemetery.  [2013]

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wellsville, New York

Shamrock as Totem ~ Sacred and Secular:  What do the shamrock and the fleur-de-lis have in common? They have been used by two different European cultures as symbols of the Christian Trinity. The shamrock is to Ireland what the fleur-de-lis is to France: both nation building tool and symbol of national identity. If you did a census of cemetery emblems, would you find more three-leaf clovers or trefoil lilies? Happy St. Patrick's Day. Sacred Heart Cemetery. [2013]

Friday, March 14, 2014

South Boston, Virginia

Commemorating the Demise of the Grist Mill: The Hupps ran the mill outside of South Boston, and they made one of the bedstones part of their final resting place. Through the 'eye' of the stone, they may be able to see friends and family who come to visit.  The mill is gone (lost to fire in 1942), but a shopping center keeps the name alive on the landscape of Southside Virginia. Oak Ridge Cemetery. [2012]

Hupp's Mill Post Card

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Emmitsburg, Maryland

Commemorating the Demise of the Grist Mill: Two bed stones have been re-purposed for use in a Maryland cemetery. The Shanks may be gone (or not, take a close look), but their mill has survived. It is just up the road in Pennsylvania: Shanks Mill. It's a visual reminder of the past, just like these millstones. Emmitsburg Memorial Cemetery.  [2013]

Monday, March 10, 2014

Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Commemorating the Demise of the Grist Mill: Headstones are supposed to memorialize the dead, but here is one that memorializes the death of an entire era. The piedmont of North Carolina provided many opportunities to harness the power of running water, and many families enjoyed the steady income that came from running a mill.  Speaking of running, this is a runner stone. What does it have in common with the cemetery's other markers? They're all made of granite. Pineview Cemetery. [2012]

Friday, March 7, 2014

Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery:  Although no longer segregated, there continues to be a 'Black section' at Oakland, and here is one of the recent memorials to be implanted there.  Look up Ollivette Eugenia Smith Allison, then figure out for yourself the symbolism of the mother elephant and her calf. It's an inspiring story.  How can cemeteries keep inspiring stories like this alive? [2014]

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery:  The old Jewish section of Oakland was set aside at the request of the Atlanta's original Jewish temple. The new Jewish section is much less crowded and has far fewer Hebrew inscriptions.  [2014]

Monday, March 3, 2014

Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery:  Atlanta is old enough to have a 'rural cemetery' of its own, and it does.  Given the rolling hills of the Piedmont, there was no problem in finding an outlying hilltop that rose above Atlanta's downtown. In the distance, you can see three of Peachtree Center's highest high rises. As for Oakland Cemetery, it has high rises of its own: in the form of Victorian tombstones that also lift the eye towards heaven. [2014]