Friday, May 29, 2015

Julian, California

Focus on Haven of Rest Pioneer Cemetery:  Marshal South wrote poems, stories, essays, and novels. He was also a painter and sculptor. The remains of his homestead lie in ruins on Ghost Mountain. His remains lie in peace in Haven of Rest Cemetery. Here he lies buried under a name he took when he came to California, rather than the name he was given in his native Glenelg, Australia. [2013]

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Julian, California

Focus on Haven of Rest Pioneer Cemetery: Here's a couple who was proud of their community, proud of their horses, and proud of their love for each other. Shelter Valley is an unincorporated place (apparently one without a cemetery) about 12 miles east of Julian. It is now completely surrounded by the Anza-Borrego State Park. [2013]

Monday, May 25, 2015

Julian, California

Focus on Haven of Rest Pioneer Cemetery:  A pioneer cemetery is a plot of land where the first settlers in an area were laid to rest. This one was founded in the 1870s. It occupies a classic location for cemeteries: on a hill overlooking town. The early pioneers also share a classic biography: prospectors-cum-farmers. The gold rush was short lived in Julian, but long enough (a decade) to give denizens of the 21st century an excuse to commune with the spirits of the ancestors: "Gold  Rush Days" are coming up next month. [2013]

Friday, May 22, 2015

Cortez, Colorado

"I Felt My Heart Strangely Warmed" ~ May 24, 1728:  John Wesley was born as the 15th child of Susanna and Samuel Wesley in Epworth, England. That's why so many Methodist churches carry the name Epworth. If you were able to ask the founder of the Methodist movement on what day he was born, he would have said June 28. The proud Methodist buried here, perhaps in an effort to affirm his believer status, chose to die on the 185th anniversary of Wesley's birth. Now the riddle: If Wesley was born on June 28 (1703), why do we commemorate his birthday on June 17? [2013]

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hyacinth, Virginia

"I Felt My Heart Strangely Warmed" ~ May 24, 1728:  John Wesley's born-again experience took place on Aldersgate Street in London. That's why there are so many Methodist churches that carry the name Aldersgate. Methodists everywhere are getting ready to celebrate Aldersgate Sunday this coming week-end. Henderson United Methodist Church Cemetery. [2014]

Monday, May 18, 2015

Canal Winchesher, Ohio

"I Felt My Heart Strangely Warmed" ~ May 24, 1728:  "In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death." The words are John Wesley's and they are from his diary. Union Grove Cemetery. [2014]

Friday, May 15, 2015

Itasca, Texas

Grave Guardians ~ Egyptian Revival?  The Christian Era brought to an end the belief in pagan spirits. But, the concept of the grave guardian continued. Angels took their place. In fact, the adjective that most often precedes angel is "guardian." Like their heathen ancestors, they live in the realm of supernatural beings. Luke Tipton Cemetery. [2012]

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

College Park, Georgia

Grave Guardians ~ Egyptian Revival?  Another grave guardian from the world of American sport. Do you recognize him? He's the Georgia bulldog, and he commands the loyalties of all University of Georgia football fans. Would you want him by your side as you stand before Osiris, the ancient Egyptian god of the underworld, in the Hall of Judgement? College Park Cemetery. [2015]

Monday, May 11, 2015

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Grave Guardians ~ Egyptian Revival?   Are the Giza Sphinx and the Nittany Lion comparable when you find them graveside? Aren't they both guardian spirits? Now have some fun. Count the toes on each foot; count the toes on the headstone pawprints; compare. Ready to track down the story? It will lead you to State College, Pennsylvania, and to the way in which pop culture transforms our lives even unto death. Just read the epitaph: "Some people come into our lives and quietly go. You came into my life and left a pawprint on my heart. And it will never be the same." Lewisburg Cemetery. [2013]

Source: Geographically Yours

Friday, May 8, 2015

Woodville, Wisconsin

Shabtis ~ Egyptian Revival?  Everyone needs a shabti to go riding with in the afterlife. Do some reading about the form and function of shabtis in ancient Egyptian burial practices. Then compare what you find to the form and function of countless small figurines that are part of the contiguous zone of so many graves in North America. Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery. [2012]

The Manchester Museum

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Niagara Falls, Ontario

Shabtis ~ Egyptian Revival?  Bert, Ernie, and Rubber Ducky: Are they meant to be helpers in the afterlife just as the shabtis were for ancient Egyptian royalty?  Bert may be there to cook oatmeal, Ernie to count sheep, and Rubber Ducky to help in the bathtub. Lundy's Lane Cemetery. [2013]

(British Museum collection)

Monday, May 4, 2015

New Orleans, Louisiana

Shabtis ~ Egyptian Revival? In ancient Egyptian eschatology, a member of the nobility would need servants in the afterlife. So, little figurines known as shabtis were entombed with the deceased. Some say the original custom was to bury flesh-and-blood servants with departed royalty. Today, many graves in North America are adorned with helper elves drawn from the ken of popular culture. After greeting the Mardi Gras shabti from the present, take a look at one of his ancestors, a shabti from Egypt's Third Intermediate Period. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. [2014]

Chrysler Museum of Art
Norfolk, Virginia

Friday, May 1, 2015

Chicago, Illinois

Egyptian Revival ~ Pyramids:  In Chicago's famous "rural cemetery" is one of the classic examples of the Egyptian Revival style, complete with lotus and protective asp and sphinx. Inside are the remains of Peter Schoenhofen and his family. May their spirits live as long as the ancient Pharaohs. Where did the wealth to build the mausoleum come from?  His brewery, which slaked the thirst of Chicagoans in the late 1800s. Graceland Cemetery. [2015]