06 August 2022

Symbolism Maximalism

 Fancy obelisk time, from Riverview Cemetery in Baldwinsville, NY:

Overall, typical obelisk. Got the draped tip and a wreath around it...

Rather than being for one person or family, this obelisk honors members of the Mohegan Lodge No. 33 of the International Order of Odd Fellows, instituted 1846. If you zoom in on the first picture, you'll see long lists of names (even a couple running onto the curved bit of the base).


Appropriately, they went wild on including symbols on the different faces of this interstitial plinth.

  • Tent and crooks
  • the all-seeing eye
  • IOOF chain links

  • a smokey urn (lamp?) on a pedestal [officially: altar of incense]

  • fasces with scales - this one seems to be a combo of the IOOF sword balancing scales + bundle of sticks (not fasces)
  • bow with 3 arrows
  • clasped hands
  • mother and children


  • 3 chain links with axe
  • heart in hand
  • dove with olive branch
  • open book (a bible)

 

Learn about these symbols:

Related:

30 July 2022

Run-over Parentheses (and bonus typo)

From the Old South Burying Ground in Connecticut:

When the epitaph runs longer than the stone is wide... A consistent little stylistic touch on several stones to mark where a dangling line belonged to the previous.

In memory of Maj. Tubal Case. who died Jan. 7th 1822, in the 59th Year of his age. 

Come hither mortals turn ( thine eye, / Then go thy way prepare ( to die, / Consider then that die you ( must, / One day like me return to dust.

His name does indeed seem to have been Tubal. The first round of searching for "Major Tubal Case" is... decidedly gynecological. He pops up on some ancestry sites, though, and is listed among Continental Army soldiers in this History of Tolland County. (There are some other amazing names in there, too: Amaziah, Jabez, Eliphalet, Eleazer... Seems like there used to be a lot more male names starting with E in circulation back in the day.)

Mrs. Rube Brewfter wife of Mr. Jeffe Brewfter died Nov. 28th 1796 in ye 42d Year of her age.
All you that come with (little care / Tthat
[sic] walk away and ( leave me here / Oh dont forget that you [...]

And yes, a typo! An actually typo and not just unexpected spelling. 

Bummer -- chiseling in a whole unnecessary extra letter.


Mr. Elijah Wright died Dec. 23d 1802 in ye 73d Year of his age.  
I yield my body to the ( dust / My foul to God that gave ( it first / And at the refurrection ( day / My God will raif3 my [...]

Mrs. Temperance, wife of Mr. Elijah Wright, died April 2ed 1804 in ye 80th Year of her age. 
Great God I own the ( fentence juft / And nature muft decay. I yield my Body to the ( duft, / To dwell with fellow clay.


And from Forest Hill Cemetery in East Derry, New Hampshire,

Here lies the Body of Mrs. Mary Crifty [Cristy] (wife of Mr. Jeffe Crifty) who departed this Life Decr ye 24th 1776 Aged 79 years.


16 July 2022

Throwback symbol

 This poor stone had seen better days when I visited it, but all the vital areas are still in tact. From Oak Grove Cemetery in Americus, GA:


My Husband,
MILTON A. BATTLE
Died April 14th 1852
Aged 31Yr 5Mo 22Da
 
Of note to me is the winged hourglass motif hanging in there to the 1850s. Would it have seemed a little old-fashioned at this point? I've got a 1909 example in my collection, but usually they crop up more in the 18th century. (There could be a northern vs southern distinction, perhaps...? 1909 was in Louisiana; this one is in Georgia.)

09 July 2022

Blackout curtains, lost at sea - summer delights

 Tasseled drapery is a very common motif in a certain era, but this pair manages to feel particularly closed off in its arrangement. (Note, too, how wife Fannie's stone is more petite compared to husband Richard's.)

Front/north view:

Epitaphs (as transcribed in Cheetham, Donald, and Mark Cheetham. Pine Grove Cemetery, Bath Road, Brunswick, Maine, Cumberland County. Vol. 1, 2005. Richard's is pretty illegible to me.):

Richard's:
Fanny, we meet to part no more
and bud of them shall not fall to the grave
without your father.

Fannie's:
But Fannie dear we'll meet again
for thy few sins have been forgiven
and thou hast gone with God to reign
an angel fair and bright in heaven.

Side view:


Rear/south view is very plain but offers more details. The couple died about a year apart, both pretty young:

Fannie E.
Wife of
R. L. McManus
Died
Dec. 28, 1857.
Aged 18 yrs. 8 mos.

R. L. McManus
Died
Dec. 7, 1858.
Aged 24 yrs, 10 mos, & 21 days

But look sharp! The obelisk to the far right from earlier in the family plot includes a "lost at sea" note (on the south face):

Capt.
Richard McManus
Born April 1 1795,
Died Sept. 2 1875


Capt.
Nathaniel McManus
Lost at sea 1832 AEt. 35


02 July 2022

Map for a passion

 The headstone of Richard Remy Dixon and family includes a unique feature: a little grid map labeled: "Algiers: The Heart of New Orleans."


Perhaps a NOLA native would be more attuned to the name, but I had to Google. Xavier University has a collection of his papers, including an autobiographical sketch.

Dixon was a veteran, historian, writer, and civil service worker born in New Orleans. He was an expert in Algiers history and served as Public Relations Director to the New Orleans Recreation Department, the Roosevelt Hotel, and the City of New Orleans.
They've got the history book on Algiers that he wrote digitized... and just for fun, a photo of Dixon in St. Patrick's day gear.