30 March 2010

A few epitaphs

A few epitaphs that caught my eye.

From Oakwood Cemetery:

A French quote and an amusing name.
Belden Wigglesworth
Pendant que je restais en bas dans l'ombre noire 
d'autres montaient cueillir le baiser de la gloirie.
_ _ _Cyrano de Bergerac

It's been a few years since I've been in French, and I'm not familiar with the original work, but the quote translates to something sort of like: "While I remained in black shade others went up to gather the kiss of the glory."

From Forest Hill Cemetery:

I love the poetry of this one, though I can't be sure exactly what it means if I really think about it.
Fear not the night
Thy soul is awake
with the stars

From the Chappell Hill Masonic Cemetery:

Phillip Carey 
October 13, 1935
June 26, 2006
Georgia on my mind

Betty B. Ball
A gracious lady
Jan. 19, 1928
Mar. 7, 1985

27 March 2010


Ropes, anchors, ships.

From Oakwood Cemetery:


From Forest Hill Cemetery:
An interesting piece of sculpted flotsam on the ground in front of an elaborate, buttressed monument. Presumably the two were related, because I didn't see any names on this one.

Front view:

A long, flat headstone, detailed view:
Full view:
Detail view of the trio of symbols (a cross and 2 styles of anchors):
And the epitaph:
My master pilot at the helm
through his great love for me
will steer my bark with willing hands
through all the years to be.

From Chappell Hill Masonic Cemetery:

Another starred lady with hand resting on an anchor, this one appear on one face of an obelisk.

From North Syracuse Cemetery:
Love light thy way to that far distant shore

Related posts:
Anchors Aweigh
Seashells, Not by the seashore

24 March 2010

Weird shapes

Last year I did a post on very geometric headstones. This is in the same vein but with fewer properly defined shapes and more peculiar ones.

From Middleville Cemetery:

From Forest Lawn Cemetery:
A weird, ridgy, bell/jellyfish-like headstone.

From Woodlawn Cemetery:

From North Syracuse Cemetery:
A very organically-shaped formation reminiscent of wind-eroded rock pillars.

From Forest Hill Cemetery:
This one I honestly thought might be a trashcan while I was still at a distance from it, not that I've seen any trashcans randomly distributed in a cemetery before.

Related post: Shapes and Forms

23 March 2010

War & Veterans, Part 2

A continuation of Part 1.

From Forest Hill Cemetery, Utica, NY:

Here lie the bodies
Director General of the Military Hospitals
of the United States
From Rome Cemetery, Rome, NY:

To the memory of
Capt. Samuel Perkins
who departed this life at the
U.S. Arsenal, Rome, NY
Dec. 30, 1837
in the 75 year of his age

He entered the service of his country during the War of the Revolution, when he was but 14 years old, and served till its independence was gained. He was actively engaged in the Indian Campaign of 1795, under Gen. Wayne. He also participated in, and rendered valuable services during, the late War with Great Britain. After which, retiring from active duties, he held for 18 years the station of ordnance keeper, and died in the public service. In every situation of his life was remarkably exemplified that just sentiment, --"An honest man is the noblest work of God."

This one had a small Purple Heart attached to it, though judging by its size, I'm 99% certain it's not the original. (Plus I'd be surprised if someone would leave such a thing to the elements.)

Herbert L. Armstrong
Nov. 11, 1888 Sept. 30, 1918
Co. E, 59th Inf. 4th Div U.S.A.
Killed in Action
The Argonne, France
From Copp's Hill Burying Ground, Boston, MA:
Here rests
Robert Newman
Born in Boston, Mch. 20, 1752
Died in Boston, May 26, 1804
The patriot who hung the signal lanterns
in the church tower, April 18, 1775

From the forgotten Tennessee cemetery:
Honestly, I find this one a little ironic-- a former Confederate soldier with an American flag staked at his grave.

From Woodlawn Cemetery, Syracuse, NY:
Edward A. Sherrill
US Army
World War II
Jul 13, 1923 † Mar 11, 2006
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart

Hand of God

Just a couple of stones from the Rome Cemetery in Rome, NY that depict the hand of God reaching down to, presumably, remove some souls.

First, a hand reaching down and lifting up...rings?
Full view:
Also notable about the above stone is that is for Lewis Wilcox who was "killed at the Battle of Fredericksburg."

Secondly, and seen on two headstones, a hand emerging from the clouds to roughly grab a flower.

21 March 2010


Now and then I see grave markers designed to look like caskets themselves, which strikes me as slightly eerie. At least the old-fashioned skeletons and other memento mori are intricate and creative (but perhaps I'm just weird in not finding those creepy).

From Oakwood Cemetery:

From Woodlawn Cemetery:

From Forest Hill Cemetery, Utica, NY:


19 March 2010


Two headstones contributed for the sake of friendship with the deceased.

From St. Agnes Catholic Cemetery:

 Mary A. Tyrrell
June 7, 1881
Aged 24 yrs 3 Ms
& 7 days
Erected by a friend

From Woodlawn Cemetery, Syracuse, NY:

To Freddie [Perrin]
His loving friends

17 March 2010

Symbols 2: Not-secret Societies

I did an earlier post on headstone symbols, but this one focuses on the symbols of organizations/societies that have made appearances.

From De Witt Cemetery, Syracuse, NY:

That's I.O.O.F., or the International Order of Odd Fellows, aka the the Three Link Fraternity. [Wikipedia]

From Middleville Cemetery, Middleville, NY:

Henry Kimpton has a Freemason square and compass, which is probably the single most common adornment I've seen. Adelaide has, to me, a mystery symbol. I can't readily identify it and none of my searches with various descriptors have returned anything. Lastly, Leon is identified as a Seaman of the USNRF, though he is preceded by a simple star.

Emma J. Wallace here is marked with a pentagram and three letters: the last I couldn't make out, but as the first two are O and E, it is likely this was for the Order of the Eastern Star.

This is definitely for the Eastern Star and it is possible to just make out some of the smaller symbols within each point.

From the Masonic Cemetery, Chappell Hill, TX (obviously this one will contain some more symbols!):

This one I've identified as representative of the Order of the Knights of Pythias. The letters are a little hard to make out but are F C B, for Friendship, Charity, and Benevolence. [source with which I figured it out: a Google Docs view of a pdf]

Here is a crossed shovel, pick, and... staff? Torch? I've seen the inclusion of shovel, pick, and/or torch to be gravedigger's tools and a symbol of mortality. However: I can't definitively call that third item a torch, and this is in a Masonic cemetery, so it seems plausible that there is a different meaning.

Here is the mark in full context. Of note: it only appears on the man's grave, and both graves had been moved to this spot in 1992 by two local Masonic orders. Fun fact, both were also citizens of the Republic of Texas.

From Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, NY:

Just a classic Freemason symbol, but this was the tallest obelisk in the immediate area of Oakwood, and I would guess it is probably in the top 10 tallest monuments there in general.

14 March 2010


Rather than particular headstone pictures, these are just some scenery from some of the cemeteries I've been. A few of these I have already posted on my DeviantArt account.

Masonic Cemetery, Chappell Hill, TX:

Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, NY:

From Middleville Cemetery, Middleville, NY:

The Burying Point, Salem, MA:

(the aerial view was courtesy of a nearby Ferris wheel)