Graveyard

Graveyard
Cedar Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I Think That I Shall Never See Anything Lovelier Than a Tombstone Created As a Tree

Bristol Cemetery, Bristol, PA


I have done a blog post about the Woodmen of the World, an insurance company begun in the late 19th century that provided its members with a tombstone as part of the benefits of membership, up until the mid-20th century.  Treestones: Symbols of Life Interrupted   The best monuments they gave to their members, of course, were the ones erected before the 1920's, tombstones created from stone to look like tree stumps, symbolic of the Tree of Life, cut down in Death.

But not every tree stump, log or twig seen carved on tombstones signify the Woodmen of the World membership.  The 19th century saw the rise of the importance of and the reverence for Nature.  Perhaps it was the coldness and dirtiness of the Industrial Revolution, with its factories belching soot and smoke into the urban air.  Maybe it was the horror of the Civil War, with its bloody battles and loss of life in staggering numbers.  Or perhaps it was intelligent people ahead of their time who recognized the beauty of this new nation and wanted to draw attention to the wonders of Nature.  I don't know, it could have been a simple desire to express mourning for a loved one, part of the family tree, now cut down and gone.  Whatever the reason, the 19th century and early 20th century cemeteries saw the additions of many "natural" tombstones in the shape of tree stumps and cut logs, both large and small, sometimes adorned with botanicals and scrolls.  They are among my father's favorite monuments, even edging out the zincs.  I love them too, especially the ones carved in granite, with the most bark-like texture, a sign of a skilled carver.  Enjoy this, and Happy Earth Day!

Belfast Union Cemetery, Belfast, PA

Bristol Cemetery, Bristol, PA

Dalton Jewish Cemetery, Dalton, PA

Deep Run Mennonite East Cemetery, Quakertown, PA

East Canaan Cemetery, South Canaan, PA

Easton Cemetery, Easton, PA

Evergreen Cemetery, Pen Argyl, PA

Forks Cemetery, Stockertown, PA

Forks Cemetery, Stockertown, PA

Hellertown Union Cemetery, Hellertown, PA

Laurel Cemetery, White Haven, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Montgomery Baptist Cemetery, Montgomeryville, PA

Montgomery Cemetery, Norristown, PA

Dunmore Cemetery, Dunmore, PA

Actually a modern tombstone, a policeman, Plumsteadville Cemetery, Plumsteadville, PA

Quakertown Union Cemetery, Quakertown, PA

West Swamp Mennonite Cemetery, Quakertown, PA

Zionhill Cemetery, Zionhill, PA

Nockamixon Union Cemetery, Ferndale, PA

Northwood Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

St. Mary of Mount Carmel Cemetery, Dunmore, PA

East Canaan Cemetery, South Canaan, PA

East Canaan Cemetery, South Canaan, PA

Laurel Grove Cemetery, Port Jervis, NY

Maplewood Cemetery, Carbondale, PA

Moscow Cemetery, Moscow, PA

Northwood Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Riverside Cemetery, Norristown, PA

Half-Logs for each family member, St. Michael's Evan. Lutheran Cemetery, Sellersville, PA

Union Cemetery, Blakely, PA

West Swamp Mennonite Cemetery, Quakertown, PA

This is gorgeous, a military monument, Arlington Cemetery, Upper Darby, PA

Belfast Union Cemetery, Belfast, PA

Bethel Methodist Cemetery, Bedford Valley, PA

Laurel Grove Cemetery, Port Jervis, NY

Bristol Cemetery, Bristol, PA

Bristol Cemetery, Bristol, PA

Bristol Cemetery, Bristol, PA

Montrose Cemetery, Montrose, PA

Canandensis United Methodist Cemetery, Canandensis, PA

Church Hill Cemetery, Martin's Creek, PA

Holy Ghost Greek Catholic Cemetery, Jessup, PA

St. Paul's Lutheran Blue Church Cemetery, Coopersburg, PA

East Swamp Mennonite Cemetery, Quakertown, PA

Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA


Riverview Cemetery, Portland, PA

Close-up of Squirrel on the above, Riverview Cemetery, Portland, PA

Incredible, look at the small stone to the left with the squirrel, St. Paul's Lutheran Blue Church Cemetery, Coopersburg, PA

Pictures don't do this justice.....you should go!!                                                                                            St. Paul's Lutheran Blue Church Cemetery, Coopersburg, Lehigh Co., PA


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