Graveyard

Graveyard
Cedar Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Figures of Mourning and Other Tales

Father Time??  Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA


This blog highlights some of the gravestones I've seen that feature carved figures and faces.  Most of these are done in marble, and acid rain and air pollution and good ole time have taken a toll on some of the details.  But some remain in incredible condition.  Many of these are mourning figures, representing the grief and loss felt by those left behind.  Some are allegorical and feature angels leading a representation of the deceased up to heaven.  Some represent Biblical stories.  And some are carvings of the deceased; I often wonder how realistic they are.  I hope no one puts a carved image of me on my tombstone, though that might be a good stop on a Halloween tour.  :)  Enjoy.


Christ Church Cemetery, Shrewsbury, NJ
Edward Clarke Hazard's company in NJ was a pioneer in "fancy groceries," such as canned, jarred and bottled food products (staples in today's grocery stores).  His most well-known product was Shrewsbury Tomatoketchup (one word), the nation's first pure and unadulterated ketchup.  (Who among us has not suffered terribly after ingesting adulterated ketchup, hmm??)  Note the grave to the left:  Reckless.  And Hazard.  Sorry, taphophile humor.


Easton Cemetery, Easton, PA
Not sure about this one, except that the poppy blooms in her headdress symbolize eternal sleep.


Church Hill Cemetery, Martin's Creek, PA
 Is this a representation of Alabinah Vannatta, buried here with her husband Morris?  He was a farmer in Northampton County.


Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
I would love to have seen this when it was first done.  Was it a woman or a man?  The inscription is completely worn as well.


Montgomery Cemetery, Norristown, PA
An allegory for "Build your church on a rock?"  


Stroudsburg Cemetery, Stroudsburg, PA
 A child reclining on a cairn (pile of rocks) holding what I think is a wreath, symbolizing Rachel Estelle Keller's triumph over death.  She was born in 1872 and had a twin sister Ellen Gertrude, who was in the 1880 census, while Rachel was not.  Interestingly, their father Joseph was an undertaker in Allentown in the 1870's-1880's.


Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
I love this one.  A mother is being lifted into heaven by three angels a la a heavenly banner.


Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
Jesus, "suffer the little children."

 
Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
 This carving and the next three adorn the four sides of a large monument that was erected to volunteer members of the Philadelphia Relief Society, formed in 1855.  These volunteers went south to Virginia to minister to the many victims of the yellow fever epidemic that ravaged the areas near Norfolk and Portsmouth.  Between July and October of 1855, 2,000 people had died and an additional 4,000 were affected but survived.  Fifteen of those Philadelphia volunteers succumbed to yellow fever, and their bodies were returned to Philadelphia and interred in Laurel Hill Cemetery.  The four carvings were described in a book about the epidemic.  The one above is "Charity," a symbol for the unselfishness of the volunteers.

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
 This is "Hippocrates Declining the Bribe."  Hippocrates, the Greek physician considered "The Father of Medicine," is credited with instituting the Hippocratic Oath (Physician, do no harm).  This carving shows the Persians trying to bribe him to leave his Greek patients and travel to Persia to heal their king. 

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
This scene represents "The Good Samaritan," taking care of a sickly man.  Underneath this scene, the names of the volunteers who died in Virginia are listed, and called "Martyrs."

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
 This scene is entitled "Laying Out the Dead."  This entire monument weighs 5 tons, and is surmounted by Corinthian column topped with a draped urn.


Montgomery Cemetery, Norristown, PA
The deceased is reaching up a hand to go with the angels.

Edgewood Cemetery, Pottstown, PA
John Morris Pennepacker was a little over 2 years old when he died.  His father John K. Pennepacker was a drover (teamster) in Pottstown, PA, and his mother Camilla Hummel had 8 other children.  These Pennepackers were cousins of Pennsylvania Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker (1903-1907).

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
Very similar to the gravestone above in Montgomery Cemetery in Norristown. 

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pa
The Christian allegory for Hope...you can see the top of the anchor in her right hand.

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
One of the other sides of the above monument.  I assume it's the Christian allegory for Charity.  My pictures of the other two sides are blurry, unfortunately, but one is the allegory for Faith and the fourth looks like Justice (but I could be wrong on that one).

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
"I cling to the cross."  This must have been beautiful when the ivy on the stone was highly detailed.

Mount Peace Odd Fellows Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
William Curtis was born in Mount Holly, NJ and died in Philadelphia.  He was the Grand Secretary and the Grand Scribe of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  IOOF blog  When he died in 1868, his occupation was listed as the Grand Secretary.

St.Mary's Cemetery, Ledgedale, PA

Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA

Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA

Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, Ridge Valley, PA

Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA
Peter Warren was born and died in Gettysburg, PA.  He served as an infantry soldier for the Union during the Civil War.  (Was he at the Battle of Gettysburg?  I need to do more research).  He worked in an iron forge after the war, and he was also a gardener at Evergreen Cemetery.

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia
One of my favorites.  The body lies cold on the bed while the soul is being lifted up to heaven by another heavenly body.

Mount Peace Odd Fellows Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
A mother and her children, and the verse at the bottom says "...can't fill the role of her that gave us birth." 

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
Another mother and children.

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
F.R. Hassler (born 1770 in Switzerland, died 1843 in Philadelphia) was the first Superintendent of the US Coast Survey (he was a surveyor), and he also became the head of the Bureau of Weights and Measures, standardizing such measurements as a gallon being 231 cubic inches.

Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA
James Gettys, founder of Gettysburg, a small rural village with a few roads running through it that just happened to serve as the site of the pivotal point of the Civil War on three days in July 1863.  Gettys' farm property is now the site of the town square.  He died in 1815.



West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA
John Weiss Forney was an American journalist and newspaper owner, and he also entered politics.  His political bent was first for the Democrats, especially as he ran Buchanan's successful campaign for president.  Forney served as the Clerk of the US House of Representatives for several years in the 1850's.  But he veered from the Democrats as the Civil War loomed, and helped to organize the Republican party.  As a Republican, he served as Secretary of the US Senate. Twenty years later, however, he left the Republican camp and supported W.S. Hancock's unsuccessful Democratic bid for president.  Remember how I wondered about the veracity of the sculpture in comparison to the real person?  Forney's representation is pretty close, especially the sideburns.   See below:

                                      (from wikipedia.com)

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