Graveyard

Graveyard
Cedar Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Again I Give Thanks for the Hand Carved Tombstone

Moravian Cemetery, Staten Island, NY


While my ooh and ahh moments in the cemetery are reserved for monumental carvings made in marble with pneumatic tools, I do confess to having a soft spot for hand carved stones that were created earlier with a hammer, a chisel, and the imagination of the local mason or craftsman.  Some of these are done in a calligraphy that requires skill and patience.  And some--those from Plainfield Cemetery in Plainfield Township, Northampton County, PA---have simple fronts with the who, what, and when, but the backs---oh! the backs!   They have been carved with symbols and flowers of no mean skill.  Someday I hope to research the carvers of these cemetery stones, to find out who carved the backs to be such works of art.  Did they have "blanks" cut from quarries, ready for their future customers, and then in the winter, when work slowed down and the snow set in on the Blue Mountain, did they carve for practice or for enjoyment?  I have so many questions about the carvers of these stones.

I love how cemeteries house the work of many artisans, in the open air, sitting on the earth.  They are my favorite museums.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Blooming Glen Mennonite Cemetery, Blooming Glen, PA

Blooming Glen Mennonite Cemetery, Blooming Glen, PA

Darling Cemetery, Honesdale, PA

Dillsburg Cemetery, Dillsburg, PA

Gilbert Cemetery, Gilbert, PA

Heidelberg Union Cemetery, Slatington, PA

Heidelberg Union Cemetery, Slatington, PA

Lower Saucon Christ Lutheran Cemetery, Hellertown, PA

Lynn Cemetery, Lynn, PA

Old St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery, Ottsville, PA

Paupack Cemetery, Paupack, PA

A Soul Effigy, Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

One of the backs, but they get better, Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

What'd I tell ya?  Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

Salford Mennonite Cemetery, Harleysville, PA

Salford Mennonite Cemetery, Harleysville, PA

Another Soul Effigy (that looks like a spider!), Saucon Mennonite Cemetery, Coopersburg, PA

St. Luke's Old Williams Cemetery, Hellertown, PA

Tinicum UCC Cemetery, Tinicum, PA

I have seen other Welsh carved stones like this, Union Cemetery, Blakely, PA

Zion's Stone Church Cemetery, New Ringgold, PA

Zion's Stone Church Cemetery, New Ringgold, PA

Heidelberg Union Cemetery, Slatington, PA

Heidelberg Union Cemetery, Slatington, PA

Moravian Cemetery, Staten Island, NY

Moravian Cemetery, Staten Island, NY

New Hanover Lutheran Cemetery, Gilbertsville, PA

More of those backs, Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

Another Soul Effigy (these look like Indian chiefs, but no), Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

AHHHHHH!!!!  Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

The back.  THIS is the BACK.  Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Township, PA

Tennent Presbyterian Cemetery, Tennent, NJ

Tennent Presbyterian Cemetery, Tennent, NJ

Trinity UCC Cemetery, Boonsboro, MD

Jackson Cemetery, Tunkhannock, PA

Jackson Cemetery, Tunkhannock, PA

Jackson Cemetery, Tunkhannock, PA

Lynn Cemetery, Lynn, PA

Lynn Cemetery, Lynn, PA

Lynn Cemetery, Lynn, PA

Maple Grove Cemetery, Pleasant Mount, PA

Maple Grove Cemetery, Pleasant Mount, PA

Maple Grove Cemetery, Pleasant Mount, PA

If this isn't the oldest stone in my collection (that is dated), it's pretty close.  She DIED in 1707, was born in 1631.  St. Peter's Episcopal Cemetery, Lewes, DE

Scotch Irish Presbyterian Burial Ground, Martin's Creek, PA

Sharpsburg Lutheran Cemetery, Sharpsburg, PA

How'd he get the "handles" carved??  Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Taneytown, MD

Trinity UCC Cemetery, Boonsboro, MD