Graveyard

Graveyard
Cedar Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

She Loves the Bare, the Withered Tree



Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA

My title is taken from Robert Frost's poem, "November Guest."  Anyone who knows me well knows I revere the form of trees.  I take many pictures of dead trees with their gnarled branches frozen in the graceful form of an arborist-ballerina.  There is quiet dignity in an old tree, and I never fail to think of J.R. Tolkien's sagacious and majestic Ents whenever I see a particularly large specimen.

Late 19th century Victorian society also revered trees, as part of the rusticity movement which celebrated nature.  It coincided with the Arts and Crafts movement that was a reaction against increased industrialization and the human alienation found in the polluted, mechanized urban environment.  People in the late 1800s turned to Nature to sooth, repair and inspire their souls.  And, as cemetery tombstone styles tended to follow the current architectural and cultural trends, many grave markers in the shape of tree stumps and logs were commissioned around the turn of the 20th century.  Tombstones could also have carved twigs, ferns and other woodland plants adorning them.  Even the lettering was sometimes carved to look as if it were made of twigs.  These memorials inspired by Nature's trees are sometimes rather lifelike, depending on the skill of the carver.  Erecting a tree stump or log to a loved one's memory also represented a life cut short, or a branch broken off the family tree, as well as serving as a symbol of the healing power of Nature for loved ones who visited the gravesite in remembrance.

Treestones are also associated with the fraternal beneficial organization, Woodmen of the World, (Treestones: Symbols of Life Interrupted), but these usually have a marking on them proclaiming the deceased to have been a member.  Additionally, symbols of trees can be found on tombstones in the early part of the 19th century, with the weeping willow being the most common.  But on occasion, you can find representations of cypress or cedar trees, trees that are referenced in the Bible.  Cypress trees have a very durable wood and some scholars believe this is the tree God instructed Noah to use to build the ark.  The Deodar Cedar tree grows in a pyramidal form and is native to the Himalayas, while the Cedar of Lebanon has a more horizontal shape.  Cypress trees are a symbol of mourning, while cedar trees are a symbol of strong faith.  I am not positive if the trees in the photographs below are cedar or cypress trees; let me know if you know.

I just love trees.  And I hope you enjoy these photographs of tombstones that revere trees as much as they themselves revere the memory of those who have gone before.  Enjoy!  Contact me at tschane2@verizon.net.

A cedar tree, St. Paul's UCC Indianland Cemetery, Cherryville, PA

Cedar trees, I think, Heidelberg Union Cemetery, Slatington, PA

St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, Bedminster, PA

St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, Bedminster, PA
St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, Bedminster, PA
St. Paul's UCC Indianland Cemetery, Cherryville, PA

St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, Bedminster, PA


 


Tinicum UCC Cemetery, Tinicum, PA

Hollenback Cemetery, Wilkes Barre, PA

Mount Zion Cemetery, Pottsgrove, PA

Hillside Cemetery, Forest City, PA

Laurel Grove Cemetery, Port Jervis, NY

Laurel Grove Cemetery, Port Jervis, NY

Milford Cemetery, Milford, PA

Wyoming Cemetery, Wyoming, PA

West Swamp Mennonite Cemetery, Quakertown, PA

Glenwood Cemetery, West Long Branch, NJ

Zion's Stone Church Cemetery, New Ringgold, PA

Glenwood Cemetery, West Long Branch, NJ

You have to see this one in person to appreciate it, Arlington Cemetery, Upper Darby, PA

St. John's Cemetery, Bangor, PA

Edgewood Cemetery, Pottstown, PA

Effort Cemetery, Effort, PA

Effort Cemetery, Effort, PA

Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA


Evergreen Cemetery, Jim Thorpe, PA

Flicksville UCC Cemetery, Flicksville, PA

Glenwood Cemetery, West Long Branch, NJ

Glenwood Cemetery, West Long Branch, NJ

A very modern treestone, Glenwood Cemetery, West Long Branch, NJ

Hazleton Cemetery, Hazleton, PA

Hollenback Cemetery, Wilkes Barre, PA

Hollenback Cemetery, Wilkes Barre, PA

IOOF Cemetery, Tamaqua, PA

IOOF Cemetery, Tamaqua, PA

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Mauch Chunk Cemetery, Jim Thorpe, PA

Montgomery Cemetery, Norristown, PA

Montrose Cemetery, Montrose, PA

Mount Hope Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Mount Hope Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Mount Prospect Cemetery, Neptune, NJ

Mountain View Cemetery, Sharpsburg, MD

Mountain View Cemetery, Sharpsburg, MD

Nisky Hill Cemetery, Bethlehem, PA

Prospect Cemetery, Stroudsburg, PA

Edgewood Cemetery, Pottstown, PA

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

Susquehanna Depot Cemetery, Susquehanna Depot, PA

Wilkes Barre City Cemetery, Wilkes Barre, PA

I don't know what the symbols on the left mean...a dead dove under a fire hydrant???  Wilkes Barre City Cemetery, Wilkes Barre, PA

Moravian Cemetery, Staten Island, NY

Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Richlandtown Cemetery, Richlandtown, PA

Mount Zion Cemetery, Pottsgrove, PA

Nockamixon Union Cemetery, Ferndale, PA

I believe he was a member of the Grange, with the wheat sheaf in the upper left and the scythe in the upper right, St. Paul's Cemetery, Applebach, PA

New Falkner Swamp UCC Cemetery, Gilbertsville, PA

St. Patrick's Cemetery, Norristown, PA

Union & West End Cemetery, Allentown, PA

Union & West End Cemetery, Allentown, PA

Union & West End Cemetery, Allentown, PA

Green Mount Cemetery, Bath, PA

Hollenback Cemetery, Wilkes Barre, PA

Ivy Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Laurel Cemetery, White Haven, PA

Laurel Grove Cemetery, Port Jervis, NY

Mauch Chunk Cemetery, Jim Thorpe, PA

Montgomery Cemetery, Norristown, PA


Moscow Cemetery, Moscow, PA

Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Newark, NJ

Mount Zion Cemetery, Pottsgrove, PA

Mount Zion Cemetery, Pottsgrove, PA

Mount Zion Cemetery, Pottsgrove, PA

Mount Zion Cemetery, Pottsgrove, PA

Mount Zion Cemetery, Pottsgrove, PA



Neffs Union Cemetery, Neffs, PA

Mount Prospect Cemetery, Neptune, NJ

Rosedale Cemetery, Montclair, NJ

Edgewood Cemetery, Pottstown, PA

Edgewood Cemetery, Pottstown, PA

New Falkner Swamp UCC Cemetery, Gilbertsville, PA

New Falkner Swamp UCC Cemetery, Gilbertsville, PA

St. John's Union Cemetery, Nazareth, PA

 St. Peter's Evan Lutheran Cemetery, Lafayette Hill, PA

Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Taneytown, MD

West Long Branch United Methodist Cemetery, West Long Branch, NJ

West Long Branch United Methodist Cemetery, West Long Branch, NJ

Moravian Cemetery, Staten Island, NY

IOOF Cemetery, Tamaqua, PA

Ivy Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC

West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Bethel Cemetery, Chesapeake City, MD

Bethel Cemetery, Chesapeake City, MD

Montgomery Cemetery, Norristown, PA

Mount Zion Cemetery, Pottsgrove, PA

Mount Zion Cemetery, Pottsgrove, PA

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