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July 31, 2013

We're going to detour off the Straight and Narrow today, take a path
less trodden.  Some might view today's post as unusual, odd, even
uncomfortable.  Why?  Because today we're going to visit cemeteries.

Until the 14th and 15th centuries, sculptures were primarily memorial
works of art intended to be displayed at churches or on monuments.  The
tradition of commissioning sculptors to honor a loved one continues today.

  Located in the Alter Friedhoff cemetery, this is the grave of a young
German girl, Caroline Walter, who died in 1867 of tuberculosis.  Her
sister commissioned a sculptor to create a life-like monument to Caroline,
showing her as if she had fallen asleep while reading a book.

The grave of English boxer Thomas Sayers (1826-1865)
is located in Highgate Cemetery and is marked by a sculpture
of Lion, Sayer's loyal dog.

In 1897, James Melvin commissioned
Daniel French to create a memorial for
his three brothers who died in the Civil
War - Asa, John and Samuel Melvin.

The monument was completed in 1908
and installed in the Sleepy Hollow
Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.

Guardian angels have always been a timeless, traditional theme. 
The Rose Garland Angel in Inglewood Park Cemetery,
Los Angeles, CA

Kerepesi Cemetery, Budapest, Hungary

The Obedient Angel

Richard Aigner created this Art Nouveau-inspired memorial for Rufina
Cambaceres in 1902.   Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Brazil

Not everyone in the Victorian period chose an angelic marker.
Twins Bennett and Frederick Harding went a more unusual route:

Since I was a young child I've enjoyed visiting historic cemeteries
and viewing beautiful headstones.  As I grew up and became interested
in genealogy my visits to graveyards became an adventure of discovery.
How fascinating to view the stone that forever marks a person's
existence on Earth.

Many people now opt for a less traditional grave marker,
often choosing personal reflections of their life and individuality.

Located in Manor Park, Cemetery, East London, this
is the life-size BMW headstone of Steve Marsh.

For years I asked my husband to purchase burial plots for us in a local, historic cemetery.  When he asked me two years ago what I wanted for Christmas, I replied, "Our cemetery plots."  He finally broke down and purchased them and said, "Please don't tell anyone I gave you a cemetery plot for Christmas."   Okay, but I'm looking at monuments for our anniversary!


  1. I love to visit historic cemeteries as well. When traveling I seek them. The headstones are wonderful....especially the older ones. The more contemporary and interesting. Have a wonderful Wednesday, Bonnie

  2. I loved looking at the monuments. Having just lost our dog, my favorite was Lion the do. I have not visted many cemeteries and it looks like I have been missing out.

  3. Those were very interesting headstones...

  4. We use to always go to ghost towns and visit old graveyards when we live in Idaho ....Your photos are amazing! Thank You for sharing

  5. Jan- I have always been fascinated by old cemeteries since I was a child. I love the amazing stories that grave yards tell. The ones with children always puts a lump in my throat and how sorrowful to see a family where several children died within a short period of each other. This was a beautiful post today- xo Diana

  6. Some of the later ones, like the car, look bizarre, but then perhaps people thought the same of the others at the time. In our local cemetery there is a cherub on one of the graves that someone dresses! I have tried to find out who, and why, but no one seems to know.

  7. That loyal dog just breaks my heart!

    Very interesting, indeed.

  8. I love old cemeteries! We always visited them as a family when I was a child, especially on Memorial Day. I love the beautiful sculptures you have shown, especially the angels. The first one of the sister is lovely, too. But my favorite is the dog. That mournful tugs at the heart. xo

  9. loved seeing all the sculptures.. cemeteries can be so peaceful on a nice day and so scarey at night! lol.
    cemetary plots for christmas? why not! lol!
    have a great day

  10. How interesting
    however what shabby chic item will be your tombstone ?? curious LOL

  11. If I ever met you we would be fast friends. Your mourning jewelry post was fabulous, but I love this post more. Ever since I was a child I have loved visiting old cemeteries. I have tons of photos and have shared many on my blog. I can spend a whole day in a cemetery. To me the old tombstones are true works of art-very few made that way anymore. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Just visited the ancient graveyard at Lanercoste Priory in Carlisle, Cumbria, UK. Such a fascinating place, where the life stories of people
    are told. And so peaceful and beautiful. Love your post about the angels and the dog.