Monthly Archives: August 2011

Modern Architecture

The Henry Harrison Getty Mausoleum in the Graceland Cemetery in Chicago was designed for a lumber businessman in 1890 upon the death of his wife, Carrie Eliza, by the architectural firm of Adler and Sullivan. The Sullivan in the firm was … Continue reading

Posted in Mausoleums | Leave a comment

Archangel Michael

When you are walking through a cemetery and you come across a monument and you don’t understand what it represents, look for clues.  When I saw this monument, I noticed that the statue has wings.  That is a sure sign … Continue reading

Posted in Angels, Saints | 2 Comments

The Peacock

Even in the stylized version of the peacock above, one of the first elements that is noticeable are feathers with the “eyes” that surround the body of the peacock, suggestive of the all seeing eye of God.  The feathers are regenerated … Continue reading

Posted in Symbolism | Leave a comment

Rose bud

There are gravestones in which the motif is coupled with the epitaph to help illuminate the meaning of the written word, just as an illustration in a book is often used to reinforce the text.  The rounded-top white marble tablet gravestone of Walter, the son of W.C. and … Continue reading

Posted in Symbolism | Leave a comment

The Arch

The very shape of some gravestones have meaning.  For instance the obelisk, one of the most common gravestone shapes seen in our cemeteries, is an ancient Egyptian representation of a ray of sun.  The broken column represents a life that … Continue reading

Posted in Symbolism | Leave a comment

Anvil

The anvil gravestone pictured above is a near perfect carving of an actual anvil.  It accurately portrays all of the main parts of the anvil, including the level top called the “face” which is depicted with a block of metal and a … Continue reading

Posted in Symbolism | Leave a comment

Daffodil

The lovely daffodil sometimes pops up so early that it peaks through the snow as one of the first arrivals in the spring showering the garden with bright hues of gold, yellow, and orange.  The daffodil is in the genus … Continue reading

Posted in Symbolism | Leave a comment

Torches, flame up or flame down

On the corners of the gravestone above are two inverted torches.  The flames coming from the bottom of the torches are curling toward the center of the gravestone.  The flame or fire is symbolic of the soul.  Here the inverted torch represents … Continue reading

Posted in Symbolism | Leave a comment

Knights of Pythias

On February 19, 1864, the Knights of Pythias, founded by Justus H. Rathbone, became the very first fraternal organization to receive a charter under an Act of the United States Congress.  The society is based on the Greek story of … Continue reading

Posted in Metal Markers | Leave a comment

Prepare for Death

The skeleton is a symbol found on gravestones that is to remind the viewer of life’s brevity and of the decay of death.  The skeleton above is on a tomb in the Granary Burying Ground in Boston, Massachusetts.  The primitively carved skeleton … Continue reading

Posted in Epitaphs, Symbolism | Leave a comment