Coffins come in many shapes and sizes, though, technically, a coffin is a six-sided container or box for burial. A casket is generally understood to have four sides and be rectangular.
The six-sided coffin tombstone found in the Groveport Cemetery at Groveport, Ohio, pictured above is tapered to widen around the shoulders and then become narrow around the feet. The coffin-shaped tombstone replicates what many 18th and 19th century coffins looked like. This funerary motif represents death and mortality.
The gravestone marks the grave of a young wife who died at the delicate age of only 22 years. The woman was remembered in her inscription as a bride and a daughter, as she was most likely not married for any length of time. The epitaph paints a picture of a beautiful young woman snatched away by the Icy and Withered Hand of Death.
Sacred to the memory of
Catherine G. consort of John G. Richardson MD
And Daughter of Captain Isaac Bowman
All Natives of Shenandoah County, Virginia
Born December 23, 1787
Departed this Life January 19, 1809 Aged 22 Years
“Oh Fairest Flower Thy Failing Breath is Gone, the Sense to Please No More,
The Icy Withering Hand of Death Has Rifled All Thy Fragrant Store.
Calm Be Thy Rest, Sweet as the Slumbers of a Saint,
And Mild as the Opening Gleams of a Promised Heaven.”
Note: I first saw the gravestone above on the Website: www.graveaddiction.com. Beth Santore, the Webmaster gave me great directions to find the cemetery. I was just in Ohio Monday and snapped some pictures of the gravestone for myself. I highly recommend her Website, especially for those tramping around Ohio graveyards!