Doppelganger is a word that refers to two people who look the same. Look a likes. It is a German word that translates to “double goer”. Popular television shows run photos next to each other showing actors and actresses together to show look a likes, such as, Christina Hendricks and Jessica Rabbit, Katy Perry and Zooey Deschanel, Morgan Freeman and Kofi Annan, Margot Robbie and Jaime Pressly, or Stephen Colbert and Bob Saget to name a few. To poke gentle fun, some sites also match the faces of dogs to their look alike actors’ faces.
In this case, two gravestone sculpture doppelgangers—the Gray Family Monument at the Oakland Cemetery at Atlanta, Georgia and the Haggard monument at the Mount Olivet Cemetery at Nashville, Tennessee, are strikingly similar.
James Richard Gray – September 30, 1859-June 25, 1917
May Inman Gray – March 6, 1862-January 6, 1940
MARY LAURA CHAMPE-HAGGARD July 11, 1920
WILLIAM HAGGARD M.D. October 17, 1826 January 25, 1901
JENNIE DOUGLAS HAGGARD February 11, 1840 November 16, 1914
According to a book about the Oakland Cemetery, the Gray Family Monument is adorned with a magnificent white-marble sculpture of the Niobe, the Greek mythological Queen of Thebes. Niobe had fourteen children (the Niobids) and taunted Leto, who only had two children, Apollo and Artemis. In his rage he sent his two children to avenge the slight done to him by Niobe striking out at what was most dear to her.
Niobe, became the symbol of mourning when Apollo slaughtered her seven sons and Artemis killed her seven daughters. As one version of the story goes, upon seeing his dead fourteen children, Amphion, the King of Thebes, committed suicide. Niobe was so stricken with grief that she fled to Mount Siplyus, Manisa, Turkey, where she turned to stone. Her grief was so powerful that tears flowed ceaselessly from her forming the River Acheloos.
So, Oakland’s Niobe, a symbol of mourning, has a doppelganger in Nashville.