Broken Column

In the Pine Lake Cemetery at La Porte, Indiana, lies the small segmented-top white marble tablet of John Salesbury. The modest gravestone is no longer standing but lies flat on its back. In the cemetery, much of the iconography that can be found represents a life ended—the winged death’s head, the hanging bud, the broken wheel. This gravestone displays a bas-relief sculpture of the broken column.

The broken column symbolizes a life cut short. Some sources say that it represents the loss of the head of the family—others that it represents the life cut down in its prime. However, with so much of Mr. Salesbury’s gravestone missing, no dates discernable; it cannot be determined whether or not his life was short or long or if he was the head of the household.

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