Tombstones and Gravestones…Take 4…Cast Iron

Another material that grave markers are made of is cast iron, though as common as some others. Cast iron became much less expensive in the second half of the 19th Century coupled with the ease of making more intricate patterns and designs made it a material that some chose. 

Cast iron markers come in many different forms—some traditional such as a rounded-top marker that mimics the look of a traditional marble gravestone.  Even the symbolism on this marker in the Kingsbury Cemetery, in Kingsbury, Indiana, is a weeping willow, an ubiquitous motif found in nearly every cemetery across the country.

Other cast iron designs were readily available, too, such as intricate crosses.

Even some mausoleums were constructed of cast iron, such as the Reynolds Family Tomb in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Of course, the choice of cast iron for the building instead of marble or granite for the tomb of William H. Reynolds, however, was likely due to the fact that he owned the Reynolds foundry at New Orleans.  His family tomb is the only cast-iron tomb in the Metarie Cemetery.  Built in 1877, the tomb is an eclectic design featuring Byzantine-style twisted corner columns, an Italianate cornice, and a highly decorative iron work adorning the top.

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