Author Archives: gravelyspeaking

Buried Four Times!

High on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River, just south of what is present-day Sioux City, Iowa, stands the towering monument to Sergeant Charles Floyd, the only person to die during the Lewis and Clark Expedition. President Thomas Jefferson enlisted … Continue reading

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The Empty Chair

The gray-marble tufted chair in the Oakland Cemetery in Petersburg, Illinois, has FATHER carved on the front of the upholstered seat cushion.  The highl- elaborate, Victorian-style stone chair gravestone is a memorial for Richard C. Trenary (December 16, 1829 – … Continue reading

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Praying Hands and the Rosary

The Rosary is a prayer to the Mother Mary with a tradition that dates back to St. Dominic in the 1200s.  This symbol, combined with praying hands, is Catholic and predominately found on the gravestones of Catholics.  The Rosary as … Continue reading

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Praying Hands

Praying hands, which can be found as incised carvings on gravestones or as statues that form a centerpiece in gardens within cemeteries, are a symbol of pious devotion.  Praying hands also symbolize the hope for an eternal life.

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The Virgin of Guadalupe

An image that one is likely to come across in cemeteries where there are high populations of Mexican immigrants is the Virgin of Guadalupe, also referred to as Mother of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The Virgin of Guadalupe … Continue reading

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Odd Fellows Symbolism

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is a fraternal organization that formed in England in the 1700s as a service organization. The American association was founded in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819. According to the I.O.O.F. Website, “Thomas Wildey … Continue reading

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Figli d’Italia

In the last decade of the 19th Century, tens of thousands came to the United States in the largest wave of immigrants to the U.S.  Previous immigrants had come from mostly Northern European countries, such as, England, Wales, Ireland, Germany, … Continue reading

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