Category Archives: Symbolism

The Ubiquitous Urn

According to James Deetz and Edwin S. Dethlefsen, in their groundbreaking article, “Death’s Head, Cherub, Urn and Willow” the willow first made its appearance in cemeteries in the early 18th century.  The motif represented a break from the stark and … Continue reading

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Dodds Granite Company, Muncie, Brooklyn, and Colma

JOHN EDGAR JOHNSON SR. AUGUST 16, 1873 MARCH 30, 1919 The John Edgar Johnson Sr. monument in the Beach Grove Cemetery in Muncie, Indiana,is described and pictured in the Dodds Granite Company catalog.  The advertising copy described the monument: “There … Continue reading

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Anchor

CAPT. STEPHEN HIGGINS BORN DEC. 31, 1804 DIED SEP. 4, 1862 AGED 58 YEARS  We shall meet again, till then, farewell. The sign marking the cemetery just a block off the town square in Bar Harbor reads in part: “VILLAGE … Continue reading

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The Portals

The doors to mausoleums are often imbued with symbolism.  In fact, the door itself represent a portal.  Portals come in many forms—a door, a window, even your eyes and your mouth are considered portals.  Many superstitions about death concern portals, … Continue reading

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Calla Lily

In loving remembrance of MARY E. Wife of John P. Eimer, Born Aug. 12, 1855, Died Sept. 28, 1888 Tis hard to break the tender cord When love has bound the heart Tis hard, so hard, to speak the words … Continue reading

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Cross Potent or Crutch Cross

The symbol carved into the black granite gravestone in the St. Nickolas Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery in Chicago is of a cross surrounded by a wreath.  This cross is known as a cross potent or crutch cross.  It is a heraldic … Continue reading

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Seven Ages of Men

Samuel Hay Kauffmann February 24, 1898 January 12, 1971 The memorial commissioned in St. Paul’s Rock Creek Cemetery and created by sculptor William Ordway Partridge (April 11, 1861 – May 22, 1930) for Samuel Kauffmann, long-time owner of the Washington … Continue reading

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