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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Unusual Stones

Recently while on a lunch break, I discovered these two tombstones in the cemetery at Shelbyville.
The one has a row of books and a table supporting the books. While we've all seen books as part of the stone they are mostly single books placed on top.
Was the gentleman a reader of some reputation or was he a librarian. With the letters after his name the latter is correct.
The other one, while the bottom logs are common, the top log is a piece a petrified wood that was atached and carved as part of the overall stone.
These two stones (and the one behind the log, which is a daughter) all go together in this family plot.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Two interesting Markers

Here are a couple of interesting stones I saw while wandering around a cemetery during my lunch break.
While I have seen a book on a tombstone before they are mostly single books (open or closed). This gentleman was either a tremendous reader or a librarian to have his stone carved this way.
The other one is most unusual, it is the books guys wife. Her "stone" is a piece of petrified wood, carved and stacked on stone logs. Quite odd and interesting.
Speaking of books, the next blog will show what can be done with the tree tombstone, including books and an arm.

Friday, August 6, 2010


While riding my bicycle today I stopped by this cemetery that I've passed many times but never went in. It's a large cemetery, but I went to the older section. While most of the stones are not unusual or richly carved (there is one Memorial Stone to a sailor who died on the USS Indianapolis) I ran across this monument.
After taking these pictures (yes, I always take my camera, you just never know) there were many questions that ran through my mind, among them:
What ever happened to her young man?
Why would they pick winter to elope?
Did her parents disapprove of him that much?
Why didn't she go to the McCray cabin? It wasn't that far away.
Why is her name not noted? In 1833 there were not that many people in the area, surly the McCray family knew who she was.
Could there have been a wooden marker at one time? Did it simply rot away and those who erected this stone couldn't have found her name as early records were missing?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bronze Monuments

Some of my favorite monuments are the metal, known as Bronze or sometimes White Bronze (even though they are blue). Here in Indiana they seem to have been made by two companies: Detroit Bronze Company and the Chicago White Bronze Company.

While not rare they are by no means numerous. I have found that if there is one in a cemetery there will at least be one more. A cemetery in Plainville is simply loaded with them, most cemeteries don't have any.
While most of them are of the same style, just exchanging one decoration for another, I ran into one in Lynnville that was different.
The top two pictures show this unusual monument, it has what I would call an open-air chapel with a praying cherub within it. It should be noted that this was not a child's grave. I thought it very unusual. There are several in this cemetery including one with a statue on top, which again seems to be rare around here.
The third picture was taken in Plainview. This was one of several of this type in that cemetery along with the normal bronze monuments. It gives you a ready made place to plant flowers on the grave.
I must add that in some cemeteries I have scared up snakes, deers and other four legged animals, but this cemetery is the first I have ever had to watch my step because of cactus plants. It seems because this hill is open, hot and sandy that the cactus that is native to Indiana didn't know there was one did you?) grow in huge amounts in this cemetery. It had to be a day I wore my sandals.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Unintentional Placement

While a cemetery is not normally a place to have a chuckle or two, but.........................

Every now and then you run into something that makes you go "WHAT?" This past weekend we went to the wife's' family reunion down in Southern Indiana. While on the way she mentioned that we had to stop by a cemetery (she has kin buried there) so she could show me this tombstone.

We have been there several times leaving flowers, but neither of us had every noticed this pair of stones next to each other.

Never mind that the stones behind it are for a family named "Christmas" (I'm still wondering where that came from or how it came to be).

I'm going to have to file this under "Unintentional Placement" or "Unfortunant Placement"

Friday, June 11, 2010


While returning home from the campground the other day the wife and I decided to do a bit a cemetery visiting. One of the ones we stopped at is called a "Pioneer Cemetery".

I noticed the stone above I we entered, but ignored it and went to othe other end to start looking. As I was looking at the stones I noticed one that had a square recess as where a picture might have once been. As I looked closer I noticed a hole drilled above the recess where something might have been. As I looked it over the light bulb lite with what we used to call a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious), I looked over at the other stone and noticed how they matched.

Walking over to this one, I reached out and moved the stone cover, there was the recess (by the way it moved real easy and smooth). Of course the picture was missing, it was too much to hope that it remained

I have seen many stones with places cut into them for pictures now long gone but this is the first I've run across with its' own cover. (By the way the nice looking hand belongs to the wife).

Has anybody else seen this type, this is the first of this type I have seen and am wondering how common they might be.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Old Milan Cemetery

For a few years I've driven by this cemetery, the Old Milan Cemetery (think the movie "Hoosiers"), but have been unable to stop, mostly because there is no place to park a car. The cemetery is divided into three sections. The section this stone is in, jump over a small creek and your in a newer section, while across the road on a little hill is another section, which I never noticed until I went by on my bicycle.
This past weekend I was camping near there and decided to ride my bicycle the 12 miles to the cemetery. At least then I would have a place to park as I could just carry the bicycle into the cemetery.
The stone pictured has always interested me as I drove by because of the carvings, at last I got a chance to get up close to it and look at it carefully.
It is the stone of two sisters, Almyra (20) and Minerva (22) who died within 4 hours of each other. What the cause was I don't know, perhaps typhoid, cholera or any number of causes.
What attracted me to the stone to start with is the carvings. Look at the lady on the left, her right arm (holding a cup/bowl), if you look close, the lower arm is not connected with the rest of the carving. It is one of the best carvings I have ever seen in this area. It looks like it was done recently and not 172 years ago.
Not only is the carving good but the lettering is readable all the way to the bottom where the carver signed his name (he was from Lawrenceburg IN). As I sat there looking at the stone I wondered how long it would have taken him to carve this piece of artwork, who decided what was to be on the stone (picture) and how much it cost.
There's also a lot of symbolism within the caring. I have to assume the lady on the right is the mother of the two girls. We have the urn, the tomb, and either two cherubs or the girls themselves ascending into heaven.
The grave just to the left of this one is another family member, while his stone is not as elaborate it is also well preserved.