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Journal of the 
Association for Gravestone Studies 

Markers XII 

Journal of 
the Association for 
Gravestone Studies 

Edited by 
Richard E. Meyer 

Association for Gravestone Studies 
Worcester, Massachusetts 

Copyright ©1995 by 

Association for Gravestone Studies 

30 Elm Street 
Worcester, Massachusetts 01609 

All rights reserved 
Printed in the United States of America 

ISBN: 1-878381-05-9 
ISSN: 0277-8726 
LCN: 81-642903 

The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of 

American National Standard for Information Sciences - Permanence of 

Paper for Printed Library materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984. 

Cover photo: Bruno Grandelis, 1905, Metuchen, New Jersey. 
Photograph by Richard Veit. 



'A Piece of Granite That's Been Made in Two Weeks': 
Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers from New Jersey and New York, 

Richard Veit 1 

Adam and Eve Scenes on Kirkyards in the Scottish 
Lowlands: An Introduction and Gazetteer 

Betty Willsher 31 

The Adkins-Woodson Cemetery: A Sociological 
Examination of Cemeteries as Community 

Gary S. Foster and Richard L. Hummell 92 

The Joshua Hempstead Diary 

Ralph L. Tucker 118 

Contemporary Gravemarkers of Youths: Milestones of 
Our Path through Pain to Joy 

Gay Lynch 144 

'Best Damm Dog We Ever Had': Some Folkloristic and 
Anthropological Observations on San Francisco's Presidio 
Pet Cemetery 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 160 

The Year's Work in Gravemarker/Cemetery Studies 206 

Contributors 220 

Index 222 




Richard E. Meyer, Editor 
Western Oregon State College 

Theodore Chase Barbara Rotundo 

Editor, Markers V-IX State University of New York at Albany 

Jessie Lie Farber James A. Slater 

Mount Holyoke College University of Connecticut 

Editor, Markers I 

Dickran Tashjian 
Richard Francaviglia University of California, Irvine 

University of Texas at Arlington 

David Watters 
Warren Roberts University of New Hampshire 

Indiana University Editor, Markers II-IV 

Wilbur Zelinsky 
The Pennsylvania State University 

Readers of Markers XII will find that, once again, the individual essays 
presented in its contents represent a wide range of time periods, geo- 
graphical locales, and scholarly techniques - in short, the type of broad- 
based and balanced examination of gravemarkers, their makers, and the 
places where they are found which is coming to be characteristic of the 
best recent work in this specialized area of Anglo-American folk art and 
material culture. Markers thus continues its leadership role in establishing 
the standards and defining the boundaries of what has been termed by 
some an important and emergent "microdiscipline." 

Any scholarly publication's merits are determined largely by the qual- 
ity of its manuscript submissions and the subsequent efforts of its editor- 
ial review board, and in both these regards my work as editor has been 
greatly aided by the high standards and conscientiousness displayed by 
contributors and members of the editorial board. I thank them all, and 


hope that readers with scholarly projects in mind will consider submitting 
their best work for publication consideration in future issues of Markers. 

Others deserve thanks as well, in particular Western Oregon State 
College, which continues to generously support this publication through 
numerous forms of indirect financial assistance; staff members - most 
especially Fred Kennedy - at Lynx Communication Group, Salem, 
Oregon, and Patti Stephens of Philomath, Oregon, all of whom, through 
their design and production skills, make my job a lot easier and this vol- 
ume a lot more handsome; the officers, board members, staff, and gener- 
al membership of the Association for Gravestone Studies, who make it all 
possible in the first place; and, finally, Lotte Larsen, who helps me keep it 
all in perspective. 

Articles published in Markers are indexed in America: History and Life, 
Historical Abstracts, and the MLA International Bibliography. Information 
concerning the submission of manuscripts for future issues of the journal 
may be obtained upon request from Richard E. Meyer, Editor, Markers: 
Journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies, English department. 
Western Oregon State College, Monmouth, Oregon 97361 (Phone: (503) 
838-8362 / E-Mail: For information about 
other AGS publications, membership, and activities, write to the 
Association's Executive Director, Miranda Levin, 30 Elm Street, Worcester, 
Massachusetts 01609, or call (508) 831-7753. 


Union County 






Monmouth County 

Mercer County 



Fig. 1 The circled area in the center of the map 
represents the part of Middlesex county. New Jersey, 

where the majority of terra-cotta gravemarkers are 
found. Staten Island, New York, located to the east of 
Perth Amboy, also has a few terra-cotta gravemarkers. 

Map reproduced, with modifications, from the 
tercentenary edition of The New Jersey Almanac (1963). 




AND NEW YORK, 1875-1930 

Richard Veit 


In 1948, Peter C. Olsen, President of tlie Federal Seaboard Terra-Cotta 
Corporation, described terra-cotta as "A piece of granite that's been made 
in two weeks. "^ This essay examines the colorful terra-cotta gravemarkers 
that were created in both Middlesex County, New Jersey, and Staten 
Island, New York, between the 1870s and the 1930s. The markers are 
found within a roughly ten mile radius of Perth Amboy, New Jersey (see 
Fig. 1), the small coastal city which was the center of the Middlesex 
County clay industry. The manufacturing of these often ornate monu- 
ments reflects both the skill of the multiethnic terra-cotta workers who 
made this area their home and the local importance of the clay industry. 
Additionally, the markers provided new, and often impoverished, immi- 
grants with an inexpensive, attractive, and lasting alternative to tradi- 
tional stone monuments. 

Most studies of gravemarkers in the Middle Atlantic and New 
England regions have tended to concentrate on either the gravestone 
iconography of the colonial period^ or the ornate monuments and mau- 
soleums of the Victorians.^^ This is also true of New Jersey. While the 17th- 
and 18th-century gravestones of the region have been actively investi- 
gated,^ little attention has been paid to the vernacular gravemarkers of the 
late 19th and early 20th Centuries. In a number of regional cemeteries 
established within the last hundred years or so, unusual gravemarking 
traditions brought from Europe^ or associated with regional industries^ 
flourished. These largely unstudied fin de siecle markers have the potential 
to enhance our understanding of the lives of immigrants in this region. 
The present study's emphasis upon one of those traditions, the terra-cotta 
gravemarkers of the Raritan River Valley, seeks to demonstrate this poten- 
tial through examining the development, production, iconography, and 
meanings of these unique markers. 

The terra-cotta gravemarkers are concentrated in about a dozen late 
19th- and early 20th-century cemeteries in northeastern Middlesex 

Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 

County. A small number have also been found in western Staten Island. 
Many of the gravemarkers are located in the small Catholic burial 
grounds which once served the region's varied ethnic groups (see 
Appendix). The largest concentration of markers is found in the least 
expensive plots at Alpine Cemetery in Perth Amboy: a Victorian product 
of the rural cemetery movement, Alpine contains a total of 67 terra-cotta 
markers. While such markers were never the dominant form of grave- 
marker, even in this region, they were nonetheless, for a short time, an 
important alternative to marble and granite monuments. 

Alternative Gravemarking Traditions 

Terra-cotta was one of a number of materials other than stone which 
were often used to make gravemarkers in the eastern United States. Cast 
iron markers, for example, are scattered all along the East Coast. For a 
short period, at the end of the 19th Century, monumental bronze (white 
zinc) gravemarkers made in Bridgeport, Connecticut were popular. 
Italian- Americans and other southern European immigrants often created 
homemade concrete gravemarkers. Germans and eastern European immi- 
grants, not only in the East, but also on the western plains and in Texas 
created fanciful iron crosses, both cast and wrought.^ The Southeast - par- 
ticularly Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama - is home to a variety of 
ceramic gravemarkers,^ a tradition which may, at least in part, have 
African antecedents.^ 

The study of these vernacular memorials holds great promise and 
deserves further attention before the markers are destroyed by vandalism 
and weathering. Generally, ceramic gravemarkers - when left undis- 
turbed - have long lifespans. However, both mechanized lawnmowers 
and vandals pose a serious threat to their continued existence. 


This study was carried out in two parts. First, during the summers of 
1993 and 1994 I visited most of the 19th- and early 20th-century cemeter- 
ies of eastern Middlesex County and western Staten Island in search of 
terra-cotta gravemarkers. This reconnaissance revealed 128 terra-cotta 
gravemarkers concentrated in a dozen cemeteries near the terra-cotta 
works. Others certainly exist. In the early Twentieth Century, small tubu- 
lar terra-cotta markers were used to mark indigent burials in some 
Middlesex County Cemeteries: these are not included in my calculations. 

Richard Veit 

Terra-cotta borders for grave plots and corner posts for grave fences were 
also noted. The gravemarkers are found in the communities of Perth 
Amboy, Woodbridge, South Amboy, Metuchen, New Brunswick, and 
Sayreville, New Jersey, as well as those found in western Staten Island. 

In addition to the field survey, several individuals were interviewed in 
an effort to learn more about the production of terra-cotta gravemarkers. 
Vincent Alba, a Perth Amboy senior citizen knowledgeable about the 
terra-cotta works, was particularly helpful. I also interviewed by tele- 
phone staff members of the Danish Home for the Aged in Edison, New 
Jersey (Danes made up a large percentage of the workforce at the terra- 
cotta works, and many used terra-cotta gravemarkers). Research to estab- 
lish primary and secondary documentation was undertaken at the Perth 
Amboy Public Library, Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage 
Commission, and the Special Collections and Archives at Rutgers 
University's Alexander Library. 

Middlesex County's Clay Industry 

Central New Jersey was home to some of the most productive clay 
banks in the state. These clays were part of a large deposit stretching 
across the narrow waist of New Jersey and on into Staten Island. In 
Middlesex County, the clay was most accessible near the mouth of the 
Raritan River. In some areas there were seventeen distinct layers of clay, 
which at times ran as deep as 347 feet below ground.^° Many of these clays 
were of extremely high quality, suitable for firebricks, pottery, and terra- 
cotta. Soon after the region was settled in the late 17th Century, brick- 
making began." Throughout the 19th Century, potteries making 
stoneware, yellowware, and rockingham used the region's clay.^^ By the 
end of the 19th Century, the area was home to some of the largest brick- 
works on the East Coast. 

The Terra-Cotta Industry 

The manufacture of terra-cotta in New Jersey was begun in 1877 at A. 
Hall and Sons' Terra-Cotta Works. Hall, who had begun making fire brick 
and yellowware in Perth Amboy in the 1850s, experimented with terra- 
cotta during an economic slump.''' His experiment was a success, and 
soon several other terra-cotta works were established nearby. The facto- 
ries lined the Arthur Kill and the Raritan River, "their enormous beehive- 
shaped kilns resembling so many ancient temples." '"* In 1888, Karl 

Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 

Mathiasen and Otto E. Hansen, Danish immigrants, opened a small terra- 
cotta plant on Catherine Street in Perth Amboy which would later become 
the New Jersey Terra-Cotta Company. In 1890, the Standard Terra-Cotta 
Company was incorporated, also in Perth Amboy.^^ The year 1897 saw the 
founding of the Atlantic Terra-Cotta Works on Staten Island, operated by 
former craftsmen from another New Jersey operation, the Perth Amboy 
Terra-Cotta Company. ^^ By 1920, there were eight terra-cotta works just in 
Middlesex County. ^^ One of them, the aforementioned Perth Amboy 
Terra-Cotta Company, employed between 400 and 600 hands. ^^ During 
the 1920s the industry continued to grow, and in 1928 the Federal 
Seaboard Terra-Cotta Corporation, a conglomerate, was formed from sev- 
eral of the larger local companies. 

Soon thereafter, the Depression slowed the expansion of the industry. 
In a letter dated June 30th, 1937, Peter C. Olsen, then General Manager of 
the Federal Seaboard Terra-Cotta Corporation, noted that "normally Iwe] 
employ 750 to 800 men in our 3 plants but at present with 2 plants shut 
down, employ 200 to 240 men."^^ During the Second World War, the terra- 
cotta plants made practice bombs from terra-cotta for the Air Force, as 
well as bathroom fixtures. Following the war, changing architectural 
styles combined with high property taxes and increased suburbanization 
brought an end to the clay industry in the region.^^ 

Uses of Terra-cotta 

Terra-cotta means simply "baked earth."^^ The term is generally used 
to refer to large blocks of molded and burnt clay. While very similar to 
brick, it has a finer texture and can be molded, sculpted, and glazed to 
form a variety of architectural ornaments. 

Most of the terra-cotta produced in Middlesex County and Staten 
Island was made for architectural uses. Among the many noteworthy 
structures built of local terra-cotta were the Woolworth Building in New 
York, the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 
Terra-cotta was also used as interior tile and in swimming pools. Statues 
and decorative urns were often produced. Gravestones apparently made 
up only a small part of the terra-cotta plants' production. While catalogs 
and style books exist for Perth Amboy's Atlantic Terra-Cotta Company 
and the Seaboard Terra-Cotta Corporation, they do not mention grave- 
markers.^^ Vincent Alba, a Perth Amboy resident whose uncles were 
sculptors at Seaboard Terra-Cotta, confirmed that gravemarkers were one 

Richard Veit 

of the sidelines of the terra-cotta plants.^-' He beheves that some were 
mass produced, while others were special orders. 

The Raritan Valley's terra-cotta gravemarkers are actually a relatively 
recent manifestation of a long history of ceramic gravemarkers. During 
the Qin Dynasty (221-207 B.C.), a Chinese emperor was buried with an 
entire army of terra-cotta retainers.^'* The ancient Greeks, Etruscans, and 
Romans also made considerable use of terra-cotta. 2'' During the 
Renaissance, particularly in Italy, it saw extensive use for architectural 
ornamentation and sculpture. By the 16th Century, enterprising English 
potters were making terra-cotta gravemarkers.^^ In the 18th Century, a 
terra-cotta-like material called Coade's Stone (after its inventor, a Mrs. 
Coade) appeared in Great Britain.^'' A variety of mass-produced monu- 
ments were made from this material between 1770 and 1820. Many were 
simple urns, but some were quite ornate, including the gravemarker for 
Captain Bligh, of Mutiny on the Bounty fame.^^ 

In yet another cyclical revival, terra-cotta again became popular in the 
mid-19th Century, first in Great Britain and then in the United States. This 
terra-cotta was used in place of stone in architectural settings. The first 
type produced in the United States dates to the mid-1 9th Century and 
resembled brownstone, or reddish brown sandstone.^'' Later, other types 
of terra-cotta appeared: these included fireproof construction terra-cotta, 
ceramic veneer, and glazed architectural terra-cotta. While a variety of 
terra-cotta was made in New Jersey, most of the gravemarkers were made 
from glazed and unglazed architectural terra-cotta. 

Making the Gravemarkers 

No contemporary descriptions of the manufacture of terra-cotta 
gravemarkers are known to exist. However, the process can be recon- 
structed from contemporary newspaper articles and secondary sources. 

First, the clay was mined from the local clay banks and aged. 
Sometimes the clay was mixed with grog, a combination of ground up 
fragments of old terra-cotta and brick. This mixture was then kneaded in 
large iron mills. ^° Some of the earliest manufacturers in Perth Amboy 
kneaded the clay in horse-drawn pug mills, like the local stoneware pot- 
teries.^^ The softened clay was then forced out of the mill as "long wind- 
ing serpents" which were cut into loaf-shaped pieces.''^ This process was 
repeated until all the impurities had been removed from the clay. The 
large squares of kneaded clay were then delivered to the molding room. 

Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 

There they were worked into carefully prepared plaster molds. 
Complicated shapes were sculpted by hand.^^ In an 1890 newspaper arti- 
cle, an anonymous journalist described seeing a "boy carving in the soft 
brown clay the inscription for a memorial plaque."^"* This casual remark, 
embedded in a description of the sculptor's studios, is the only known 
published contemporary reference to the manufacture of terra-cotta 

After they were sculpted or molded, the wares were carefully dried at 
a controlled heat. Some were dipped in a solution of soluble glaze. Colors 
were applied to the terra-cotta in the glaze. The gravemarkers show a 
variety of matte and glossy finishes in many different colors: white, blue, 
red, brown, and yellow are especially common. The glazed markers 
exhibit a smooth glassy surface. However, the finishes seen on the mark- 
ers represent only a sample of the many varieties once available. 
According to a brochure of the Federal Seaboard Terra-Cotta Corporation, 
an unlimited variety of waterproof, fade-proof colors, including poly- 
chrome and noble metal finishes, were available.^^ Textured surfaces were 
also possible, which allowed the terra-cotta to imitate many types of 
stone, including sandstone, limestone, and marble. Imitation or "faux- 
granite" gravemarkers were also popular. These can only be discerned 
from granite markers if they are chipped or if imperfections in the glaze 
are visible. Terra-cotta was truly granite that had been made in two weeks. 

After glazing, the terra-cotta was fired in immense kilns, a process 
which lasted ten days or more.^*' Sometimes pieces shrank during the fir- 
ing process. To reduce distortion, large pieces were often built up from 
several smaller ones.^^ Many of the terra-cotta gravemarkers were also 
made from several pieces in this way, a practice which has unfortunately 
proven to be a liability as the pieces separate, facilitating both vandalism 
and weathering. 

Marker Typology 

As previously noted, during this study over one hundred terra-cotta 
markers were examined. Many of their forms are similar to other late 19th 
and early 20th-century monuments. None of the markers examined are 
signed. However, the Bruno Grandelis gravemarker in Metuchen, New 
Jersey (Fig. 2), a stunning piece of statuary, bears an inscription on the 
reverse in Italian which reads "Tuo Padre Fece." Loosely translated, this 
means "Your father made this." Only one gravemarker bears the mark of 

Richard Veit 

Fig. 2 Bruno Grandelis marker. Hillside Cemetery, Metuchen, New 
Jersey (1905). The marker is made from several pieces of terra-cotta. 
Though it exhibits severe spalling, the marker was originally made 
from white glazed terra-cotta and depicts young Bruno (1901-1905) in 
the arms of an angel. The sculpture was probably executed by the 

boy's father. 

Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 

Fig. 3 J.H. Longley marker, Alpine Cemetery, Perth Amboy, New 

Jersey (1902). An example of an architectural feature, in this case a 

finial, inscribed and used as a gravemarker. 

Richard Veit 

a firm, in this case the Perth Amboy Terra-Cotta Company. Vincent Alba 
noted that some gravemarkers were also produced at the Federal 
Seaboard Terra-Cotta Corporation in Perth Amboy.^^ Apparently the 
markers on Staten Island were the products of the Atlantic Terra-Cotta 
Company's Tottenville Works, which were located on the island. Many of 
the region's terra-cotta factories may in fact have made gravemarkers, but 
without marked pieces the products of the various works cannot be dif- 

The terra-cotta gravemarkers were produced in a variety of forms. 
These include tablets, crosses, pedestals surmounted by urns, obelisks, 
and statues. Some were simply made, while others were lavishly decorat- 
ed. Of the 128 markers examined in this study, 55 appear to be unique, 
while as many as 73 may have been mass-produced (mass-produced 
means, in this case, that more than two examples of a particular form of 
marker were noted). In New Brunswick's Elmwood Cemetery, mass-pro- 
duced terra-cotta tubes, at least one foot long and roughly three inches 
wide, were used to mark indigent burials. The tops of the tubes were 
closed and stamped with identification numbers. They were apparently 
buried in the ground so that only their numbered tops showed. Some 
were made from red unglazed terra-cotta, while others were made from 
white glazed terra-cotta. In yet another variation, architectural details 
were sometimes recycled as gravemarkers (see Fig. 3). 

The gravemarkers vary greatly in size. Some of the tablets are less 
than six inches tall, while other gravemarkers reach seven or eight feet in 
height. One of the largest markers combines a central portion made from 
brown sandstone with red and yellow terra-cotta details for a stunning 
effect (Fig. 4). 

In general, the markers are very colorful. This is true of both the 
unglazed ones (which are often red or gray) and the glazed pieces. 
Occasionally the lettering or decoration of the markers is accentuated 
with color. White or gray markers sometimes have black or gold letter- 
ing, and gold, red, or blue details (see Fig. 5). Documentary sources note 
that reddish-brown colored terra-cotta was the first type manufactured, 
and it was not until 1894 that glazed terra-cotta was invented.^^ 

A graph showing the distribution of gravemarkers by decade and 
form illustrates certain trends (Fig. 6). The earliest gravemarker dates to 
1870, but displays a faux-granite finish and thus may be backdated. A sec- 
ond marker, dated 1878, is in fact probably the oldest. If so, it indicates 


Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 









Fig. 4 Ellen Falvey Royle marker, St. Mary's Cemetery, Perth 
Amboy. A brown sandstone core combines with terra-cotta details 
for an unusual effect. The cross and roof of the marker, as well as 
the bands on the columns, are made from unglazed yellow terra- 
cotta, while the columns and pediment are unglazed red terra-cotta. 

Richard Veit 


Fig. 5 Uninscribed marker from Holy Trinity Cemetery, 

Woodbridge, New Jersey. The border and the chi-rho are in white 

glazed terra-cotta, the background in blue glazed terra-cotta. 


Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 

Dated Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 


■ 1870s 
HI 1900s 


■ 1890s 
m 1920+ 

Fig. 6 Distribution graph of terra-cotta gravemarkers. 

that terra-cotta gravemarkers were being produced very shortly after the 
first factory opened. The gravemarkers gradually increased in popularity 
until 1920, then precipitously declined. The latest gravemarker noted in 
this study dates to 1935. Unique monuments w^ere more common before 
1900, and w^ere supplanted by mass-produced markers after the turn of 
the century. Unglazed gravemarkers w^ere also more common before the 
turn of the century than afterwards. 

Crosses are by far the most common design. They were produced in a 
variety of styles. Some were made in the form of Orthodox crosses, a few 
resemble tree trunks (Fig. 7), and others imitated granite. Many of these 
crosses appear to have been mass-produced. The prevalence of cruciform 
markers may be linked to the popularity of terra-cotta gravemarkers 
around 1920 with eastern European immigrants. Most of the terra-cotta 
gravemarkers in the region's cemeteries associated with eastern European 
immigrants are cross shaped (e.g.. Fig. 8), and the popularity of this form 
has strong European antecedents.^^ 

Aside from the crosses, two other terra-cotta types of gravemarkers 

Richard Veit 


Fig. 7 Owen Revell marker, Alpine Cemetery, Perth Amboy 

(1912). The marker was made from unglazed tan terra-cotta 

and was "Erected by his sorrowing relatives and friends of 

Lambeth, England." As Lambeth was a center for pottery 

making in England, one might speculate that Revell was a 

terra-cotta sculptor. 


Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 

Fig. 8 P.L. Novak marker. Holy Trinity Cemetery, Woodbridge, N.J. 

(1921). Cross on unglazed white terra-cotta tablet with four bright 

red flowers. The marker has been repaired with concrete. 

Richard Veit 



80RN JUNE.25, 


DIED OCT. 18, 




BORN DEC. 25, 


DIED DEC. 22, 





Fig. 9 John and Mary Halbert memorial, Alpine Cemetery, 

Perth Amboy (1918). The marker has a faux-granite finish. 

The lettering is highlighted in black, and the cross on top 

is glazed metallic gold terra-cotta. 

16 Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 

appear to have been mass-produced. One group consists of small buff-col- 
ored tablets embossed with the initials "DBS." These are associated with 
the Danish Brotherhood in America, a fraternal order founded in 1882 by 
Danish Veterans of the Civil War.*^ This organization provided its mem- 
bers with an array of benefits including life insurance, help in old age and 
sickness, and burial aid. In 1893, an accompanying Danish Sisterhood was 
founded. The DBS terra-cotta gravemarkers are associated with local 
chapters of these organizations.^^ In actuality, they are supplementary 
markers used in conjunction with gravestones, much like the metal 
plaques issued by other fraternal organizations. 

Also mass-produced were tall obelisks, occasionally topped with 
golden crosses. These often have their lettering accentuated in black. They 
appear, at first glance, to be made from gray granite and to be typical 
turn-of-the-century markers (see Fig. 9), but they are not. Instead they are 
examples of how closely terra-cotta can mimic other materials, in this 
instance granite. Popular just after the First World War, they are much less 
conspicuous than the more colorful markers. The lettering was apparent- 
ly incised after the markers had been molded. They are occasionally 
accompanied by small faux-granite tablets. 

As mentioned earlier, several terra-cotta gravemarkers appear to have 
been fashioned from recycled architectural details (see Fig. 3). These are 
often located in the areas of cemeteries set aside for indigent burials, lead- 
ing one to speculate that they may have been made by terra-cotta work- 
ers for members of their families or for friends who were unable to pur- 
chase traditional gravestones. Representing the other end of the econom- 
ic spectrum are several terra-cotta embellished mausoleums in Perth 
Amboy's Alpine Cemetery. One marks the grave of Karl Mathiasen (died 
1920), the First President of the New Jersey Terra-Cotta Company. 

Several particular markers are also noteworthy. Also in Alpine 
Cemetery there is an arched marker inscribed in Danish for Oluf E. 
Thulesen (Fig. 10). The reddish colored terra-cotta from which it is made 
was the first type of terra-cotta produced, and it is quite possible that 
Thulesen was either a terra-cotta worker or a relative of one. One of the 
most interesting gravemarkers, referred to briefly earlier, dates to the sec- 
ond decade of the 20th Century (Fig. 7). The marker consists of a rustic 
cross surrounded by ivy, lilies, and ribbons. It was made from several 
carefully-fitted pieces, with a base made to simulate stone. On an unrolled 
scroll, sculpted from terra-cotta, appears an inscription noting that the 

Richard Veit 


Fig. 10 Oluf E. Thulesen marker (1888). This finely decorated artifact, 
inscribed in Danish, was made from bright red unglazed terra-cotta. 

18 Tenra-Cotta Gravemarkers 

marker was "Erected by his [Owen Revell's] sorrowing relatives and 
friends of Lambeth England." This is particularly interesting because 
Lambeth, England - like Middlesex County, New Jersey - was a center of 
ceramic manufacture, thereby perhaps providing an indication of both 
Revell's immigrant status and his connection with the terra-cotta trade. 

Possibly the most spectacular terra-cotta monument, also mentioned 
earlier, is that of Bruno Grandelis in the Metuchen Cemetery (see Fig. 2). 
This marker, which dates to 1905, was executed in white glazed terra- 
cotta by a highly-skilled craftsman, quite likely the father of the deceased. 
It depicts a casket with lid ajar, set between two truncated pillars topped 
by lit torches. From the casket an angel is rising, carrying in her arms a 
young boy - probably four year old Bruno - dressed in a sailor's suit. The 
sculpture is very well executed and shows great skill on the part of the 
artisan, as well as the innovative combination of several Victorian motifs. 

Despite such spectacular examples, many of the most interesting 
markers are undecorated and undated. The lack of inscriptions in these 
cases is puzzling: perhaps, one might surmise, such gravemarkers were 
mass-produced for inexpensive sale. 

In summary, the terra-cotta gravemarkers found in the study area vary 
from well-executed sculptures to modest, undecorated forms to recycled 
architectural details. They were produced in a variety of colors and 
designs, crosses being the most popular. 

Why Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers? 

The question remains as to why these terra-cotta gravemarkers were 
made. In some regions, a lack of workable stone leads to the development 
of alternative gravemarking traditions. However, the Raritan River Valley 
had been well supplied with gravestones since the late 17th Century.^-^ 
Several factors acting together probably led to the production of terra- 
cotta gravemarkers in this area: these include ethnicity, economics, crafts- 
manship, and ideology. 

As already noted, terra-cotta gravemarkers had a long history in cer- 
tain parts of Europe, particularly Great Britain. A careful review of United 
States Patent Office Records from 1865 to 1920 reveals that three 19th- 
century inventors had patented terra-cotta gravemarkers. In 1879, 
William Payne Loyd and William Dickinson Loyd of Itawamba County, 
Mississippi, took out a patent for a tombstone made from potters clay 
with incised lettering and colored glaze.'^'* Similarly, in 1872, Collins C.W. 

Richard Veit 19 

Morgan of Holly Springs, Mississippi, patented both terra-cotta coffins 
and gravecovers."*^ Despite these fascinating antecedents, there is no indi- 
cation that New Jersey's terra-cotta workers were aware of their southern 
counterparts. Closer to home, between 1810 and 1820 potters and glass- 
blowers in southern New Jersey had made an occasional ceramic grave- 
marker for family members and friends. These markers are very rare and 
seem to have been the unique products of certain inventive individuals. 
The Raritan Valley's terra-cotta gravemarkers appear to have been inde- 
pendently invented and, for at least a short period, were quite popular. 
Surprisingly, considering the mass-produced appearance of some of the 
markers, they do not appear to have been patented. 

The use of terra-cotta gravemarkers would have been a pragmatic 
decision for the people of Middlesex County. According to contemporary 
advertisements, terra-cotta was as durable as stone, more attractive, easy 
to clean, inexpensive, and lasted forever.'^^ As Charles Davis, a 19th- 
century authority on clay products, noted: "In beauty of color it has 
advantage over stone, for by the use of chemicals any color can be pro- 
duced. "^^ For a short while, terra-cotta seems to have been considered a 
sort of super material. 

Perth Amboy was also home to a highly skilled workforce which took 
great pride in its products. This pride is evident in the incredibly ornate 
and imaginative terra-cotta architectural details found throughout Perth 
Amboy, as well as in the colorful, proud promotional literature of the 
time.^^ Many of the Danish, Italian, and English immigrants to the region 
were highly skilled artisans. Nels Ailing, perhaps the most talented of the 
area's terra-cotta sculptors, had studied at an academy of art in Denmark 
and received medals from the Danish king before emigrating to Perth 
Amboy. "^^ He came to New Jersey in the 1880s because he had "heard that 
top-flight workers in terra-cotta could earn as much as 55 cents an hour, 
which was a fantastic sum of money."""" 

While gravemarkers were certainly not the primary field of work for 
these talented artisans, they were easily within their reach. Working in the 
terra-cotta industry. Ailing sculpted several impressive statues, including 
a life-sized rendering of George Washington. The skill of workers like 
Ailing was apparently a source of great pride for the citizens of Perth 
Amboy. The accomplishments of the terra-cotta factories, including the 
Chrysler Building, the United States Supreme Court Building, and the 
Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, were all chronicled by local newspapers.^^ In 

20 Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 

1932, reporters estimated that 10,000 people had viewed the newly-com- 
pleted Perth Amboy terra-cotta pediment for the Philadelphia Museum of 
Art, then on display at the Atlantic Terra-Cotta plant.^^ Even today, this 
small city, which was once the leading producer of terra-cotta in the 
nation, displays some of the finest and most unusual terra-cotta in the 
United States. Ornaments as diverse as race cars, lobsters, and a miniature 
Statue of Liberty, complete with torch, decorate local buildings.^'^ The 
quantity and quality of these decorations has been attributed to the skill 
and competitiveness of local craftsmen,^^ traits which apparently also led 
them to experiment with gravemarkers. Perhaps, one might surmise, the 
local fascination with terra-cotta contributed to the acceptance of it as a 
material for gravemarkers. 

It is quite possible that the terra-cotta workers made a number of 
gravemarkers on their own time at the end of the day. This may have 
occurred with or without the foreman's tacit approval. The skilled glass- 
blowers of New Jersey's Pine Barrens are known to have produced whim- 
sical pipes and canes at the end of the day. Supposedly, much of this activ- 
ity was carried out after work and during breaks and came to be called 
"end of the day" or "tempo" work. The products of these skilled artisans 
were much sought after. ^^ 

Two other factors which may have influenced the decision to use terra- 
cotta gravemarkers were ethnicity and economics. The influence of both 
these factors on gravemarker choice in other contexts has seen substantial 
study. ^'^ According to Lynn Clark, an archaeologist, ethnicity both limits 
and expands consumers' choices, in either case providing them with a 
range of options not available to non-ethnic populations.''^ The use of 
terra-cotta gravemarkers appears to have been one of those options. 

The terra-cotta gravemarkers of Middlesex County were most popular 
with new immigrants and strongly reflect the ethnic diversity of the area 
during the early 20th Century. Many of the terra-cotta gravemarkers are 
inscribed in foreign languages such as German, Hungarian, Italian, 
Russian, and Danish. Often those with English surnames list foreign 
places of birth, including Tipperary, Ireland, Lambeth, England, or even 
places in Hungary and Denmark. According to the 1920 census, 35% of 
Perth Amboy' s population was foreign born, and 47% had at least one for- 
eign-born parent.^^ The three best represented immigrant groups were 
Hungarians, Russians, and Danes, and it was these same groups which 
often chose terra-cotta gravemarkers. 

Richard Veit 21 

Many of the immigrants found work in the clay industry: Danes and 
Itahans dominated the terra-cotta plants. ^^ Similarly, Hungarians provid- 
ed the backbone of the region's brickworks.^° Coming to America for a 
variety of economic and social reasons, these immigrants gradually 
assimilated with the region's population.^^ Their assimilation, it seems 
reasonable to assume, may correspond with the disappearance of terra- 
cotta gravemarkers in this area. 

Ethnicity and socioeconomic status are often interlinked, while status, 
like ethnicity, is hard to define. According to historical archaeologists 
Sherene Baugher and Robert Venables, an individual's status may depend 
not only on income, property, and political and military offices, but can 
also be linked to marriage, name recognition, participation in societies, 
ethnicity, and one's physical appearance and behavior. ^^ These factors can 
be hard to quantify. The socioeconomic status of the individuals who 
chose terra-cotta gravemarkers is unknown. While some of the terra-cotta 
workers, such as Nels Ailing, considered themselves well paid, many of 
the new immigrants were probably quite poor.^-^ Strikes for better wages 
are known to have rocked the region in the first decades of the 20th 

Randall McGuire, studying Broome County, New York's cemeteries, 
noted that from "the mid-1 9th Century through the first two decades of 
the 20th, the Broome County cemetery clearly reflected the status and 
social position of the people who were buried in it."^* In a general way the 
trend seen by McGuire is also evident in this region's cemeteries. Large 
sandstone - and later marble - monuments marked the graves of promi- 
nent citizens of English and Dutch descent. New ethnic groups not only 
lacked such ostentation but often created their own cemeteries or were 
relegated to the margins of already established burying grounds. Many 
rest in unmarked graves. 

Linked to the question of the status of the individuals who chose terra- 
cotta gravemarkers is the issue of cost. Terra-cotta could simulate stone, 
could be molded into a variety of forms, decorated in vibrant colors, and 
was significantly cheaper than stone. Mark Nonestied of the Middlesex 
County Cultural and Heritage Commission recalled hearing of terra-cotta 
gravemarkers which were made during the Depression and replaced after 
World War II with stone monuments.^^ Many individuals may have ini- 
tally chosen terra-cotta gravemarkers based on cost, thus linking the 
markers to socioeconomic factors. Nonestied first noted the simple, num- 

22 Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 

bered ceramic gravemarkers used in Elmwood Cemetery in New 
Brunswick, New Jersey, to mark indigent burials. These markers date 
from the turn of the century. 

A sizeable portion of the terra-cotta gravemarkers are located in ethnic 
cemeteries. The main exception is Alpine Cemetery in Perth Amboy, 
which represents the closest Perth Amboy comes to a Victorian rural 
cemetery. Its 60 terra-cotta gravemarkers are, however, concentrated in 
the least expensive plots, next to a block of free graves used for victims of 
the 1918 influenza epidemic.^^ In many of the ethnic cemeteries, the terra- 
cotta gravemarkers were only one of a variety of vernacular gravemark- 
ers, which included cement, wood, and metal markers used in place of 
traditional gravestones. Only infrequently do these unusual markers 
appear in prestigious locations in cemeteries. To some degree, status - 
both social and economic - appears to have influenced the choice of terra- 
cotta gravemarkers. 

In addition to reflecting ethnicity and socio-economic status, terra- 
cotta gravemarkers may have represented an ideological statement. The 
terra-cotta gravemarkers in the study area are not associated with any 
particular ethnic group but with new immigrants in general. As such, 
they may indicate a counter-hegemonic trend on the part of the people 
who used them. Perhaps, one might argue, the cultural heritage of these 
immigrants led them to prefer these distinctive, colorful, and conspicuous 

Disappearance of the Terra-Cotta Markers 

Between 1915 and 1925 terra-cotta markers reached their highpoint, 
then rapidly disappeared. This is surprising since the terra-cotta compa- 
nies survived the Depression and lasted until the 1960s, albeit in much 
reduced form. Again, no single reason for the disappearance of terra-cotta 
gravemarkers is known. However, several convergent hypotheses present 
themselves. First, many of the immigrant groups who used the terra-cotta 
markers had been in the region for 30 to 40 years by 1930. They may have 
experienced a fair amount of assimilation through schools, work, and mil- 
itary service, and chosen traditional gravestones instead of terra-cotta 
gravemarkers. Adding to this is the fact that many cemeteries discour- 
aged the use of unusual gravemarkers.^^ Additionally, the formation of 
larger conglomerates from the original small, family-owned terra-cotta 
companies may have reduced or eliminated the production of terra-cotta 

Richard Veit 23 


Another factor in the disappearance of the terra-cotta gravemarkers 
may have been the reahzation that terra-cotta, if improperly installed, 
could decay and was hard to repair. Finally, the 1920s were a period of rel- 
ative economic prosperity. Individuals who might in earlier decades have 
chosen terra-cotta gravemarkers may have now been able to afford gran- 
ite or marble gravestones. 

While the conclusions presented here are impressionistic, it appears 
that Middlesex County's terra-cotta markers show the influence of both 
socioeconomic and ethnic factors. The presence of small, unlettered mon- 
uments, some of which are simply pieces of recycled architectural deco- 
ration, may indicate a minimal expenditure on gravemarkers, while the 
large number of ethnic groups and languages represented by the markers 
shows their popularity with several ethnic populations. 


Analyses of gravestones, like other material culture studies,^^ com- 
monly focus on the form of the object. What is distinctive about the arti- 
facts which have been the basis of this study, however, is not their forms 
as such but rather the material from which they were made. These terra- 
cotta gravemarkers mark both the graves of numerous inhabitants of the 
clay region and the home of what was once the world's largest terra-cotta 
works. More importantly, they document the emergence of a parallel but 
counter-hegemonic gravemarking tradition which, along with wood, 
cement, and metal gravemarkers, provided new immigrants and indus- 
trial workers in Middlesex County with a distinctive, colorful, and 
vibrant alternative to the homogenous white and gray markers selected 
by the majority of the population. 


Several individuals provided valuable help in the preparation of this article. Mark 
Nonestied of the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission shared his extensive 
knowledge of terra-cotta gravemarkers. Vincent Alba's recollections of the terra-cotta indus- 
try proved invaluable. Thanks also to Dawn Turner, who introduced me to Mr. Alba. Bonita 
Grant of the Special Collections and Archives at Rutgers University's Alexander Library 
helped with source material, as did the staff of the Perth Amboy Pubhc Library. Barbara 
Rotundo and Laurel Gabel of the Association for Gravestone Studies shared the information 
in both their personal files and those of the AGS with me. Dr. Don Yoder in the 
Folklore/ Folklife Department at the University of Pennsylvania encouraged my interest in 

24 Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 

this topic and suggested worthwhile resources. The staff of the Danish Home for the Aged 
discussed the production of DBS markers with me. Ohvia Lo, Dr. Richard Meyer, and sev- 
eral anonymous reviewers provided valuable editorial guidance. Thank you to all of these 
individuals and organizations. Any errors of fact or interpretation remain, or course, my 
own. All photographs in this article are by the author. 

1. "Federal Plant was Organized 60 Years Ago," Perth Amboy Evejiing Neivs (4 December 

2. See, for example, Harriette M. Forbes, Gravestones of Early Nezv England and the Men Who 
Made Them, 1653-1800 (Boston, 1927; rpt. New York, 1989); Allan I. Ludwig, Graven 
Images: New England Stonecarving and Its Symbols 1650-1815 (Middletown, CT, 1966); 
Dickran and Ann Tashjian, Memorials for Children of Change: The Art of Early New England 
Stonecarving (Middletown, CT, 1974); James Deetz, In Small Things Forgotten: The 
Archaeology of Early American Life (Garden City, NY, 1977); Emily Wasserman, Gravestone 
Designs: Rubbings and Photographs from Early New York and New Jersey (New York, 1972). 

3. See, for example, Edmund V. Gillon, Jr., Victorian Cemeterx/ Art (New York, 1972); 
Thomas Bender, "The 'Rural' Cemetery Movement: Urban Travail and the Appeal of 
Nature," in Material Life in America, 1600-1860, ed. Robert Blair St. George (Boston, 
1988), 505-518; Peggy McDowell and Richard E. Meyer, The Revival Styles in American 
Memorial Art (Bowling Green, OH, 1994). 

4. e.g., Richard F. Welch, "The New York and New Jersey Gravestone Carving Tradition," 
Markers TV (1987): 1-54; Richard Veit, "Shadows of a Changing Culture: Middlesex 
County, New Jersey Gravestones, 1687-1799," Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of New 
Jersey 47(1992): 41-48. 

5. For more on this theme see, in general, Richard E. Meyer, ed.. Ethnicity and the American 
Cemetery (Bowling Green, OH, 1993) and, in particular, the essay found therein by 
Thomas E. Graves, "Keeping Ukraine Alive Through Death: Ukrainian-American 
Gravestones as Cultural Markers," 36-76. 

6. Richard Veit, "Iron Gravemarkers in the New Jersey Pine Barrens," Newsletter of the 
Association for Gravestone Studies 17:2 (1993): 10-12. 

7. See Nicholas Curchin Vrooman and Patrice Avon Marvin, eds. Iron Spirits (Fargo, ND, 
1982); Terry G. Jordan, Texas Graveyards: A Cultural Legacy (Austin, 1982). 

8. E. Henry Willet and Joey Bracher, The Traditional Pottery of Alabama (Montgomery, 1983); 
Jerry C. Oldshue, "Ceramic Gravestones of Northeast Mississippi and Northeast 
Alabama," Newsletter of the Association for Gravestone Studies 11:2 (1987): 17; Samuel D. 
Smith and Stephen T Rogers, A Survey of Historic Pottery Making in Tennessee (Nashville, 
1979), 142-43; Charles G. Zug, Turners and Burners: The Folk Potters of North Carolina 
(Chapel Hill, 1986). 

9. John Michael Vlach, The Afro-American Tradition in the Decorative Arts (Cleveland, 1978; 
rpt. Athens, GA, 1990). 

Richard Veit 25 

10. Heinrich Ries and Henry B. Kummel, The Clays and Clay Industry of New Jersey, 
Geological Survey of New Jersey, vol. 4 (Trenton, 1904), 195. 

11. Harry B. and Grace M. Weiss, Early Brickmaking in New Jersey (Trenton, 1966). 

12. M. Lelyn Branin, The Early Makers of Handcrafted Earthenware and Stoneware in Central 
and Southern New Jersei/ (Rutherford, NJ, 1988). 

13. John Wall and Harold E. Pickersgill, History of Middlesex County, Neiv Jersey (New York, 
1921), 271. 

14. Charles De Kay "What Terra-Cotta May Do," Harpers Weekly 39 (1895): 655. 

15. WiUiam C. McGinnis, History of Perth Amboy, 1651-1962 (Perth Amboy, NJ, 1962), 11. 

16. Charles L. Sachs, Made on Staten Island (Richmondtown, NY, 1988). 

17. W. L. Richmond, Richmond's Directory of Perth Amboy, Woodbridge, Sewaren, Fords, and 
Keasbey: Middlesex County, Neiv Jersei/, 1920 (Yonkers, NY, 1920). 

18. RL. McPartlan, Perth Amboy, New Jersey: Facts and Figures Concerning its Rapid Groivth 
and Unequalled Advantages as a Manufacturing Center (Perth Amboy, NJ, [1910]). 

19. Merion E. Rigney, Secretary to Mr. PC. Olsen, Vice President of the Federal Seaboard 
Terra Cotta Corporation, to the Perth Amboy Public Library [Letter describing the oper- 
ations of the Federal Seaboard Terra Cotta Corporation], 30 June 1937, Perth Amboy 
Public Library. 

20. Gary F. Kurutz, Architectural Terra Cotta of Gladding McBean (Sausolito, CA, 1989), 10; 
Malcolm M. McHose, Clay Deposits in the Woodbridge-Sayreville-Perth Amboy Area: Facts 
Our Citizens Should Know (Perth Amboy NJ, 1960). 

21. Heinrich Ries, Building Stones and Clay Products: A Handbook for Architects (New York, 

22. Several undated [circa 1930] terra-cotta catalogs are on file at the Perth Amboy Public 
Library, Perth Amboy, New Jersey. 

23. Personal communication, Vincent Alba, April 9, 1994. Two of Mr. Alba's uncles were 
sculptors at the Seaboard Terra Cotta Corporation. He is a senior citizen and long-time 
resident of Perth Amboy. 

24. Robert J. Wenke, Patterns in Prehistory: Humankind's First Three Million Years (New York, 
1990), 446-47. 

25. Harley J. McKee, Introduction to Early American Masonry: Stone, Brick, Mortar, and Plaster 
(Washington, D.C., 1983), 54. 

26 Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 

26. Katherine A. Esdaile Eyiglish Church Monuments, 1510-1840 (London, 1946), 56. 

27. McKee, 54. 

28. Allison Kelley, Mrs. Coade's Stone (Upton-on-Severn, England, 1990), 243-45. 

29. McKee, 54. 

30. "American Industries: the Trenton Fire-Brick and Terra Cotta Works," Frank Leslie's 
Illustrated Neivspaper (24 April 1875), 1. 

31. "Terra Cotta is Popular Field for the Danes," Perth Amboy Evening News (5 May, 1932), 

32. "American Industries," 1. 

33. Ries, 320. 

34. De Kay, 655. 

35. Federal Seaboard Terra Cotta Company, Architectural Terra Cotta and Wall Ashlar Catalog 
(New York, 1937). Brochure found in Perth Amboy Public Library. 

36. "American Industries," 1. 

37. Ries, 323. 

38. Vincent Alba, personal communication, April 9, 1994. 

39. McGinnis, 11. 

40. See Graves, 36-76. 

41. See Varick A. Chittenden, The Danes of Yates County: The Histori/ and Traditional Arts of 
an Ethnic Community in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State (New York, 1983). 

42. Staff member of the Danish Home for the Aged, Edison, NJ; personal communication, 
April 2, 1994. 

43. Veit, "Shadows of a Changing Culture," 41. 

44. William Payne Loyd and William Dickinson Loyd, Improvements in Tombstones from 
Potter's Clay. Patent No. 214-427, 10 June 1879. 

45. Collins C.W. Morgan, Improvements in Terra-Cotta Grave Covers. Patent No. 132-851, 5 
November 1872. 

46. Atlantic Terra Cotta Company, "Cleanability: a Factor in Choice of Building Materials," 
Atlantic Terra Cotta XI (1932): 3. 

Richard Veit 27 

47. Davis, 480. 

48. See, for instance, Michele J. Kuhn, "The Treasures of Perth Amboy: Art Legacy a Look 
Away," The Home Nezvs (1 August 1993), A-1, C-L 

49. "History of a Statue," Perth Ainboy Evening Neivs (22 June 1959), A-6. 

50. Ibid. 

51. "Federal Plant was Organized 60 Years Ago," Perth Amboy Evening Nezvs (4 October 
1948); "Federal Seaboard Terra Cotta Marks 70th Birthday," Perth Amboy Evetiing Nezvs 
(19 April 1958). 

52. "Great Crowds View Pediment," Perth Amboy Evening Nezvs (13 October 1932). 

53. Kuhn, A-1. 

54. Ibid. 

55. See Rita Zorn Moonsammy, David Steven Cohen, and Lorraine E. Williams, eds., 
Pinelands Folklife (New Brunswick, NJ, 1987). 

56. See, for example, Lynn Clark, "Gravestones: Reflectors of Fthnicity or Class?", in 
Consumer Choice in Historical Archaeology, ed. Suzanne M. Spencer-Wood (New York, 
1987), 383-95; Richard E. Meyer, "The Literature of Necroethnicity in America: An 
Annotated Bibliography," in Ethnicity and tlie American Cemetery, ed. Richard E. Meyer 
(BowHng Green, OH, 1994), 222-38; Randall H. McGuire, "Dialogues with the Dead: 
Ideology and the Cemetery," in The Recovery of Meaning: Historical Archaeology in the 
Eastern United States, eds. Mark P. Leone and Parker B. Potter, Jr (Washington, D.C., 
1988), 435-80. 

57. Clark, 384. 

58. Department of Commerce, Fourteenth Census of the United States, Taken in the Year 1920, 
Vol. IX (Washington, D.C., 1923), 652. 

59. "Terra Cotta is Popular Field for the Danes," 2. 

60. Ruth Wolk, The History of Woodbridge, Nezv Jersey (np, 1970). 

61. For more information on ethnic groups and theories of acculturation, with specific ref- 
erence to New Jersey, see Paul A. Stellhorn, ed., Nezv jersey's Ethnic Heritage (Trenton, 
1976); Giles R. Wright, Arrizml and Settlement in a New Place: Nezv ]ersei^ Ethnic Life Series 
3 (Trenton, 1986); Alan M. Kraut, The Huddled Masses: The Immigrant in American Society, 
1880-1921 (Arlington Heights, IL, 1982). 

62. Baugher and Venables, 37. 

63. "History of a Statue," A-6. 

28 Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 

64. McGuire, 451. 

65. Mark Nonestied, personal communication, 1993. 

66. Ibid. 

67. John Matturi, "Windows in the Garden: Italian-American Memorialization and the 
American Cemetery," in Ethnicity and the American Cemetery ed. Richard E. Meyer 
(BowUng Green, OH, 1993), 30. 

68. McGinnis, 8. 

69. C. Kurt Dewhurst and Marsha MacDowell, "The Conduit Tile Buildings of Grand 
Ledge, Michigan," Pioneer America 15:3 (1983): 91-103. 

Richard Veit 


Cemeteries with Terra-Cotta Gravemarkers 




Alpine Cemetery 

Perth Amboy NJ 


St. Mary's Cemetery 

Perth Amboy NJ 


Bethel M.E. Cemetery 

Staten Island, NY 


Holy Trinity Cemetery 

Woodbridge, NJ 


Saint James Cemetery 

Woodbridge, NJ 


Hillside Cemetery 

Metuchen, NJ 


St. Stephen's Cemetery 

Woodbridge, NJ 


Cavalry Cemetery 

Woodbridge, NJ 


Our Lady of Hungary Cemetery 

Woodbridge, NJ 


St. Peter's Cemetery 

Perth Amboy, NJ 


Christ Church Cemetery 

South Amboy, NJ 


Our Lady of the Most Holy 

Rosary Cemetery 

Woodbridge, NJ 


Calvary Cemetery 

Sayreville, NJ 


St. John the Baptist 

Greek Catholic Cemetery 

Perth Amboy, NJ 


Total number of markers 


This table does not include terra-cotta corner posts, uninscribed urns, or 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

Fig. 1 Distribution of Adam and Eve scenes on 
kirkyard monuments in the Scottish Lowlands 



Betty Willsher 


Before the reformation in Scotland, the prestigious and the wealthy 
were buried inside churches and chapels, and were commemorated on 
mural monuments, chest tombs, altar tombs, and slabs. Commoners were 
buried outside the church or chapel in unmarked graves. After the 
Reformation, there was an edict that no further burials should take place 
inside churches, so gradually the upper classes raised, over their kirkyard 
family burial lairs, those same types of monuments which had previous- 
ly been erected inside the churches. The grand early 17th-Century exter- 
nal mural monuments in Greyfriars, Edinburgh, are examples of this. In 
the 18th Century, a degree of prosperity among tenant farmers and 
tradesmen in the Scottish Lowlands led to commissions for an increasing 
number of such memorials for the graves of ordinary folk. Whilst the 
churches were stripped of Popish emblems and ornaments, and the newly 
built post-Reformation churches, with a few exceptions, were strictly 
plain, the Church did not object to the kirkyard monuments being carved 
with sets of emblems which promoted the new ideology. 

These emblems of mortality and immortality were taken from the 
emblem books which were so popular in the 17th and 18th Centuries, par- 
ticularly Francis Quarles's Emblems Divine and Moral (1635) and 
Hieroglyphics of the Life of Man (1638).^ The emblem books drew heavily on 
Cesar Ripa's Iconographia (1603).- The source of almost every emblem in 
the range may be traced back to an earlier usage in Greek, Roman, and 
other cultures, but the significance was changed to suit each new religious 
philosophy. The two main emblems were the winged head, taken from 
ItaUan Renaissance art (but stemming from an earlier source), represent- 
ing the soul of the deceased, and the death's head, the selected condensed 
symbol for death. In addition, it was permissible and popular to display 
emblems of the appropriate trade, and to decorate the monument with 
motifs taken from Renaissance art and architecture, such as volutes, car- 
touches, and pediments. The stones in the kirkyards were cut by local 
masons, who were usually employed in other types of mason work: only 

32 Adam and Eve Scenes 

rarely, in places where demand was high, did masons specialize and serve 
customers in several parishes. Carved kirkyard monuments are found in 
England, Northern Ireland, New England, and in the Protestant areas of 
Germany, as well as in Scotland. In other Reformed countries, such as 
Switzerland and The Netherlands, the practice has been to remove or 
recut old stones regularly, so few monuments of this kind have survived. 

In addition to the emblems, English and Scottish masons in the 18th 
Century carved biblical scenes on memorials, along with relevant texts 
from the scriptures or with rhyming epitaphs. The masons very rarely 
signed their work (a signature was probably in most instances not con- 
sidered necessary, for the mason would be known locally), but many of 
the cutters in England and New England have been identified. Such doc- 
umentary research has yet to be done in Scotland, where the distinctive 
style of an 18th-Century carver may nonetheless be recognized in two or 
three adjacent parishes. 

By far the most popular type of monument was the headstone. An 
agreement between mason and customer would determine the type of 
memorial - the shape, the decoration, and the emblems selected from the 
range. In Scotland and New England (and in some regions of England), 
the local mason used all the possible permutations in order to give each 
family a unique stone. These carvings were part of a widespread tradi- 
tion. At the 1978 Dublin (New Hampshire) Seminar for New England 
Folklife, one of the principal themes which ran through the papers pre- 
sented there was the question of whether early American gravestone art 
can be construed as folk art. There were the usual associations between 
crude technique and folk provenance, but Lance Mayer convincingly 
argued, from his study of Connecticut Valley markers, that the carvers 
were part of a larger folk tradition because they shared a vocabulary of 
"plebeian" motifs used by folk and native artists everywhere, in particu- 
lar 17th- and 18th-Century Europe.^ 


Carved stones appear in areas where a level of prosperity in the local 
population created a demand, where there was a local source for stone 
which was suitable for cutting, and where there resided a mason capable 
of carrying out such work. In his early 20th-century studies of kirkyard 
memorials in the Scottish Lowlands, David Christison recorded 24 with 
scenes of Adam and Eve carved on them."^ In the course of my own field- 

Betty Willsher 33 

work I have recorded an additional 34. Their distribution stretches from 
Kincardineshire in the northeast through most of the southern counties 
and as far southwest as Kirkcudbright (see Fig. 1). Such is the extent of the 
loss of stones from our graveyards that it is likely there were once many 
others. One of the most distinctive characteristics of headstone monu- 
ments in Scotland is that it was usual to carve them on both faces, a prac- 
tice which allowed more space for these biblical scenes. Most of the scenes 
are in fact on headstones, the dates of which range from 1696 to 1799. 
However, as can be seen from the map, there are certain areas where 
Adam and Eve scenes do not appear. In the Lothians, where 18th-Century 
stones are heavily carved, the preferred biblical scene was that of the 
Sower and the Harvester ("As ye sow so shall ye reap"). In Renfrewshire, 
Dunbartonshire, and Stirlingshire (excepting Polmont and Holy Rude, 
Stirling), kirkyard monuments are relatively plain. In addition, in all of 
these counties, as well as in Clackmannanshire, Kinross, and west Fife, 
there was a tradition from the 17th Century of setting up stones to identi- 
fy lairs which had been bought. Such "marker" stones are often plain, 
with only initials and dates, and bearing such legends as "Holds three 

lairs" and "This is the property of ." Among them may be found a 

minority of "monument" stones, usually set up to signify people of 
importance. Travelling from west to east, the ratio of "monument" to 
"marker" increases, as does the incidence of carvings. A "marker" was set 
up when the lairs were purchased: a "monument," on the other hand, was 
set up after the death of a family member, when full information was 
inscribed and the stone embellished with carvings. 

Why was the subject of the Fall of Man so popular in Scotland? It is 
certainly in line with the other messages which the graveyard carvings 
convey. Memento Mori is the most usual inscription. Epitaphs, emblems, 
and scenes all warn that death is inevitable, but for those who seek grace, 
that indestructible part of man, the soul, may attain a place in Heaven. 
Religious fervour was stronger in 17th- and 18th-Century Scotland than 
in England, and great stress was laid upon sin, death, and the 
Resurrection. So it is not surprising that there were constant reminders of 
original sin, of the Temptation by the Devil, of the fall of Adam, and of the 
expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. God did not intend that there 
should be death: death and suffering were brought about through Adam's 
fall. A typical epitaph runs: 


Adam and Eve Scenes 


Fig. 2 Detail of the Farnell Pictish stone, Montrose Museum 

Betty Willsher 


By Adam's sin death enter'd in 
All mankind to devour 
Who to this day will stay alway 
Be subject to the power. 

There is reference to Christ as "the second Adam": through His death he 
set man free, giving to him the choice of salvation. The portrayals of 
Adam and Eve in Paradise, of the Temptation and the Fall, and of the 
Expulsion are reminders and warnings. The winged souls on these stones 
are messages of hope. In addition, the scene carved may have been a bul- 
wark to strengthen faith which was wavering in the face of the loss of 
loved ones, particularly children. The scene was a reminder that death 
was not the fault of God. Dates of death on a third of the stones are inde- 
cipherable: of the dated ones, 19 were erected in memory of children - a 
significant proportion. 

Christison refers to earlier carvings of such stones - for example on a 
Celtic cross on lona and on the Pictish stone (Fig. 2) which was removed 
from its site at Farnell, Angus, and set up in Montrose Museum.'' The 
stone has recently been repaired and cleaned, allowing for a clearer 

Fig. 3 Detail of chest in Rosslyn Chapel, Midlothian 

36 Adam and Eve Scenes 

inspection of its details. Two dumpy human figures standing on either 
side of the tree may have served as models centuries later, but the two 
huge serpents making a frame to the picture were not copied. From a 
much later date, Christison provides an illustration of the ceiling of the 
Skelmorlie Aisle, built and painted for Lord Montgomery of Skelmorlie in 
1636-38, found in the old church at Largs.^ Although many carvings and 
paintings in churches were effaced after the Reformation, some may have 
survived long enough for their iconography to be copied, and may have 
contained scenes of the Temptation and Fall. There were other examples 
of the familiar scene readily to hand - in illustrated bibles and religious 
books, in school primers, in chapbooks, on funeral broadsheets, on pot- 
tery, and on furniture (Fig. 3 illustrates the scene on a Flemish bog-oak 
chest in Rosslyn Chapel). Traditionally, Adam stood left of the tree (to the 
onlooker) and Eve on the right (i.e.. Eve was on Adam's left). The serpent 
appeared coiled up the tree trunk, emerging with its head looking down 
at Eve. Perhaps from diffidence, the mason usually carved fig-leaf aprons 
for the couple, although if the scene is of the Temptation before Adam ate 
of the apple, this is, strictly speaking, anachronistic. 


In England, churchyard memorials with scenes of Adam and Eve were 
identified some decades ago by Frederick Burgess.^ They were carved by 
two late ISth-Century schools of masons, one based in Suffolk, Kent, and 
Essex, the other in the West Midlands, in villages around Evesham. These 
stones were signed, as was more often the case in England at the turn of 
the 18th Century. Three biblical subjects appear to be common to both 
England and Scotland: The Sacrifice of Isaac, the Fall and the Redemption, 
and the Expulsion from Paradise. The latter two, which fall into the gen- 
eral category of Adam and Eve scenes, are found on gravestones at South 
Littleton (Worcs., 1804), Child's Wickham (Glos.), and at Church Langton 
(Leics., 1777).^ The Church Langton scene shows Adam and Eve, dressed 
in leafy skirts, standing on either side of the tree with the serpent coiled 
round it. Adam stands slightly higher than Eve and is on the left of the 
tree as we look at it. Below a figure of the risen Christ, an angel admon- 
ishes them while Death directs his dart at Adam. Adam and Eve face 
away from us, but their heads are turned to look at the serpent. The scene, 
charmingly set in flowing arabesques, is very small and at the top centre 
of a tall stone. Burgess describes the carvings of this school of masons as 

Betty Willsher 


"sumptuous": indeed, their work seems quite sophisticated compared 
with that found in Adam and Eve scenes on Scottish stones, where the 
cutters were parish masons (or may even have worked in some other 
trade, such as that of wright). 

North America 

Three scenes on memorial stones in North America, which have been 
described and illustrated by Deborah Trask, closely resemble the work of 
Scottish masons.'' Exemplifying the strength of this tradition of carving, 
they are as follows: 

(1) St. Paul's Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia: Mary (d. 1775) and Freke (d. 
1796) Bulkeley, head panel of tablestone (Fig.4). This depicts Adam and 
Eve on either side of the tree, but here Eve is standing on the left (to the 
onlooker). The two are rather alike in appearance, with short bob hair 
styles and wearing what resemble swimming trunks. The couple face for- 
ward, with their feet turned inward towards each other. Adam holds an 

Fig. 4 Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1775/1796, Mary and Freke Bulkeley 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

apple in each hand: Eve has one in her right hand, and seems to be taking 
another from the serpent, which is in exactly the same position as on most 
of the Scottish stones. Trask reproduces an illustration - with its accom- 
panying verse, "In Adam's Fall / We sinned all" - from The Child's Guide 
(printed in London in 1725) which presents an Adam and Eve scene sim- 
ilar to that on the Bulkeley stone. ^° 

(2) Catholic Burying Ground, Spring Garden Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia 
(now in the collection of the Nova Scotia Museum, Halifax): No name (c. 1795), 
end panel of tombstone (Fig. 5). This is surely by the same cutter as the 
Bulkeley stone, but here Eve is on our right, the usual stance in Scotland. 
With her right hand she takes an apple from the serpent. Here Eve has 
long hair, though both she and Adam wear apparel which closely resem- 
bles that of their counterparts on the previous example. 

(3) East Burial Ground, Bristol, Rhode Island: Sarah Swan (d. 1767), tym- 
panum of gravestone (Fig. 6). Both figures are clad in short leafy aprons. 
Again Eve is on the left (to the onlooker) and is about to take an apple 

Fig. 5 Fragment of tombstone. Nova Scotia Museum, Halifax 

Betty Willsher 


from the serpent, which is hanging downwards round the trunk, as at 
Biggar in Lanarkshire, Scotland. Inscribed to the left and right of this 
scene are the words "For as in Adam all die, even / so in Christ shall all 
be made alive." The work has been attributed to the carver Stephen 

A Cause for Concern 

As in America, The Adam and Eve scenes in Scottish kirkyards form a 
distinctive collection of folk art sculpture, reflecting the religious philoso- 
phies and social history of the 17th and 18th Centuries. Moreover, these 
stones are only a part of the valuable art collection which survives in the 
graveyards of every parish. The importance of churchyard memorials has 
been recognized in those areas of the United States where such mason 
work is to be found. There, the Association for Gravestone Studies has 
been the inspiration and guide to local and statewide groups to record 
graveyards and to put them in order, resetting loose and tilted stones and 


V wiWHaSF Ji^tilJilu.^ ImL. sssbw? js.^BBHK fc-^ tsonv tmitmm ■■iiii'i'^ ■ I- c,\& tniw Ish 

Fig. 6 Bristol, Rhode Island, 1767, Sarah Swan 

40 Adam and Eve Scenes 

recovering those which have been removed. The Association also acts as 
a pressure group to bring about the introduction of state laws which make 
encroachment on cemeteries illegal and which impose severe penalties on 
vandalism and the theft of stones. Historians and art historians, among 
others, have carried out a considerable amount of research. In Scotland, 
various local societies have made complete recordings of graveyards. 
Even so, a local authority, despite objections, recently granted permission 
for an old churchyard (in Paisley) to be turned into a car park. The move 
to turn churchyards into "gardens" is also a threatening one. Builders are 
interested in developing neglected city cemeteries in which may be found 
some fine work by 19th-century sculptors. 

Staring us in the face is the fact that most of these stones have a short 
future, as the carvings and inscriptions are flaking. Some of the stones 
recorded by Christison (or by earlier researchers) have disappeared. There 
is constant loss. Through an annual grant from the Society of Antiquaries 
of Scotland, and at the request of The Royal Commission on the Ancient 
and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), I, along with Doreen 
Hunter and Jess Nelson, have made sample records of the best carved 
stones in each parish in the Lowlands (excepting Aberdeenshire and 
Renfrewshire). The photographs are held in the National Monuments 
Record of Scotland. 

In 1901, David Christison, then Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries 
of Scotland, strongly recommended that the unique Faith, Hope, and 
Charity stone in Greyfriars, Perth, be taken into a museum. Ninety years 
on, all plans have been agreed upon to set up a small museum, opening 
onto the graveyard, to contain that special stone and a representative sam- 
ple of several others. It will be done as soon as money is available. The 
same measure could be taken in other graveyards, using an adapted 
watch-house or mort-house, or a shed, as at Abdie, Fife. A simpler method 
to protect a stone in situ would be to erect a small roof over the top of it, as 
rain followed by frost causes flaking. Where stones lie against the kirkyard 
dyke, and the carvings on the face are thus hidden, it might be considered 
feasible to select one or two for preservation in the church porch, in the 
church itself, or in the local museum. In the United States, an increasing 
number of fibre-glass models are being made for museums, or to stand in 
place of the original stone which goes to the local museum. Funds for this 
are raised by local groups. Scotland should take note. Our District 
Councils should be made aware of the significance of gravestones, and 

Betty Willsher 


they should not agree to their removal from graveyards. If local societies 
can record churchyard monuments, at least there will be data for further 
research and for the management of this part of our heritage. 


There follow descriptions, and in many instances illustrations, of 
Adam and Eve stones in the Scottish Lowlands, quoting as appropriate 
from Christison. The stones are grouped geographically, broadly from 
northeast to southwest, and, where convenient, chronologically. In some 
cases where stones have deteriorated to the point where photography 
yields inadequate detail, drawings have been made by Rex Russell. I have 
been unable to find the stones reported at Farnell, Angus, at Tarbolton 
and Dunlop in Ayrshire, and at Dalbeattie (Kirkpatrick-Juxta). In stones 
for more than one person, the date given is that of the first burial listed. 

Dun and Tannadice (Angus); Cargill (Perthshire) 

Dun (1): 1696, James Erskine, aged 28, and Agnes Burn, aged 25. On the 
long panel of a tablestone are incised the scene of the Sacrifice of Isaac 

Fig. 7 Dun, Angus, 1699, Robert Paterson 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

accompanying that of the Fall of Man. Adam and Eve stand under a tree 
which has thin, stick-like branches bearing apples (not unlike the tree seen 
in Fig. 2). They face outward in rigid stances, and an active serpent pre- 
sents an apple to Eve. This scene is half hidden, and the carving is worn. 

Dim (2): 1699, Robert Paterson, aged 48, and his wife, Margaret (Fig. 7). 
On the end panel of a chest tomb we have a close-knit, symmetrical tree 
with roots. Eve is passing an apple to Adam's outstretched hand, while 
each has placed the outer hand on the stomach. It is interesting that 
masons often carve the hands thus - as if to indicate (as in a comic strip) 
the anticipated relish. The Dun carvings constitute two of the three earli- 
est recorded Adam and Eve stones. 

Tannadice: 1715, no name (Fig. 8). This stone, now built into the wall of a 
house near the churchyard, has been reused. It bears the inscription "AS IN 
ADAM'S FALL WE SINNED ALL" and the date 1715. The mason may have 
been the cutter of Dun (2), or may have been influenced by that depiction. 

Fig. 8 Tannandice, Angus, 1715 

Betty Willsher 


Cargill: no date, no name (Fig. 9). This is a loose panel lying on the ground 
(there is also a panel with a carving depicting the Sacrifice of Isaac). The 
rendering bears some similarity to the Paterson scene at Dun, though Eve 
has long hair. 

Logie-Pert and Stracathro (Angus); Fettercairn (Kincardineshire) 

Logie-Pert (1): 1742, John Prestack, aged 72, and Margaret Scott, aged 56 

Fig. 9 Cargill, Perthshire 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

(Fig. 10). Christison notes: 

As if to typify the readiness of Adam to accept the 
fatal gift, one arm with open palm is stretched 
towards Eve. A rose springs from Eve's right and Adam's 
left ankle, and on the outer side of each figure a 
conventional but elegantly foliaged single-stemmed rose 
tree with a large flower at the top completes the design.'^ 

The roses are significant: they stand for Perfection, and therefore for 
Paradise. The mason who carved all the stones in this group, and many 
others in the area, embellished his scenes with roses, often a single rose or 
a lily springing from a plant pot. The figures on his stones are delightful 
- small-bodied with short legs and very square shoulders, large-eyed, and 
with neat hair in a rope, coil, or long or short bob. At the top of the legs, 
a curved line, like the bottom of a vest, avoids embarrassing details. 

Logie-Pert (2): no date, no name. This tablestone support (loose) was not 
seen by us in the field, though Christison reports that: 

Fig. 10 Logie-Pert, Angus, 1742, John Prestack 

Betty Willsher 


The serpent descends the tree but with no apple in its 
mouth, and our first parents stand with hands clasped 
in front as if still able to resist the tempter's wily 
tongue. Above Eve ... is inscribed Homo Damnavit.'-^ 

Adam and Eve have similar hairstyles, and their feet are turned inward to 
the tree. 

Logie-Pert (3): 1743, Anna Annandal, aged 29 (Fig. 11). Christison summa- 
rizes the scene as follows: "Adam and Eve in primitive innocence, appear 
to be walking in the Garden of Eden."^"* This may well be the monument 
to the wife of the cutter of these five stones, i.e., James Annandal, who 
died in 1754 at the age of 65. The shield on the other side of this, their fam- 
ily stone, carries the mason's tools of trade. As seen on this side, identical 
square-shouldered figures are clad in bikini-like pants. Each rests one 
hand on the stomach and holds up a rose in the other hand. A huge lily 
growing in a pot is placed in the centre of the scene. 

Stracathro: 1730, Margaret Will, aged 59 (Fig. 12). This stone was described 
and illustrated early in this century: even then it was in poor condition 
and mended by a metal clamp. ^^^ Here we meet the wide-eyed gaze of 

Fig. 11 Logie-Pert, Angus, 1743, Anna Annandal 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

Fig. 12 Stracathro, Angus, 1730, Margaret Will 

familiar figures resembling those at Logie-Pert. 

Fettercairn: 1737, Margaret Dickie, aged 75, and three infant children (Fig. 
13). As Christison points out, the resemblance to the Prestack stone, 
Logie-Pert (1), is indeed striking.'^ Consider, for example, the trees: at the 
end of each bough are two leaves with an apple between, looking like a 
sycamore fruit. Also note the roses springing from ankles of Adam and 
Eve. Beneath is the inscription: 


Dundurn [near Comrie], Clunie, and Methven (Perthshire) 

Dmidurn Burial Ground, Comrie: 1729, Cathrine Dewar. Under the spread- 
ing wings of a large soul effigy, Adam and Eve, hand in hand, walk in the 
Garden of Eden. Adam is on the left (facing): he has short bobbed hair, 
while Eve has long hair. They are clad in very short leafy aprons. Each 
grasps a lily, and two roses are carved between them. The east face of the 
stone bears a tree, possibly the Tree of Life. 

Betty Willsher 


oraitNDS ON Ej^sth kifrain from tears 
"vtrra PLEASURES j«w we aie elest 




MAY THE 28 1737 AGED 75 YEARS 

Fig. 13 Fettercaim, Kincardineshire, 1737, 
Margaret Dickie (after Christison) 

Clunie: 1742, James Dog, aged 73. This stone is so worn that it is impossi- 
ble to distinguish more than the usual format of tree, figures, and serpent. 

Methven: 1748, John Watt's young children (Fig. 14). The mason, John 
Watt, who may have cut the stone, stands above the scene wearing his 
mason's apron; his tools, with freemason emblems, are displayed in the 
shield. The style of the carving does not match with any of the other 
scenes. The figures, wearing short pants, are dumpy, and the heads seem 
to be fixed to the bodies with no necks. The tree, with long thin branches 
and tiny apples, is not unlike that seen on the Erskine stone (Dun 1). 
While the serpent proffers the apple temptingly, Adam and Eve seem to 
be doubtful and pondering, each with hand to chin. As often occurs, the 
scene is set so that the figures and tree stand on a ledge. Here we find the 
only epitaph which places the blame directly on Eve: people 
This.was.the way. that sin. began 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

Fig. 14 Methven, Perthshire, 1748, children of John Watt 

Collace, St. Martin, and Logiealmond (Perthshire); Lundie (Angus) 

Collace: 1742, John Gardner, aged 66. On a tablestone panel, the figures of 
Adam and Eve face inward, in the same position as at St. Martin (see 
below), and may represent the work of the same cutter. 

Betty Willsher 


St. Martin: 1750, Janet Ritchy, aged 20, spouse to James Mitchell, and their 
children who died young (Fig. 15). This rendering is different from any so 
far described. The figures are presented sideways and facing inward to 
the tree and to each other: each places a hand over the private parts. But 
their faces are turned towards us and wear guilty, anxious expressions. 
The serpent holds an apple immediately above Eve's head. The open 
books are inscribed (in Latin): "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ 
shall all be made alive." The scroll below bears the words Fate Manent 

Logiealmond: 1764, James Nockel, age not decipherable (Fig. 16). The 
mason here seems to have used the St. Martin scene as a model, but being 
less skilled the carving is clumsy, albeit striking. With an inspiration of 
great originality, he has made the shape of the tree long and thin and 
undulating, with the boughs above Eve terminating in a serpent's head. 
The scroll is inscribed with the familiar Memento Mori. 

Lundie: 1759, the five Ritchie children (Fig. 17). This resembles the St. 

Fig. 15 St. Martin, Perthshire, 1750, Janet Ritchy (Mitchell) 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

Fig. 16 Logiealmond, Perthshire, 1764, James Nockel 

Betty Willsher 


Martin carving in that the figures face inward. Adam holds an apple, and 
Eve stretches out a large greedy hand to the serpent, which has an apple 
in its mouth. Although the figures are positioned sideways, they are pro- 

Fig. 17 Lundie, Angus, 1759, Ritchie children 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

vided with covering leaves which are the size of fig leaves (many of the 
aprons in other scenes look as if they are made with an apple tree leaf or 
anything but the usual shape of the fig leaf). The most interesting feature 
here is that the serpent's tail ends in a dart of death. The tree is fuller and 
more graceful than that found on the St. Martin stone. The caption reads: 
"The serpent beguiled me and I did eat." On the reverse side of this stone 
is a carving of the Sacrifice of Isaac - the only headstone known to carry 
both scenes. 

Little Dunkeld and Logierait (Perthshire) 

Little Dunkeld (1): 1744, John Burry, aged "about 60" (Fig. 18). Christison 

Fig. 18 Little Dunkeld, Perthshire, 1744, John Burry 

Betty Willsher 


describes the stone as depicting "Eve holding an apple just received from 
the serpent, and Adam holding out his hand as if willing to take anoth- 
er." ^^ A new feature is the very long aprons (or skirts) worn by Adam and 

Little Dimkeld (2): 1762, John Campbell, aged 35 (Fig. 19). According to 

The subject is treated in a totally different manner 
from those formerly described. [There is] a 'Memento 
Mori' ribbon, above the middle of which Eve, clothed 
in an apron and a kind of mantle, is sitting in the 

Fig. 19 Little Dunkeld, Perthshire, 1762, John Campbell 

54 Adam and Eve Scenes 

background under a tree, and points to Adam, who, also 
wearing an apron, stands forward with one hand on his 
stomach and the other stretched towards the tree. Between 
them, and in front of Eve, the serpent crawls along the 
ground towards the tree. The attitude suggests that Eve 
is asking the serpent to fetch an apple for Adam, who is 
quite ready to receive it.'^ 

The Burry stone was reported to Christison as being at Dunkeld, and the 
Campbell stone as at Birnam. The two actually stand side by side in the 
churchyard of Little Dunkeld, which is at Birnam. It seems strange that 
someone would report one without the other - or were the stones at that 
time not sited as now?^^ As Christison remarks, the treatment of the 
Campbell stone is "grotesque," but it is amusingly in line with children's 
drawings, particularly in one feature: the boughs of the tree spring from 
the same place at the top of the trunk, as if they were twigs in a deep vase. 
Some features have been copied from the Burry stone - the exceptionally 
long leaf aprons, Adam's stance (except that the hands are reversed), and 
the form of leaves on the tree. Both stones also feature a full-faced skull. 

Logierait (1): 1769, John McLaren, aged 22 (Fig. 20). This small stone pro- 
vides a scene similar to that found on the Burry stone, but is embellished 
with flowers and angels, and the tree is fuller and more artistic. On the 
reverse face there is a small head portrait in an oval frame, just as may be 
found on the Burry stone, and the lettering seems to be by the same hand. 

Logierait (2): 1784, Margaret Connacher, aged 56 (Fig. 21). In Christison's 

The figures stand within an archway, and on the arch 
is inscribed 'THE SERPENT DECEIVED EVE.' The serpent 
is coiled round the tree, on either side of which stand 
Adam and Eve, wearing aprons of fig-leaves, and Eve 
displaying an apple in her hand.^*^ 

Christison gives the salient features of all the stones in this group. The tree 
is alike in each instance - small, compact, and composed of leaves, with 
six to nine symmetrically placed apples. In keeping with the tradition of 
mason work, there are slight variations from scene to scene. The objective 
in the customer-mason agreement was to produce a unique memorial for 

Betty Willsher 


each family, while using a set range of subject matter. This was accom- 
plished by playing on permutations. Thus it is very rare to find two stones 
which are identical (except in central Scotland). This particular mason 
usually gives us figures with neat hair styles (rope band style, long or 
short bobs), broad foreheads, and slightly pointed chins. Adam and Eve 
face forward, but there are differences in the positions of their feet. The 
captions on the arches vary slightly. The Connacher stone was recently 
accidentally broken, but was skillfully restored and set up facing north 
and south. The cleaning has revealed that Eve has been given long hair by 





•^ V' 



i:> \ 



Fig. 20 Logierait, Perthshire, 1769, John McLaren 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

Fig. 21 Logierait, Perthshire, 1784, Margaret Connacher 

Betty Willsher 


Fig. 22 Logierait, Perthshire, 1781, Margaret McLaren and Ann Steuart 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

Fig. 23 Logierait, Perthshire, 1784, mother of William Husband 

Betty Willsher 


a shock of incised lines. Was this, one might ask, added by the cutter at 
the request of the customer, and after the completion? One can imagine an 
argument, for the addition is not in keeping with the style of carving. 

Logierait (3): 1781, Margaret McLaren and Ann Steuart, first and second 
wives of Peter McFarland (Fig. 22). Presumably, Margaret died young 
(Ann died at the age of 28). The death of yet a third wife was added later. 
Here the figures are cut short at the waist, as the scene is found at the bot- 
tom of the stone. The inscription reads "The Serpent Beguiled Eve." 

Logierait (4): 1784, William Husband's mother (no age given) and two 
young children (Fig. 23). This carving seems obviously by the same hand. 

Dowally and Lagganallachy (Perthshire) 

Dowalli/: 1782, John and James (aged 26), sons of William Douglas (Fig. 
24). This resembles the Connacher stone closely and has the same caption, 
though with a spelling mistake. 

Lagganallachy: 1764, George Black, aged 73 (Fig. 25). The tree here is simi- 

Fig. 24 Dowally, Perthshire, 1782, John and James Douglas 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

lar, but the skull in the row of death emblems is not the same type as on 
the stones above, which bear a very distinctive profile skull with rimmed 
eye sockets and a cranial line. 

Fig. 25 Lagganallachy, Perthshire, 1764, George Black 

Betty Willsher 


Greyfriars Perth, Kinfauns, St. Madoes, and Caputh (Perthshire) 

Grey friars Perth: 1782, John Cameron and Janet McLaren, the parents of 
Daniel Cameron, gardener (Fig. 26). The unusual feature here is that the 
tree springs from a globe of the world, on which are inscribed the usual 

Fig. 26 Greyfriars Perth, Perthshire, 1782, 
John Cameron and Janet McLaren 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

tools of the gardener - spade, rake, measuring reel - and something not 
seen elsewhere, two marker flags. The Adam and Eve figures are attrac- 
tive, and the tree and serpent well formed. The monument is of red sand- 
stone and, standing under a tree, is deteriorating rapidly. 

Kinfauns: 1782, the parents of James Morrison, gardener. Here we have 
two almost identical stones, cut by the same mason. 

St. Madoes: 1785, Gilbert Layell, aged 55 (Fig. 27). Although in the parish 
adjacent to Kinfauns, this probably represents the work of a mason who 
cut his own family stone at Kinnaird. Both are of red sandstone, and each 
features an identical depiction of Father Time. Here at St. Madoes, how- 
ever, he sits on top of the oval frame, which holds the Adam and Eve 
scene. The tree is composed of a staggering array of very small apples, 
and, parting the boughs, one sees an angel of a very primitive cut. 

Caputh: 1809, David Robertson's young children. Here there is simply a 

Fig. 27 St. Madoes, Perthshire, 1785, Gilbert Layell 

Betty Willsher 63 

carving of the tree with apples and the snake coiled around it, while 
underneath is a large-winged soul effigy. 

Falkirk, Polmont, and Campsie (Stirlingshire) 

Falkirk: 1750, Christian Lauder. Christison summarizes the scene thusly: 

Eve receiving an apple from the serpent in the tree, 
and apparently handing another across its stem to Adam. 
They both wear girdles of fig leaves. The roots of the 
tree spring from a thigh bone.^' 

This a superior and pleasing carving. The tools of Christian Lauder's hus- 
band, a gardener, are depicted in the side panels and under the scene of 
the Fall of Man. The stone disappeared from Falkirk, either before the 
clearance of the graveyard or at that time. Many of the stones from this 
site were used for bottoming at Polmont. 

Polmont (1): 1796, IS IG (Fig. 28). This stone is loose and is propped up 
against the north kirkyard dyke beyond the church. It is not possible to 
see the inscription face further than the date 1796. This surely must be 
the work of the cutter of the 1750 Christian Lauder stone (see above), but 
it is an unusually long date gap. The design of the face has been varied, 
so that the roses and tools are in different positions, but all the ingredi- 
ents and the style of presentation tally. It is possible that this stone was 
cut between 1750 and 1775 and not actually used until 1796. There is a 
splendid array of carved stones at Polmont, and it may be that the three 
gardeners' stones were the work of Robert Hart, who erected a monu- 
ment to his young children in 1766 and died in 1775. This particular 
monument has Adam and Eve supporters clad in leafy sashes which end 
in large fronds. 

Polmont (2): 1754, TS EC, and a revised inscription (Fig. 29). It was cus- 
tomary to take over a stone and carve a revised date and inscription. 
Fortunately, the original date was left in this case. This stone represents 
the third of the group. All bear the inscription "Solomon in all his Glory 
was not arrayed like one of these." 

Campsie (1): 1799, CC AMcF. On the main panel of this small stone a book 
is set over a winged soul effigy: on either side are two dumpy figures with 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

Fig. 28 Polmont, Stirlingshire, 1796, IS IG 

Betty Willsher 


leaf aprons, outer hands placed on stomachs and inner hands touching 
the tips of the soul's wings. On the open book is inscribed "GEN. 3.8 & 
JOB 2.26." 

Campsie (2): 1799, GC AMcF (Fig. 30). This is a variation of the previous 
example, with a different soul effigy, striated pilasters, crossbones, and 
skull. To mark the second family, another stone was set up, this being a 
feature of Stirlingshire graveyards. 

Fig. 29 Polmont, Stirlingshire, 1754, TS EC 


Adam and Eve Scenes 


Fig. 30 Campsie, Stirlingshire, 1799, GC AMcF 

Betty Willsher 


Kilchousland (Argyllshire) 

Kilchouslartd: 1720 (Fig. 31). This stone was reported by Robert Rodgers in 
1983.^^ Adam and Eve are depicted as if cUmbing in the boughs of trees - 
an extraordinary and a very pleasing picture, perhaps meant to represent 
their freedom in Paradise. 

Fig. 31 Kilchousland, Argyllshire, 1720 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

Biggar and Hamilton (Lanarkshire); Uphall (West Lothian); Lyne 

Biggar: 1713, Bertram, aged 28 (Fig. 32). According to Christison: 

The treatment . . . has the peculiarity that Eve is 
nude while Adam wears a loincloth, . . . and that the 
apples immediately above their heads take the form of 

In my photograph it looks as though Eve has a drape by her left leg. She 
holds her left hand in a concealing position. The appearance of skulls and 

Fig. 32 Biggar, Lanarkshire, 1713, Bertram 

Betty Willsher 


doves is a feature of scenes found on stones in Kirkcudbright and 
Ayrshire. The tree is composed entirely of large apples and bananas. Both 
Adam and Eve have long hair, and the serpent is in a new position: apple 
in mouth, it hangs upside down on the tree trunk. Gazing ahead. Eve 
rather furtively holds her right hand ready at her side. 

Hamilton: 1717, James Telfer. A report by John Traynor (Ardrossan) notes 

The stone is about 20 in. (0.5 m) high with ADAM and 
EVE carved above the figures themselves. As you face 
the stone both figures (Eve virtually obliterated apart 
from the head) are to the right of the tree. 

Fig. 33 Uphall, West Lothian, 1733, James Reid 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

Fig. 34 Lyne, Peebleshire, 1712, Janet Veitch 

Betty Willsher 71 

Uphall: 1733, James Reid, aged 49, tablestone end panel (Fig. 33). In 
describing the tree found on this stone, Christison remarks that: 

It is remarkable for the extraordinary load of large 
apples. Both figures have cloaks or drapes: again Eve 
takes the apple from the snake, and Adam stretches out 
a greedy hand.'* 

The drapes here resemble sashes. 

Lyne: 1712, Janet Veitch, aged 16 (Fig. 34). According to Christison: 

The treatment of Eve is exceptional, as she faces the 
tree and seems to stretch her left hand towards the 
serpent which seems to be licking it, while she takes a 
huge apple bigger than her head from the tree with her 
right. Both she and Adam wear skirts or aprons, and 
her flowing hair is elaborately dressed.'^ 

This small scene is at the top of the panel, and a transparent covering has 
been utilized to protect it: the carving is in excellent condition. The accom- 
panying text reads: 


Bowden (Roxburgshire); Dryburgh Abbey (Berwickshire) 

Bowden: 1697, Basil Bonitone, in the hollow of a pediment of a tablestone. 
Alan Reid has described this tiny carving, noting that the figures are 4/4 in. 
(113 mm) high, the breadth of the grouping is AVe in. (117 mm), and the tree 
is bVi in. (166 mm) high.^'' This is a compact tree with a mass of apples. 
Adam leans forward and is turned towards Eve, an arm outstretched. Eve 
(rather strangely) has both her hands lifted to her left. 

Dryburg Abbey Graveyard: 1745, William Pringle, aged 69, and Agnes 
Guldilock, aged 75 (Fig. 35). Christison comments: 

This example is more artistic, the figures being well 
proportioned and the tree more like a tree. Eve has 
her hand on her head as if in doubt.^^ 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

Fig. 35 Dryburgh Abbey, Berwickshire, 1745, 
William Pringle and Agnes Guldilock 

Betty WiUsher 


Fig. 36 Straiton, Ayrshire, 1705, John and Agnes Mure 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

Fig. 37 Kells, Kirkcudbright, 1706, McNaught children 

Betty Willsher 75 

The frame of Jacobean scrollwork, the styhzed leaves, and a rose above 
help to make this an elegant scene. This is one of the rare occasions when 
Adam and Eve are naked yet face forward. The stone is loose and has 
been taken into the Abbey ruins for protection. 

Straiton (Ayrshire); Kells and Kirkandrews (Kirkcudbright) 

Straiton: 1705, John and Agnes Mure and their children (Fig. 36). The top 
part of the stone bears a shield with flowing sprigs of greenery above and 
on either side. The shield seems to sit on top of a very small tree, out of 
which pokes the small head of a serpent. Adam and Eve's hands meet 
over the top of the tree as she gives him the apple. Each rests outer hand 
on hip. 

At Kells in Kirkcudbright there are four early stones with similar depic- 
tions of the Fall, all by the same mason who cut the Mure stone at Straiton 
in Ayrshire. The characteristics are pleasingly plump-limbed childish fig- 
ures who wear girdles of leaves. Eve with flowing hair, Adam with thick 
parted locks. The tree is composed of stubby boughs bearing leaves and 
small apples. In the trees there are carvings of the skull and the dove. The 
serpent has a small undifferentiated head and long sinuous coils. 

Kells (1): 1706, the McNaught children (Fig. 37). This portrayal is similar 
to that in the Straiton scene, though some differences are apparent. The 
positioning of hands, arms, and even feet are altered, and in the Kells 
scene Adam and Eve are depicted as standing on bones. 

Kells (2): 1707, Agnes Herese and nine infant children (Fig. 38). On this 
stone, which is in quite good condition, a dove surmounts the tree, and a 
large skull, turned inwards and sideways, looms over Eve's head. Adam 
hangs on to a bough as if to hold himself back from sin. 

Kells (3): 1718, Annable Chambers. This is almost the same as the Herese 
scene, but the tympanum is more steeply domed, the skull has been 
inserted between Eve's body and the tree trunk (instead of above her), 
and on Adam's left side is a bone. The stone is broken in three places. 

Kells (4): 1702, Margaret Jardine and two children (Fig. 39). On this small 
stone by the same cutter we find a very truncated version of the Fall: aside 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

from secondary iconography, the only references to the Adam and Eve 
scenario are the apple tree with the serpent coiled about it. 

Kirkandrews: 1790, the McMonies children (Fig. 40). This stone is obscured: 
it is difficult to distinguish Resurrection scenes (in which the dead rise 
naked from the grave) from those which portray Adam and Eve without 

Fig. 38 Kells, Kirkcudbright, 1707, Agnes Herese 

Betty Willsher 


apple tree and serpent. Here (and at Alva Old, Clackmannan, on a slab 
dated 1700) the two figures cover their private parts as if ashamed. It is 
possible that the one at Alva is intended to be Adam and Eve, but the 
Kirkandrews example is so similar to two other scenes on headstones at 
Borgue and at St. Johns Dairy, Kirkcudbright - both Resurrection scenes - 
that it leads one to suspect that this is the intent of the depiction here. The 
marked difference in heights, as well as the fact that the taller figure 

Fig. 39 Kells, Kirkcudbright, 1702, Margaret Jardine 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

stands upon a skull and the other upon a coffin, point to their represent- 
ing William McMonies, who died 25 March 1790, aged five years, and his 
sister Mary, aged one year, who died two days later. 

Tundergarth, St. Mungo, Kirkconnel, Repentance, and Hoddam 

Tundergarth: 1711, James Johnston, aged 39 (Fig. 41). This very tiny scene 

Fig. 40 Kirkandrews, Kirkcudbright, 1790, McMonies children 

Betty Willsher 


at the bottom of the stone face presents an aln^ost token tree: huge leaves 
sprout from a centre and alternate with apples. Adam and Eve hold their 
outside hands behind their backs, their inner hands stretching towards 
the tree and each other. 

St. Mimgo: 1737, John Bell, aged 71 (Fig. 42). The Fall scene, depicted on 
the lower portion of the stone, is in the same style as seen on the 
Tundergarth example: here we also find a tiny tree, while the snake seems 
to be delivering another apple into Eve's hand. The figures wear small 
drooping pants. The serpent is coiled round the base of the tree, its head 
at the level of Eve's waist, and is turned towards her. An inscription 
beneath reads: 


Fig. 41 Tundergarth, Dumfriesshire, 1711, James Johnston 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

In the upper portion of the stone, portraits of John Bell, his spouse Janet 
Irving, and a child surround a shield which bears three bells. 

Kirkconnel: 1768, William Garioch (Fig. 43). Of this carving on a tablestone 

Fig. 42 St. Mungo, Dumfriesshire, 1737, John Bell 

Betty Willsher 


support, Christison says: 

Across the stem [of the tree] Eve's right hand nearly 
meets Adam's left, but no apple is to be seen either 
there, or where Eve's other hand touches the serpent's 

This resembles the relationship between Eve and the serpent on the Little 
Dunkeld (2) stone and the scene at Lyne. The serpent is in dreadful con- 
volutions at the base of the tree. 

Repentance: 1768, George Douglas, aged 100 (Fig. 44). Christison describes: 

A tree with half a dozen apples and as many leaves. 
Eve seems to be aided by the serpent in handing an 
apple to Adam, whose folded arms indicate he has not 
yet fallen.^^ 

The serpent has similar convolutions to those at Kirkconnel. Huge vines 
flank the scene. It would appear that several of these stones have a com- 
mon source. 

Fig. 43 Kirkconnel, Dumfriesshire, 1768, William Garioch 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

Hoddam: 1777, James Wightman and children. Christison suggests that 
this is a Tree of Life.^° It cannot be placed under the category of Adam and 
Eve stones because the two figures on either side of the tree are not the 
first couple but men in 18th-Century costume. 

Fig. 44 Repentance, Dumfriesshire, 1768, George Douglas 

Betty Willsher 


Riccarton, Craigie, Dundonald, Colmonell, and St. Quivox (Ayrshire) 

The ten Ayrshire Adam and Eve stones are reported by Christison, except 
the Straiton scene aheady described with the Kells group, and the 
Dundonald stone (see below). ^^ They are a disparate group, each seem- 
ingly the inventive creation of different masons. 

Riccarton (1): no date, no name (Fig. 45). On this stone, as Christison notes: 

The tempter is not the serpent but the woman. Adam makes a vigorous 
resistance. He is represented fleeing from her . . . The design is quite pecu- 
Uar in one respect. The figures, instead of standing with their heads 
towards the top of the stone, are placed horizontally. Eve stands firmly 
with clasped hands as if piqued by his refusal, but resolved to conquer. ^^ 

What a wonderful departure! The trunk (not shown in Christison's draw- 
ing) is squashed in between the figures, and at the sides are two superb 
specimens of Green Men."*^ At the very top of the stone, a skull spews out 
greenery, which droops down to either side of a framed portrait head. We 
were unable to decipher the inscription. 

Fig. 45 Riccarton, Ayrshire 

84 Adam and Eve Scenes 

Riccarton (2): date and name not given by Christison, who does tell us 

Adam and Eve, robust figures, stand on either side of the tree, which 
has a very small head. No details of leaves or apples visible, neither is 
there any sign of the serpent.-''' 

From Christison's accompanying illustration, it would seem that Eve 
stands on the right of the tree and Adam on the left. We were unable to 
find this stone, but it may have sunk so that the figures are no longer vis- 
ible. On both these Riccarton stones the figures are naked. 

Cragie: 1692 ("given as the earliest date but obviously cut later" )^^, no 
name. Christison provides a good description of this stone and his illus- 
tration is reproduced here (Fig. 46). Apparently the stone was removed by 
the family who owned it. Never was there a more closely packed tree. The 
little winged soul effigies below the tree are of the style to be found in the 
Dreghorn/Dundonald area, with two upswept wings, but here only one 
wing shows because of the angle of the head. Adam is naked, while Eve 
has a loincloth. 

Dundonald: no inscription deciphered. This headstone is very worn. The 
dumpy figures stand either side of the tree, long arms stretching towards 
each other. The other hands cover their nakedness. The serpent is not 
apparent on the sturdy tree trunk, but may be in the boughs. There is a 
faint impression of a dove in the tree. 

Colmonell: 1758, Andrew McKissock and Maram McNiellie (Fig. 47). In 
Christison's words: 

A monstrous fat serpent trailing on the ground offers the apple in its 
mouth to a bold-looking, robust Eve, who takes it with one hand 
while grasping with the other the hand of a poorly developed and 
reluctant Adam, whose abject terror seems to cause his limbs to give 
way under him.-''' 

As at Riccarton (1), the woman is shown as dominant. The two wear short 
aprons: above are angels on either side of a skeleton, and at the bottom of 
the stone appears the familiar Ayrshire ploughing scene. Adam seems to 
stand on one of the team of animals. Eve's hair lies on her head like a wig, 
and the goodman flourishes his goad. 

Betty Willsher 


Fig. 46 Cragie, Ayrshire, 1692 [?] (after Christison) 



Adam and Eve Scenes 

St. Quivox: 1766-84, James McCalla, his wife, and their children (Fig. 48). 
Christison's description informs us that: 

Here the tree with its fruit is depicted, with the 
inscription 'In the day thou eatest of it thou shalt 
surely die.' Above is a shadowy outline of another 
tree which Mr. Wilson took to be 'the Tree of Life, on 
which the hapless pair are turning their backs as they 
go forth from the garden.'-^'' 

This is perhaps the most appealing of all the Adam and Eve scenes. Eve is 
on Adam's right - a departure to be found only in Ayrshire. They are long- 
legged, which gives them a certain grace, and they look forlorn. The thin 
trees tower above them: the incised tree in the centre seems to have had 
apples, and may have been a branch from the tree on Adam's left. 
Damage and wear at the top centre of the stone have almost obliterated 
the inscription. 

Fig. 47 Colmonnel, Ayrshire, 1758, 
Andrew McKissock and Maram McNiellie 

Betty Willsher 


Fig. 48 St. Quivox, Ayrshire, 1766-84, James McCalla 

Adam and Eve Scenes 


A slightly modified version of this article originally appeared in Volume 122 (1992) of the 
Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and we are grateful to the Society for per- 
mission to reprint it here. As a number of the carvings treated in this article are poorly pre- 
served or otherwise difficult to photograph, 1 am extremely grateful to Rex Russell for draw- 
ing these for me: they are reproduced here as Figs. 12, 16, 25, 26, 31, 39, 43, and 44. With the 
exception of the photographs in Figs. 4, 5, and 6 - which were taken by Daniel and Jessie Lie 
Farber - all photographs are by the author. A number of these - Figs. 2-3, 7-10, 20-23, 27-28, 
30, 33, 35-37, 40-41, 45, and 47-48 - were taken for the National Monuments Record of 
Scotland, and I am grateful to RCAHMS for permission to publish them in this article. The 
distribution map (Fig. 1) was drawn for publication by Margaret Finch and was funded by 
a grant from the Society's Angus Graham Bequest. Finally, my thanks go to Doreen Hunter 
and Jess Nelson for all their help with the fieldwork. 

1. Francis Quarles, Emblems Divine and Moral [published with] Hieroglyphics and the Life of 
Man (London, 1777). 

2. Cesar Ripa, Iconographia (Padua, 1603). 

3. Lance R. Mayer, "An Alternative to Panofskyism: New England Grave Stones and the 
European Folk Art Tradition," in Puritan Gravestone Art II, ed. Peter Benes (Boston, 
1978), 5-17. 

4. David Christison, "The Carvings and Inscriptions on the Kirkyard Monuments of the 
Scottish Lowlands," Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 36 (1901-02): 280- 
457; "Additional Notes on the Kirkyard Monuments in the Scottish Lowlands," 

Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 39 (1904-05): 55-116. 

5. Christison, "Carvings and Inscriptions," 328. 

6. Ibid., 339. 

7. Frederick Burgess, English Churchyard Memorials (Cambridge, 1963). 

8. For illustrations of the South Littleton stone, see Burgess, 194 and Plate 6. 

9. Deborah Trask, Life How Short, Eternity How Long: Gravestone Carving and Carvers in Nova 
Scotia (Halifax, NS, 1978), 61-68. 

10. Ibid., 63. To the south of Nova Scotia, a virtually identical verse and image was used to 
illustrate the letter "A" in the famous New England Primer. 

11. Vincent F. Luti, "Stonecarvers of the Naarragansett Basin: Stephen and Charles 
Hartshorn of Providence," Markers II (1983): 162-68. For additional discussion of the 
Swan stone, see Harriette Merrifield Forbes, Gravestones of Early New England and the 
Men WJio Made Them, 1653-1800 (Boston, 1927; rpt. New York, 1989), 105, 117; Allan I. 
Ludwig, Graven Images: New England Stonecarving and Its Symbols, 1650-1815 
(Middletown, Conn., 1966), 85; and Dickran and Ann Tashjian, Memorials for Children of 

Betty Willsher 89 

Change: The Art of Early New England Stonecarving (Middletown, Conn., 1974), 181-84, 


12. Christison, "Carvings and Inscriptions," 313-14, Fig. 32. 

13. Ibid., 314-15, Fig. 33. 

14. ft/rf., 313, Fig. 31. 

15. See Alan Reid, "Memorials at Dalmeny, With Notes on the Churchyards of Edzell, 
Lethnot, and Stracathro," Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 49 (1914-15): 
300, Fig. 11. 

16. Christison, "Carvings and Inscriptions," 341, Figs. 55 and 56. 

17. /fc/rf., 341, Fig. 54. 

18. Christison, "Additional Notes," 83, Fig. 28. 

19. In another apparent confusion, only one of the four Logierait stones discussed in this 
article was reported to Christison. Perhaps, one might speculate, it was thought they 
were identical. 

20. Christison, "Carvings and Inscriptions," 340-41, Fig. 53. 

21. Ibid., 342, Fig. 57. 

22. Robert H. Rodgers, "Carved Headstones of Eighteenth-Century Scotland" (Diss., 
University of St. Andrews, 1983). 

23. Christison, "Carvings and Inscriptions," 343, Fig. 58. 

24. Ibid., 343, Fig. 59. 

25. /bid., 344, Figs. 60 and 61. 

26. Alan Reid, "The Churchyard Memorials of Abercorn, Bowden, and Carrington," 
Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 44 (1909): 63-64, Fig. 11. 

27. Christison, "Carvings and Inscriptions," 345, Fig. 62. 

28. Ibid., 345-46, Fig. 63. 

29. Ibid., 347-48, Fig. 64. 

30. Ibid., 348-49, Fig. 65. 

31. Christison, "Additional Notes." 


Adam and Eve Scenes 

32. Ibid., 85, ¥ig. 29. 

33. For more on the Green Man emblem, see Betty Willsher, "The Green Man as an Emblem 
on Scottish Tombstones," Markers IX (1992); 58-77. 

34. Christison, "Additional Notes," 86, Fig. 30. 

35. Ibid., 86, Fig. 31. 

36. Ibid., 88-89, Figs. 32 and 33. 

37. Ibid., 87. 

Betty Willsher 



Adam and Eve Stones in Scotland, Arranged by County 























































Little Dunkeld 




Little Dunkeld 





























St. Quivox 















Perth, Greyfriars 



St. Madoes 




St. Martins 

























St. Mungo 



































Tablestone Panel 










no date known 





no longer to be found 


Cemeteries as Community 

Fig. 1. Outline map of Illinois depicting the location of Coles County. 



Gary S. Foster and Richard L. Hummel 


Cemeteries, as cultural landscape, show patterns of change over time 
and store cultural insights^ though the way they are read varies by acad- 
emic discipline. The preponderance of cemetery studies have come from 
the fields of history, genealogy, art history, anthropology, religion, folk art, 
commemorative art, historic preservation, folklore, cultural geography, 
English, historical archaeology, landscape architecture, and philosophy.^ 

As sociologists, we find our own discipline conspicuous by its 
absence, though sociology has not been completely dead to cemeteries as 
a data source. Kephart used cemetery data to assess social status-^, Warner 
treated cemeteries as expressions of community values and structure"*. 
Young analyzed graveyards as reflections of social structure^, and Durand 
used tombstone inscriptions to estimate life expectancies in the Roman 
Empire during the First and Second Centuries.^ While Thomlinson offers 
historical and methodological cautions'', there are no disciplinary reasons 
for the exclusion of sociology from cemetery research. Kephart wrote in 
1950: "... for sociologists interested in the general field of folkways, 
mores, and social origins, the customs and precedents which exist in the 
category of 'after death' [including cemeteries] present virtually an 
untapped source of information."^ Yet, nearly a half-century later, little 
has been done within sociology to make use of this material, perhaps 
because, as one commentator has noted, "... scholars in the social sciences 
. . . have failed to realize the potential of the cemetery as a data base."^ 

Rather than extracting from cemeteries only a single datum (e.g., rep- 
resentative stones of a particular carver, gravestone motifs, or the ceme- 
tery customs of a particular ethnic group), we view cemeteries as "com- 
munities of the dead,"^° alive with sociological data reflecting past com- 
munities. "'Community,' as distinguished from 'the community,' empha- 
sizes the common-ties and social-interaction ...,"" delineated less by 
locale and more by "... personal intimacy, emotional depth, moral com- 
mitment, social cohesion, and continuity in time."^^ In this sense, a grave- 
stone "... conveys a life and that life's love, anger, happiness, and place in 
family, community and society." ^^ 

94 Cemeteries as Community 

To an extent, the cemetery as community has been recognized. 
Vidutus and Lowe note that "... the cemetery . . . can be analyzed and read 
as a cultural text containing information about the social, religious, and 
aesthetic expectations of the community that maintains it."^'* Similarly, 
Young states that "Cemeteries are public, quantifiable artifacts that extend 
back into time ..., useful to students of community structure."^^ Much 
research on cemeteries has been done in the context of ethnicity,^^ and the 
ethnic enclave as community is significant in sociology. "In fact," notes 
our authority, "ethnicity has rivaled class as a major preoccupation of 
community researchers."^^ 

Church cemeteries certainly reflect past communities. Those buried in 
them shared similar lifestyles, common religions, and all that accompa- 
nies such mutual experiences. Many interred in the same church cemetery 
knew one another, knew the families of one another, interacted with many 
of the others buried there, called them by name. Moreover, many large, 
municipal cemeteries are organized into fraternal and ethnic sections 
where the buried knew one another in life, sharing interests and commu- 
nity. Those who lived in the same time period shared a common history 
and notion of the world. 

Only a few cemetery types cannot legitimately be approached as com- 
munities of stone. Municipal cemeteries that merely survey, number and 
sell lots are no more communal than a Holiday Inn. Like vacationers in a 
motel, individuals and families buy and take up lots with no knowledge 
of those next to them. Military cemeteries might also be excluded as com- 
munity, for while those interred there may have shared many common 
(military) experiences, they had a wide diversity of backgrounds - differ- 
ent ethnicities and religions, residences, and degree of commitment to 
military service. Conversely, battlefield cemeteries do reflect elements of 
community in that those interred shared friendships, battles, campaigns, 
fears, hopes, and - ultimately - death. 

What might a census of these communities of stone reveal? Meyer pro- 
vides this challenge to the researcher: "Far more than merely elements of 
space sectioned off and set aside for the burial of the dead, cemeteries are, 
in effect, open cultural texts, there to be read and appreciated by anyone 
who takes the time to learn a bit of their special language." ^^ The buried, 
in fact, constitute populations to be described demographically.^^ 
Engraved stones yield a variety of social characteristics, including gender, 
ethnicity, age, seasonal fertility (conception and birth) patterns, seasonal 

Gary S. Foster and Richard L. Hummel 95 

mortality patterns, marital status and other familial relationships, and, 
occasionally, migration and occupational data. Inscriptions may provide 
insight into the character and demeanor of the person buried there. 
Finally, one must remember that, in many instances, people are not buried 
randomly, but interred in particular (e.g., church) cemeteries because of 
particular (e.g., religious) affiliations. 

The potential for such research is intriguing, particularly for historical 
sociology when data are not readily available in other forms. Would com- 
paring homogeneous cemeteries (e.g., church cemeteries of different 
denominations, ethnic cemeteries of different groups, public /municipal 
cemeteries of varying community size) from the same historical period 
reveal differences in life expectancies, sex ratios, infant and childhood mor- 
tality, the ratio of marked to unmarked graves, and so on? Would such 
indices from any single cemetery differ significantly from more conven- 
tional census data? What windows into community can be opened by a 
cemetery census? Can we read the story of an entire cemetery, and not mere- 
ly one gravestone? While such considerations are rather beyond the scope 
of this pilot study, we examine a single cemetery to illustrate the potential. 

The Adkins-Woodson Cemetery 

The Adkins-Woodson Cemetery is located in Coles County, in east- 
central Illinois (see Fig 1). The first Euro- American settlers began entering 
the area shortly before the creation of Coles County in 1830. The earliest 
cemeteries were family plots, later replaced by church cemeteries, which 
were, themselves, substantially replaced still later by public cemeteries.^° 

Most Coles County cemeteries, including the Adkins-Woodson 
Cemetery, have an east-west burial orientation (the feet to the east), con- 
forming to the Christian belief that the dead will rise to meet the dawn on 
Judgment Day. All cemeteries in Coles County were surveyed in the 1930s 
by the Sally Lincoln Chapter of the Daughters of the American 
Revolution. The survey recorded all gravestone inscriptions and noted as 
well all graves marked by uninscribed stones. In 1979, the Coles County 
Genealogical Society updated the survey, publishing the first two vol- 
umes in 1984 and 1985. All told, 88 public, church, and multi-family, and 
21 family and "pioneer" cemeteries were surveyed. ^^ 

The Adkins-Woodson Cemetery was selected for study because it 
seemed typical of rural church cemeteries, and it was convenient and 
accessible to our inquiry. Initially, it was a family cemetery. Subsequently, 


Cemeteries as Community 


Fig. 2. An overview, facing west, 
of the Adkins-Woodson Cemetery in late Spring. 

one acre was deeded to the Separate Baptist Church on May 29, 1865, 
though no record ever places a church structure at the cemetery. Several 
small Separate Baptist congregations still present in the vicinity, with 
cemeteries contemporaneous to the Adkins-Woodson Cemetery, have no 
recognition or collective memory of Adkins-Woodson as a Separate 
Baptist cemetery, and no written reference, other than the 1865 deed trans- 
fer, has been located. 

The Cemetery is situated at the edge of a wooded ravine, and mea- 
sures about 220 feet square (see Fig 2). It is generally organized by family 
(surname) sections. Maintenance, provided by the township, typically 
consists of several quick, and often incomplete, mowings each summer 
On Memorial Day, 1993, only two graves (spouses) were decorated with 
floral baskets by an elderly couple. On Memorial Day, 1994, these two 
graves and a third, unrelated grave were decorated. Hence, except for the 
political mandate of minimal maintenance, the Adkins-Woodson 

Gary S. Foster and Richard L. Hummel 97 

Cemetery, as community, is virtually deserted. 

A Profile of Cemetery as Community 

There are a total of 110 graves within the Adkins- Woodson Cemetery, 
102 (92.7%) with inscribed stones, and 8 (7.3%) with unaltered field 
stones. The cemetery spans ten decades, the first burial occurring in 1847 
and the last in 1944, though terminus decades (1840s and the 1910s 
through the 1940s) involve only one to four cases each. We did not exam- 
ine a random sample of the burials, but rather the entire population of the 
Adkins- Woodson Cemetery. As a result, our statistics are not inferrential, 
generalizable to a population, but are descriptive of the population of the 
Adkins- Woodson Cemetery (as community). Thus, while the precise pat- 
terns discerned (e.g., of male dominance) are specific to the Adkins- 
Woodson community, quite predictably all cemeteries will manifest their 
own expressions of such patterns.^^ 


Most cemeteries are archives of births, though these data are often 
overlooked, perhaps because it is no small contradiction to learn about 
the beginning of life by studying the end of life. Of the 110 people buried 
in the Adkins- Woodson Cemetery, 81 have birth months identified, allow- 
ing us to extrapolate months of conception (see Table 1). 

Table 1 
Frequencies of Conceptions and Births by Months 





4 (4.9%) 

8 (9.9%) 


5 (6.2%) 

7 (8.6%) 



7 (8.6%) 


8 (9.9%) 

6 (7.4%) 


7 (8.6%) 

10 (12.3%) 


7 (8.6%) 

5 (6.2%) 


6 (7.4%) 

5 (6.2%) 


10 (12.3%) 

4 (4.9%) 


5 (6.2%) 

11 (13.6%) 


5 (6.2%) 

4 (4.9%) 


4 (4.9%) 

5 (6.2%) 


11 (13.6%) 


98 Cemeteries as Community 

Table 1 shows monthly frequencies of conceptions and births. While 
no unequivocal patterns emerge, sufficient variations suggest patterns. If 
conceptions /births were evenly distributed, there would be about 7 
(8.6%) per month. However, the frequency of conceptions is above the 
mean for four months (March, April, August and December), reflects the 
mean for two months (May, June), and is below the mean for six months 
(January, February, July, September, October and November). Births are 
above the mean for four months (January, May, September, December), 
reflect the mean for two months (February, March), and are below the 
mean for six months (April, June, July, August, October, November). 
Many factors might account for these less-than-random variations. 

Considering conception, March and April, two high months, bring the 
end of dreary winters, and the optimism of another farming season. 
August, as a high month, is the lull after a summer of farming activities 
and before the hectic pace of harvest. December, though the dead of win- 
ter, is fraught with the seasonal celebrations of Thanksgiving, Christmas 
and New Year. Any reason for high-spirited chivaries or a break in the toil 
of seasonal life might inspire amorous exercise! 

Considering births, two of the highest months (December and 
January) are the dead of winter, placing the last trimester, the most 
uncomfortable period of pregnancy, after the heat and humidity of sum- 
mer. Similarly, May, one of the four high-birth months, places the last 
trimester before the discomfort of summer. These three months account 
for 33.3% of all births. This interpretation suggests more pregnancy plan- 
ning than probably occurred, and is compromised by September, the sin- 
gle highest birth month, which would place the last trimester precisely in 
the three summer months. Hence, while the same statistical pattern exists 
for conceptions and births (high and low months, 46.9% v 35.8%), we are 
more persuaded by the interpretations of conception. This seasonally-dri- 
ven conception interpretation is bolstered by our tentative examination of 
conceptions by ethnicity (English and Germans, the two distinguishable 
groups by surname). Both groups exhibited the same pattern of concep- 
tion, removing cultural /group influences and suggesting that more 
broadly-based community factors were influencing conception. Further 
study of larger n-sizes may yield more definitive patterns and interpreta- 

Gary S. Foster and Richard L. Hummel 



Of the 102 marked burials, 55 (53.9%) are males and 47 (46.1%) are 
females, yielding a sex-ratio (x males per 100 females) of 117. This sex- 
ratio is comparable to two extremes found by Dethlefsen's study of near- 
ly 100 colonial cemeteries, showing "... an improbable preponderance of 
men ..."^^ However, the preponderance of males may not be so improba- 
ble. Frontier areas attract a disproportionate number of men,^'^ and Coles 
County, originally part of the public domain, was not completely settled 
until about 1880.^^ Thus, for the first thirty years of the cemetery's exis- 
tence. Coles County was a magnet of opportunity, perhaps attracting a 
disproportionate number of men. Graph 1 depicts the age-sex distribution 
of the cemetery population. 

Considering mean age at death by sex, the mean age for males was 
27.5, and for females 24.8. The higher, average age for males is historical- 
ly consistent, though Dethlefsen found that the average length of life for 

Age/Sex Distribution of Burials 

Graph 1 


0-4 aM^tMMMWtMMMMm^amtmwmttmttW m 

10 15 

Number of Burials 





100 Cemeteries as Community 

Table 2 
Average Age at Death by Decade" 





























^Terminus decades (1840s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s) were excluded 
because each involved fewer than 5 cases. The 1860s emerge as an 
anomaly. Of 12 deaths in the 1860s, only 2 were adults and 10 were 
children, 2 years of age or younger. The temptation to invoke Civil 
War hardships is countered by the fact that half of the deaths 
occurred after the War (1866-1869). 

females began to surpass that of males around the turn of the Nineteenth 
Century.^*' Our data (Table 2) show that females did not generally outlive 
males until about the turn of the Twentieth Century. Conceivably, this 
100-year lag is due to a frontier effect. 

Seasonal differences in death (Graph 2) show deaths peaking in late 
summer, following fewest deaths in mid summer. The pattern of female 
deaths remains flat across all twelve months, but the pattern of male 
deaths replicates the overall pattern, indicating that it is male driven. 
Attempting to explain the tangential valley /peak pattern of male deaths 
evokes reference to "the lull before the storm" of agricultural harvest. As 
shall be discussed later, we found a strong tendency for younger deaths 
to occur in late summer, and the disproportionate number of very young 
persons buried in the cemetery (see Graph 1) contributes to the late sum- 
mer peak. 

Any socio-historical consideration of gender must address inequali- 
ties. Male dominance can be expressed in a variety of ways, as suggested 
by the following hypotheses. 

Hypothesis 1: Females are more likely to have familial relationships 
identified on their gravestones, an expression of male dominance/own- 
ership. Of the 102 marked gravestones, 69 (67.6%) indicated some famil- 
ial relationship to another person. Of these 69 cases, 28 (40.6%) were 
males (27 sons, 1 father), while 41 (59.4%) were females (22 daughters, 17 

Gary S. Foster and Richard L. Hummel 


Number of Deaths by Season 

Graph 2 

Dec-Jan Feb-Mar Apr-May Jun-Jul Aug-Sep Oct-Nov 



Females -^^ Males 

wives, 2 mothers). Thus, while only 28 (50.9%) of the 55 males buried in 
the cemetery had relationships identified, 41 (87.2%) of the 47 females had 
relationships identified. 

With this tendency to view females as possessions comes the corollary 
tendency for fewer females to be identified by surname. Of the 55 males, 
29 (52.7%) had their surnames given on the gravestones. Of the 47 
females, only 9 (19.1%) had surnames given. More commonly, they were 
identified by some combination of first and middle names or initials and 
a relationship to an adult male, with his surname given (see Fig. 3). 

Hypothesis 2: Male gravestones will reflect greater status and prestige. 
Commemorative gravestone inscriptions represent additional cost and 
confer additional status. While only 17 (16.7%) of the 102 gravestones had 
inscriptions, 12 of these (70.6%) were males and only 5 (29.4%) were 
females (see Fig 4). Thus, 21.8% (12) of the 55 males buried in the ceme- 
tery, and only 10.6% (5) of the 47 females, had stones with inscriptions. 

Prestige is also conferred by stone size. However, no gender differ- 
ences were found in gravestone height, partially a result of many married 


Cemeteries as Community 

Fig. 3. The gravestone of an adult female identifies the deceased by 
stating her relationship to an adult male, with only his surname given. 

Gary S. Foster and Richard L. Hummel 


III , An mtsh '^^^gi^^ili^^LmJmut 

Fig. 4, A male gravestone in the Adkins-Woodson Cemetery 

was more likely to have a commemorative inscription, 

conferring additional status. 

couples sharing a single stone. Also, no significant differences were found 
in the number of letters cut in the stones for males (62 letters) and females 
(59 letters), partially due to the greater tendency for females to have rela- 
tionships expressed. 

Age Status 

Of the 102 inscribed burials, 99 (97.1%) can be identified by age at 
death, revealing a bi-modal age structure (see Table 3). Infant/toddler cat- 
egories, spanning only three life years (birth-three), account for 42 (42.4%) 
deaths. Adult/elder categories, spanning 50 life years (ages 31-81), 
account for 43 (43.4%) deaths. Child /teen /young adult categories, span- 
ning 26 life years (ages 4-30), account for only 14 (14.1%) deaths. This sug- 
gests that if one survived the first three years in the 19th Century 
Midwest, the chances of surviving beyond young adulthood were quite 

104 Cemeteries as Community 

Table 3 


by Age 1 

















Young Adults 









For analysis, we collapsed infant/toddler/child/teen categories, 
yielding 51 cases (51.5%) in a single, subadult category; young 
adult /adult /elder categories were then combined to yield 48 cases 
(48.5%) in a single, adult category. These latter categories are comparable 
to Dethlef sen's study, though he sometimes defined subadult through 16 
years of age^'' and sometimes through 19 years of age.^^ However, 
Dethlef sen's data preceded our data by about 100 years, and our popula- 
tion only had one case between 17 and 19. Since infants and children are 
probably under-represented in cemeteries because of gravestone 
expense,^^ and since the eight unmarked graves in our study are probably 
those of children (based on contextual evidence), our subadult population 
is probably nearer 55 percent. Other expressions of differential treatment 
and inequality which may exist are tested by the following hypotheses. 

Hypothesis 3: The gravestones of subadults are more likely to express 
familial relationships (see Fig 5). Children are generally regarded only 
completely as persons in their relationships to others. "Age and sex," 
notes Vander Zanden, "are master statuses in all societies."^° Hence, the 
master status of children (age) is constructed as the daughter or son (sex) 

of . Of the 68 gravestones that indicated both a relationship and age, 

45 (66.2%) were subadults and 23 (33.8%) were adults. Thus, out of the 51 
subadults, 88.2% (45) were identified in the context of familial relation- 
ships, while only 47.9% (23) of the 48 adults were identified in such a con- 

Gary S. Foster and Richard L. Hummel 


Fig. 5. The gravestone of a child identifies the deceased 
in the context of a familial relationship. 

106 Cemeteries as Community 

Accompanying this tendency to define children within famihal rela- 
tionships is the tendency for substantially fewer subadults to be identified 
by surname. Of the 38 burials identified by some combination of first and 
middle names or initials and surname, only 9 (23.7%) were subadults. 
Thus, out of the 51 subadults, only 17.6% (9 cases) had surnames given, 
compared to 60.4% (29 cases) of the 48 adults. More commonly, subadults 
were, like females, identified by some combination of first and middle 
names or initials and relationships to adult males, with the adults' sur- 
names identified. 

Hypothesis 4: Subadults will have smaller gravestones, a function of 
expense, just as Dethlefsen noted that under-representation of child mor- 
tality in cemeteries is a function of gravestone expense.^^ The mean height 
of subadult gravestones was 2.4 feet, while the mean height of adult 
gravestones was 3.3 feet. Further, while only 30.4% of all subadults have 
stones that are 3 feet or taller, 71.7% of all adults have stones that are 3 feet 
or taller. Further measures of stone expense are the number of letters and 
the presence of commemorative inscriptions. The average number of let- 
ters reflected no real differences (subadult stones had an average of 62.6 
letters, adult stones 62.1 letters), partially a result of the tendency to iden- 
tify subadults in the context of relationships. Little difference was also 
found with respect to the presence of commemorative inscriptions. Of the 
17 commemorative inscriptions in the cemetery, 8 (47.1%) were on 
subadult stones and 9 (52.9%) were on adult stones. Thus, 15.7% (8) of the 
51 subadult stones and 18.8% (9) of the 48 adult stones had inscriptions. 

Considering age and season of death, Dethlefsen found "... a strong 
tendency for younger deaths to occur in late summer . . .," and while older 
people do not show such a strong pattern, "... older people died most fre- 
quently in late winter."-^^ Seasonal death patterns of our adult and 
subadult categories are consistent with Dethlefsen' s findings (see Table 
4).^-^ The increased likelihood of younger deaths occurring in late summer 
(fall) coincided with such water-borne diseases as malaria and cholera, 
exacerbated by the poorly draining prairie of northern Coles County prior 
to the 1880s,^^ and it is likely the older population segment may have 
acquired some resistance to such diseases. Late winter (spring) deaths of 
older people most likely reflect respiratory diseases and influenza which, 
to this day, afflict seniors more virulently. 

Overall, average age at death was 26.1 years. Dethlefsen studied near- 
ly 100 colonial (1720-1820) cemeteries in New England and found that the 

Gary S. Foster and Richard L. Hummel 


Table 4 
Deaths by Season 

(nionths expressed numerically) 




































average age at death, by cemetery, ranged from 29 to 45 years.'*'' While our 
average age at death - for a later time-period - is lower, Dethlefsen also 
found that rural agricultural communities had a higher proportion of 
subadult deaths because there were more subadults present, relatively 
speaking, which deflated the average age.^^ In that Coles County was 
rural, agricultural, and part of a developing frontier, our average age at 
death is then more interpretable with Dethlefsen's findings. 


Encouraged by the substantial ethnic studies based on cemetery 
data,^"^ we generated ethnic hypotheses, based on our previous research, 
and we identified ethnicity by surname, as we had done in that research.-^^ 
This yielded 91 English (including Scots and Irish), but only 12 Germans. 
Moreover, the cemetery data offered no insight into place of birth, so it is 
possible that the Germans had been in the U.S. for several generations 
and were thus "Yankee-ized," mollifying ethnic patterns. While the num- 
ber of Germans in the Adkins- Woodson population is small, the patterns 
(of percentages) profile the community. Ethnic research, at least in rural 
and agricultural contexts, suggests that Germans, compared to English 
and Yankees, were more traditional and conservative,^^ tendancies reflect- 
ed in the following hypotheses. 

Hypothesis 5: Germans, manifesting greater commitment to agricul- 
ture, will have larger families (more children). Two-thirds of the German 


Cemeteries as Community 

burials are sub-adults, compared to roughly half of the English burials. 
Either Germans were more likely to live in unhealthy conditions which 
elevated risks to their young, or there were more young to be victims of 
the statistical probabilities of an early death on an early frontier. The lat- 
ter seems more convincing to us. 

Hypothesis 6: Germans, placing greater emphasis on frugality, will 
have smaller stones and fewer letters in their inscriptions. With respect to 
stone size, while only 9.0% of all Germans have gravestones that are 3 feet 
or taller, 28.6% of all English have gravestones 3 feet or taller. Further, 
while no German stones were over four feet, 16.6% of all English stones 
exceeded this height. Eighty percent of the German burials offer no 
inscription of birth year, and 90% omit birth month. These omissions sug- 
gest frugality. On the other hand, all German burials provide date of 
death, while 11% of the English burials omit this datum. Exact age at 
death (i.e., 10 years, 2 months, 3 days) is also more likely to be reported 
on German tombstones. These two patterns suggest greater conservatism 
and traditionalism among Germans. A pattern contradicting our hypoth- 

Number of Burials per Decade 

Graph 3 

1 840s 1 850s 1 860s 1 870s 1 880s 1 890s 1 900s 1 91 Os 1 920s 1 930s 1 940s 


Gary S. Foster and Richard L. Hummel 


esized frugality of Germans is the fact that only 13% of the English buri- 
als had inscriptions, while 42% of the German burials displayed some 
inscribed sentiment. However, English burials were more likely (68%) to 
specify the family relationship of the deceased than German burials 
(50%), again perhaps reflecting greater frugality among Germans. 

Familialism and Community Decline 

Though the cemetery spans 100 years, its real growth occurred from 
the 1850s through the first decade of the 1900s, followed by a very rapid 
decline (see Graph 3). Despite the cemetery's designation as Separate 
Baptist in 1865, by the 1850s it was already more than a family cemetery. 
The first burial occurred in the 1840s. In the 1850s, fourteen burials 
occurred, representing six separate surnames, and in the first half of the 
1860s, before being deeded to the Separate Baptist congregation, there 
were an additional six burials with six different surnames. Hence, prior to 
May 29, 1865, when it was deeded to the Separate Baptists, there were 
twenty-one burials (19.1% of all burials), accounting for ten different sur- 





Number of Deaths by Decade 

Graph 4 

1 840s 1 850s 1 860s 1 870s 1 880s 1 890s 1 900s 1 91 Os 1 920s 1 930s 1 940s 





Cemeteries as Community 

names (30.3% of all surnames), suggesting that the cemetery was already 
serving a community or congregation. 

Spatial examination suggests the cemetery was not used to capacity, 
but remains about half vacant. Hence, the rapid decline in use after the 
first decade of this century cannot be attributed to a space shortage. 
Conceivably, the public cemetery movement in the county seat, and in a 
nearby major rail-line town, may have impacted the Adkins-Woodson 
Cemetery. However, these public cemeteries have been operating since 
1862,^° and thus provide no particular reason for the substantial decline 
after the first decade of the 1900s. 

The cemetery's rapid beginning and swift decline is most likely more 
indicative of the boom-bust cycle, a community development pattern 
common to frontier settlement.*^ Graphs 4 and 5 support this interpreta- 
tion. Graph 4, detailing the number of subadult and adult deaths by 
decade, shows the number of subadults declining and the community 
"running out" of subadults three decades before its demise, and any com- 
munity without children is certainly dying. Graph 5 shows a dramatic 

Mean Age at Death by Decade 

Graph 5 

1 840s 1 850s 1 860s 1 870s 1 880s 1 890s 1 900s 1 91 Os 1 920s 1 930s 1 940s 


Gary S. Foster and Richard L. Hummel 


increase in mean age during the final decades of the community, indicat- 
ing that only elderly members remained at the end. The Separate Baptist 
congregation, like any congregation, probably started with optimism 
about opportunities offered by a land just being settled, but by the early 
1900s the congregation, as community, was declining, marginalized by 
larger and more prosperous denominations. 

Young has employed person /name ratios (the number of people 
divided by the number of surnames), garnered from cemetery data, and 
with appropriate cautions, to reflect the relative importance of kinship in 
community.'*'^ If the number is large, kinship importance is greater, mak- 
ing community more homogeneous. "If small, it reflects declining . . . kin- 
ship importance, a trend . . . associated with certain changes in the econo- 
my and mobility of the population.'"*^ 

Thirty-three different surnames are found in the cemetery (1 surname 
accounts for 31 individuals; 1 surname for 11 individuals; 1 for 9 individ- 
uals; 1 for 7 individuals; 1 for 5 individuals; 6 surnames account for 3 indi- 
viduals each; 7 surnames for 2 individuals each; 15 surnames for 1 indi- 
vidual each). The fact that only 5 surnames (15.2%) account for 63 indi- 










Name-Person Ratio by Decade 

Graph 6 

1 840s 1 850s 1 860s 1 870s 1 880s 1 890s 1 900s 1 91 Os 1 920s 1 930s 1 940s 


112 Cemeteries as Community 

viduals (57.3%) partially suggests the strength and centrality of kinship in 
the community. However, this is offset by the remaining 28 surnames 
(84.8%) accounting for only 47 individuals (42.7%). 

Calculating person/name ratios by decade (Graph 6), excluding ter- 
minus decades - the 1840s and the 1910s, 20s, 30s and 40s - because of rel- 
atively few cases, reveals almost a unilinear decline from decade to 
decade. The name-person ratio is highest for the 1850s, progressively 
decreasing to a low of 1.44 in the first decade of the 1900s, with a single 
anomaly in the 1860s. The patterned decline supports the perspective of 
community in decline, i.e., the bust end of a cycle. 

Also of relevance are those buried alone (i.e., with no other person 
having the same surname interred in the cemetery). Out of the 102 iden- 
tified burials, only 15 (14.7%) are buried alone, each surname appearing 
but once. These burials span the decades of the 1860s through the 1900s. 
Those buried alone have fewer letters per stone (an average of 56.7 letters, 
V. 62.4 letters) and smaller stones (an average height of 2.3 feet, v. 3.0 feet). 
Only 33.3% of those buried alone have gravestones three feet or taller, 
compared to 57.7% of those buried with others of the same surname. 
These data suggest some marginalization of those buried alone. 

Of the lone burials, eight are males and seven are females. Eight are 
children (less than 7 years old), one is a teenager, five are adults (ages 33 
to 59), and the age of one is not known. Seven of the eight children died 
in the 1860s, 70s, and 80s. Since the cemetery was used for another half- 
century, and since the parents of these children were not buried with 
them, this again suggests a community in decline. After these children 
were interred, their parents apparently left the community (congrega- 
tion), and since the cemetery was never filled to capacity it would appear 
that those who left were not replaced by new members, again supporting 
the perspective of a community in decline. 


Dethlefsen and Deetz have noted that "Little is known about popula- 
tion composition or mean life span for any part of the world prior to the 
present century."*'* However, the data required to begin filling these voids 
are as near as the closest Nineteenth-Century cemetery. There, quite liter- 
ally, is sociology under foot. Clearly, we have achieved more unique 
insight into the Adkins-Woodson "community" than we could have 
developed using virtually any other data source. We do not diminish the 

Gary S. Foster and Richard L. Hummel 113 

value and importance of written records in extending, substantiating, and 
corroborating findings and inferences derived from the material culture, 
but merely illustrate the extent to which cemeteries can speak for them- 
selves. Moreover, the task of profiling community birth and conception 
patterns from more traditional records seems arduous, if not nearly 
impossible. Whether or not our conception pattern /interpretation stands 
in future research, we are convinced that such historical voyeurism holds 
tremendous potential for revealing community /life rhythms of the 
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, and might reflect contrasting pat- 
terns between rural and urban populations. 

The preferential expressions reflected in gender and age status affirm 
historically predictable patterns. However, our exploratory research 
focused on a single, congregational community of Separate Baptists, and 
it would not be unreasonable to place it on the conservative end of the 
conservative-liberal continuum. Hence, the differential treatment of 
women and children hypothesized and found in this study is certainly a 
function of historicity, but quite likely it is also partially a function of the 
Separate Baptist congregation constituting a very traditional, conserva- 
tive community, even a century ago. Conceivably, a comparative study 
examining different denominations may detect a conservative-liberal 
range, as reflected by expressions of relationships, defrocking the mythi- 
cal homogeneity of conservatism historically. 

Considerations of ethnicity further illustrate the cemetery as a rich and 
diverse archive. We generated hypotheses of ethnicity intersecting (a) 
agricultural commitment and family size and (b) frugality. In this sense, 
cemeteries reflect community life histories, not death histories. Indeed, 
much of our focus, employing data exclusively from a cemetery, is - 
somewhat paradoxically - upon life activities, e.g., commitment to agri- 
culture, family size, frugality, conception and birth, and familial relation- 
ships of women and children. Such a focus on life amidst those departed 
is fitting and consistent. Ultimately, cemeteries are made by the living, not 
the deceased, and they inventory the commentary the living offer about 
the lives of those buried there rather than about their deaths. Cemeteries 
are thus communities of the dead which embody life histories. 

American scholarly treatment of cemeteries has generally failed to 
pool the diversity of perspectives and modes of critical inquiry of a vari- 
ety of disciplines to achieve a more comprehensive, multifaceted assess- 
ment.^^ This failure should not be compounded by holding the sociologi- 

114 Cemeteries as Community 

cal approach in disciplinary isolation. Rather, a focus on social variables 
legitimately and broadly intersects the more traditional foci of cemetery 
studies. Those with substantive expertise in gravestone styles and deco- 
rative motifs might find significant correlation with variables of age, eth- 
nicity, gender and social class. As Meyer reminds us, the "... ultimate 
emphasis, irrespective of immediate focus or particular analytical tech- 
nique, is upon the illumination of the discrete cultural values which inter- 
fuse these sites and artifacts.'"*^ 


A version of this paper was preserited at the 16th annual meeting of the American Culture 
Association, Chicago, Illinois, April 1994. We are grateful to Richard E. Meyer for his encour- 
agement and to the anonymous reviewers for their comments and criticisms. All pho- 
tographs were taken by Richard L. Hummel. 

1. Richard E. Meyer, "Introduction: 'So Witty as to Speak,'" in Cemeteries and Gravemarkers: 
Voices of American Culture, ed. Richard E. Meyer (Ann Arbor, MI, 1989; rpt. Logan, UT, 
1992), 2. See also Richard V. Francaviglia, "The Cemetery as an Evolving Cultural 
Landscape," Annals, Association of American Geographers 61:2 (1971): 501-509. 

2. Meyer, "So Witty as to Speak," 5; Association for Gravestone Studies, membership 
application brochure (Worcester, MA, nd); Richard E. Meyer, ed.. Ethnicity and the 
American Cemetery (Bowling Green, OH, 1993), backcover. 

3. William Kephart, "Status after Death," American Sociological Review 15:5 (1950): 635-643. 

4. W. Lloyd Warner, The Living and the Dead (New Haven, CT, 1959), 280-320. 

5. Frank W. Young, "Graveyards and Social Structure," Rural Sociology 25:4 (1960): 446-50. 

6. John D. Durand, "Mortality Estimates from Roman Tombstone Inscriptions," American 
Journal of Sociology 65 (1960): 365-73. 

7. Ralph Thomlinson, Population Dynamics: Causes and Consequences of World Demographic 
Change (New York, 1976), 82. 

8. Kephart, 635. 

9. Thomas J. Hannon, "The Cemetery: An Aid in Cultural Research," paper presented 
before the Society for Historical Archaeology (Albuquerque, 1980), 1. 

10. See Paula J. Fenza, "Communities of the Dead: Tombstones as a Reflection of Social 
Organization," Markers VI (1989): 136-57. 

11. Jessie Bernard, The Sociology of Community (Glenview, IL, 1973), 4. 

Gary S. Foster and Richard L. Hummel 115 

12. Robert A. Nisbet, The Sociological Tradition (New York, 1967), 47. 

13. Aaron Russell Ursey, Introduction to Folklore Field Collecting Project (Western Oregon 
State College, Monmouth, Oregon, June, 1986), cited in Meyer, "So Witty as to Speak," 

14. Ricardas Vidutis and Virginia A. R Lowe, "The Cemetery as Cultural Text," Kentucky 
Folklore Record 26:2 (1980): 103. 

15. Young, 447. 

16. For example, see Meyer, Ethnicity and the American Cemetery, and therein his "The 
Literature of Necroethnicity: An Annotated Bibliography," 222-37. 

17. Bernard, 55. 

18. Richard E. Meyer, "Strangers in a Strange Land: Ethnic Cemeteries in America," in 
Ethnicity and the American Cemetery, ed. Richard E. Meyer (Bowling Green, OH, 1993), 3. 

19. For examples of such approaches, see Edwin Dethlefsen and James Deetz, "Eighteenth- 
Century Cemeteries: A Demographic View," Historical Archaeology 1 (1967): 40-42; Edwin 
Dethlefsen, "Colonial Gravestones and Demography," American Journal of Physical 
Anthropology 31 (1969): 321-34. 

20. Coles County, Illinois, Genealogical Society, Cemeteries of Lafayette, Paradise and Pleasant 
Grove Townships (Charleston, IL, 1984), 1-2. 

21. Ibid., 2-3 

22. Methodologically and conceptually, generating a random sample from cemeteries to 
represent some larger population is confounded by considerations of cemetery type 
(e.g., specific denominations), time period and even locale /region. For example, if our 
research focus had been pioneer cemeteries or pioneer communities as reflected by 
cemeteries, and not a single cemetery as community, a random sample would have to 
confront the issue of comparability in terms of type, time, and place. Alternatively, if the 
research focus had been an extremely large cemetery, a random sample representative 
of that cemetery's single population could be appropriately employed. 

23. Dethlefsen, "Colonial Gravestones," 328. 

24. James W. Vander Zanden, The Social Experience (New York, 1988), 520. 

25. Charleston and Mattoon Bicentennial Commissions, History of Coles County, 1876-1976, 
Coles County, Illinois (Dallas, 1976), 14. 

26. Dethlefsen, "Colonial Gravestones," 327. 

27. Ibid., 328, table 6. 


Cemeteries as Community 

28. Ibid., 325, table 5. 

29. Ibid., 323-24, 326. 

30. Vander Zanden, 90. 

31. Dethlefsen, "Colonial Gravestones," 323-24; 326. 

32. Ibid., 329. 

33. Dethlefsen's discussion implies a consideration of frequencies, but his discussion is 
based on graphs (p. 329, figs. 4 & 5) depicting seasonal differences in mean (average) age 
at death. While this is not necessarily inconsistent, means, as a measure of central ten- 
dency, are quite sensitive to extreme scores, and since Dethlefsen does not provide fre- 
quency data, we are not sure if his graphs reflect greater frequencies (of younger and 
older deaths), as he suggests, or if the means are being influenced by a few extreme age- 
scores. Hence, his graphs actually show that the average age (not a greater frequency) of 
those dying in late summer was younger, and the average age (not a greater frequency) 
of those dying in late winter was older. 

When we calculated seasonal differences in mean age at death, like Dethlefsen we 
found younger deaths occurring in late summer, but unlike Dethlefsen we found older 
people dying in mid-summer, not in late winter (see Graph 7). In our data, the high 

Mean Age at Death by Season 

Graph 7 

Dec-Jan Feb-Mar Apr-May Jun-Jul Aug-Sep Oct-Nov 


Gary S. Foster and Richard L. Hummel 117 

mean age of mid-summer deaths was inflated by a few extreme age-scores. To avoid this 
sensitivity, we analyzed the frequencies of older and younger deaths by season (Table 
4), and found a pattern consistent with Dethlefsen's. 

34. History of Coles County, 7-8; 20-21. 

35. Dethlefsen, "Colonial Gravestones," 323. 

36. Ibid. 

37. For example, see Meyer, Ethnicity and the American Cemetery. 

38. Gary S. Foster, Richard L. Hummel, and Robert L. Whittenbarger, "Ethnic Echoes 
Through 100 Years of Midwestern Agriculture," Rural Sociology 42 (1987): 365-378. 

39. Ibid. See also Sonya Soloman, "Ethnic Communities and the Structure of Agriculture," 
Rural Sociologij 50 (1985): 323-40; Richard H. Shyrock, "British Versus German Traditions 
in Colonial Agriculture," The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 26 (1939): 39-54; Jan L. 
Flora and John M. Stitz, "Ethnicity, Persistence, and Capitalization of Agriculture in the 
Great Plains During the Settlement Period: Wheat Production and Risk Avoidance," 
Rural Sociology 50 (1985): 341-60. 

40. Coles County, Illinois, Genealogical Society, The Prairie Sleeps: Cemeteries of Mattoon, 
North Okaiv and Humboldt Townships (Charleston, IL), 65. 

41. Nels Anderson, The Urban Community: A World Perspective (New York, 1959), 71-73; 
Robert L. Heilbroner, Beyond Boom and Crash (New York, 1978). 

42. Young, 448-49. It should be noted that some individuals may share a surname but claim 
no relationship, though this becomes less probable with small, integrated groups. 
Further, person /name ratios do not denote conjugal family size since extended and 
nuclear family cannot be distinguished by surname alone. 

43. Ibid., 448. 

44. Dethlefsen and Deetz, "Eighteenth-Century Cemeteries," 40-42. 

45. For more on this notion see Meyer, "So Witty as to Speak," 2. 

46. Ibid. 


The Joshua Hempstead Diary 

Fig. 1 John Fox, Jr., 1711, New London, Connecticut 


Ralph L. Tucker 


Despite a vast amount of critical analysis on the artistic products of 
17th and 18th Century New England stonecutters, there is really little 
known about how they actually worked. Aside from what may be 
gleaned from the surviving gravestones themselves, a limited selection of 
probate records, a few quarry marks, and other such evidence, one finds 
very little in the way of hard facts. One of the rare bits of documentary 
evidence is represented by the diary of Joshua Hempstead (1678-1758), 
who wrote from 1711 to the year of his death about his daily activities in 
and around New London, Connecticut.^ The diary has been reprinted by 
The New London County Historical Society in a large volume of more 
than 700 pages.^ The majority of Hempstead's entries concern the weath- 
er and various activities unrelated to his involvement with gravestones. 
It takes a bit of weeding out to get to his tombstone activities: having 
excerpted for easy reference all immediately relevant selections from the 
diary (i.e., those related to coffins and gravestones), it may then be argued 
that the primary purpose of this brief article is to put before the reader a 
body of information which may be analyzed in greater detail by those 
wishing to understand more of the types of daily activities engaged in by 
stonecarvers in colonial America. 

Of particular interest is Hempstead's transition from a carpenter mak- 
ing coffins to a middleman engaged in selling gravestones, all of which is 
fully documented in the diary. While all the stones he worked on do not 
appear in the document, enough are mentioned to give an idea of the 
manner of his trade in them. His usual practice, it appears, was to pur- 
chase a number of gravestones for his stock, already carved except for the 
inscriptions, which he would then letter himself after he had sold the 
stones. Upon some occasions, when time allowed, he would have the 
original carver also do the lettering. 

Most of the gravestones Hempstead purchased were made by Lt. John 
Hartshorne, his sister's uncle by marriage, who came to Connecticut 
about 1720, a competent stonecutter then around 70 years of age. The let- 
tering of Hartshorne is distinctive and easily separated from that of 
Hempstead. Before the arrival of Hartshorne, Joshua had purchased 

120 The Joshua Hempstead Diary 

stones from other area carvers such as WiUiam StancUft or one of the 
Johnson family, whose styles are not easily confused.-^ 

Hempstead's gravestones were sold in pairs - a headstone, generally 
displaying a carved image, carved borders, and inscription, and the 
accompanying footstone, usually bearing only the name and initials of the 
deceased. The stones that Hempstead supplied are found in the New 
London and Groton areas of southern Connecticut, near where he lived, 
while Hartshorne generally distributed his stones somewhat to the north, 
closer to his home in Lebanon.'* 

The diary of Joshua Hempstead begins in 1711, when he was 33 years 
old. At this time he had seven children, with two more soon to come. He 
records his efforts as a carpenter working on local ships, and there are fre- 
quent references to his fields and to the crops which he raised as a farmer. 
Active in town and state affairs, he later became a surveyor, a justice of the 
peace, and a judge of probate, in which connection he was active in set- 
tling bounds, writing wills, and acting as a lawyer. 

From 1711 to 1720 he records over thirty coffins that he was called 
upon to make. At about that date he rather abruptly ceases making 
coffins and begins on a regular basis to supply gravestones as a middle- 
man. These transactions continue to be reported throughout the diary to 
the very end of his life, when he was 80 years old. 

As early as 1712 he had ordered (from the Stanclift Shop in 
Middletown, Connecticut) a pair of completed gravestones for John Fox, 
Jr. (see Fig. 1). In 1721, he begins to record a long series of transactions 
involving gravestones that he ordered which were already carved with 
the exception of the inscription. These he subsequently lettered himself. 
It was also about this time that the elderly gravestone carver John 
Hartshorne arrived in Lebanon, Connecticut, from Massachusetts. 

Joshua's sister Lucy, then of Norwich, had married Hartshorne's 
nephew, thereby establishing a family connection. There are a number 
of references in the diary to "brother Hartshorne," i.e., Lucy's husband, 
both before and after John Hartshorne arrived in the area. Although 
Lucy and her husband later removed to Maryland, they maintained 
communications with Joshua. There are numerous references in the 
diary making it clear that Joshua Hempstead went to Lebanon from time 
to time in order to purchase partially carved gravestones from John 
Hartshorne, paying for them, on various occasions, in wool or bluefish 
as well as cash. 

Ralph L. Tucker 


Hempstead frequently notes that he was "Cutting gr. Stones" or "cut- 
ting letters/' and later refers to "marking gravestones" and, by 1734, 
"Engraving Stones." Such references would indicate that he was in the 
practice of taking gravestones already carved and simply adding the 
appropriate inscription. In 1729 and 1733, Hempstead records "blacking 
gravestones": this somewhat cryptic comment may refer to a process of 
preparing the stone prior to lettering.^ Though most of his precarved 
stones were purchased from Hartshorne (see, for example. Fig. 2), he uti- 
lized other sources as well. In 1723, for instance, we find recorded a pay- 
ment of "18-1/2 lb." of wool to a Mr. Johnson of Middletown (most like- 
ly the stonecarver Thomas Johnson of that town) for "2 pr. gr. Stones & 
flax," and in 1724 an order of gravestones from the aforementioned 
William Stanclift, a well known Middletown stonecutter. As late as 1753, 
he went to a quarry near Middletown and purchased gravestones "of one 

It is interesting to note that, while the date of John Hartshorne' s death 
is unknown, Hempstead's diary records that he went to Lebanon in 1739 
to "See after gravestones and could get none at present," perhaps an indi- 

Fig. 2 William Latham, 1732, New London, Connecticut 

122 The Joshua Hempstead Diary 

cation that the then 89 year old Hartshorne was in fragile condition and 
no longer able to work. 

A sufficient number of Hartshorne gravestones have survived so that 
if one examines the inscriptions on his stones near upstate Lebanon his 
unique lettering style is evident. His stones in the New London and 
Groton area, on the other hand, bear a different style of lettering, which 
may be designated as that belonging to Hempstead. In this same area we 
also may find stones made by other carvers which had been purchased 
and then lettered by Hempstead. 

Hempstead's diary as a whole is repetitious and makes extensive use 
of abbreviations, two somewhat annoying tendencies which make it a bit 
awkward to read. For example, each Sunday generally has the notation 
"adm pr a d," referring to the fact that the Rev. Mr. Adams preached all 
day (i.e., both in the morning and in the afternoon on that day). Other 
facts emerge as well: the number of deaths listed will undoubtedly startle 
anyone not familiar with that age, and the amount of time Hempstead 
records as digging rocks out of his fields is astonishing. His few trips and 
meetings are interesting, as are his infrequent comments upon events out- 
side of New London. Of most interest to readers of Markers, however, 
should be the many references to Hempstead's work with coffins and, 
especially, gravestones, to which we may now turn. 

Excerpts from the Diary 


p. 5 (Dec) Tuesd 11... I was wth Jno Fox all day he was very ill: I 

stayed wth him all night also. 

Wedensd 12... I was at uncle Fox's all day. John Died 

about 10 Clock morn. I came to town to get my tools to 

make a Coffin & began itt. I Lay their all night. 

Thursd 13... I finished Jno Fox's Coffin: & Stayed to his 


Saturd 22d...I went to help Lay out Thomas Way Junr 

who Died at Griff ings sick but 6 days. I made his Coffin 

& found bods & nils, 
p. 6 Thursd 27. . . I went in ye morn to fetch ye Black Cloath 

thence to help Carry out ye Coffin & so to my aunts 


Ralph L. Tucker 123 


(Jan) (Tuesd 1st). . . I finished Jno Lesters Coffin & yn I went to 

his funeral &c. 
p. 7 Sund 77 ... Benja Lesters wife Died about ll:clock morn. I 

went out att night to make her Coffin. I worked almost all 

night att Isaac fox's & taryed theire. 

Mund 28... I finished Ann Lesters Coffin & tarryed all 

day to ye funeral, 
p. 9 (Apr) Tuesd: 15... 1 was att home all day Pruning aple trees & 

making a Coffin for Eliza Latham who died Last night. 


p. 10 (May) Sunday 4th... Brothr Plumbs Child was buried to day. I 

made ye coffin, 
p. 11 (June) Monday 2d. . .went to Jno Morgans to & made a Coffin for 

his mother. 

Tuesd 17....Woyats daughter Bijah Brumfield died about 


wedensd 18... I was att home made a Coffin for Woyett. 
p. 12 (July) Thursd 17... I went into town in ye forenoon to Carry a 

Letter & Mony 25s to Send for a pr Grave Stones for Jno 

foxes grave, 
p. 13 Tuesd 29... I went into town to get ashoar Jno foxes 

Grave Stones whch Jno Christophers brought down from 

Midletown. Cost 24s Od. 

Thursd 31... toward night I went wth ye boys & horse 

into town & gott hands to help us Load Jno fox's grave 

Stones. I Sett ym in &c. [See Fig. 1] 
(Aug) fryd 8... in ye forept of ye day I was making Nath 

Chapells Coffin who died Last night about midnight, 
p. 15 (Sept) Mond 29... I was at home till one of ye Clock Making 

Shorts Coffin who died Last Saturday before noon, mr 

Woiet helped me al day. 


p. 20 (Feb) Sund 15... in ye aftern I went to make a Coffin for 
Hannah fox who died Last night. 

124 The Joshua Hempstead Diary 

p. 21 Mond 23... I workt at home most of ye day & yn I went 

to make goodee Lesters Coffin... 

Tuesd 24... I was in ye neck making ye Coffin & att ye 
funeral till ye midle aftern... 


Sunday March 1 . . . Benja Lesters Son Andrew Died about 

11 clock. I went out to make his Coffin. 

monday 2d... I was finishing ye Coffin & at ye funeral, 
p. 22 (April) Mond 20. . . I was at work at home & Ebe making a Coffin 

for Goodee Way who died this morn, 
p. 23 (May) Thursd:7:... I made a Coffin for Anne Waterous wife of 

Jacob Waterous who died Last night. I found 1 /2 lb nailes 

& 1 barll Lamblack. I Stayed to ye funeral, 
p. 27 (Sept) Wedensd 9... I was att home all day making a Coffin for 

Ms Stratton who died Last night. 


p. 39 (Sept) Mond 27... Richd Brewster Died. I workt at ye vessell al 
day & made Richd Brewst Coffin at night wth Richd 

p. 40 (Nov) Sund 21 ... I was out at Amos Tinkers & Josh. We made ye 
Coffin for his Mothr. Very aged woman of 85 years to a 
day. She was buried between Meetings. 


p. 42 (Jan) Mond 31 . . . I was at home & made Mary Ingrems Coffin 

& thn at funeral. 
(Feb) Saturd 12. . . & yn I came home to make a Coffin for Jonat 

Hills 2d son who died last night about 9 year old whose 

name was William, 
p. 43 Monday 14... I made a Coffin for Jonat Hills Son 

Jonathan thn I went to the funeral of both Jonat & 

William (Hill) who were buried in one grave. 

Tuesd 15... Jonathan Hills Daughter Ruth about 7 year 

old died. 

Wedensd 16... I made a Coffin for Jonat Hills Child & 

Ralph L. Tucker 


went to ye funerall. 

Sund 20th... In ye foren I was helping Roff finish ye 

Coffin for Sarah Dennis, we began it Last night. 

Mond 21 . . . I went to Deacon Douglas's to make a Coffin 

for his wife who died this morn. 

Tuesd 22... I finisht ye Coffin & was at ye funeral. 


p. 44 (Mar) Saturd 26... & yn went to begin a Coffin for Samll 
Douglass who died in ye morn. 

Mond 28. . . I finisht Samll Douglas's Coffin & at ye funer- 
al in ye forept of ye day . . . 

p. 45 (May) fryd 6... Doctr Stephenson Died. 

Thursd 7th. . . I was at home & made ye Docters Coffin & 
yn at his funeral & began a Coffin for Nicholas Darro's 
Child which died this day about 2 year & 1/2 old. 


p. 52 (Jan) Sund 15... uncle Robert Douglass Died this Morning 

Mond 16... I made ye Coffin & went to ye funeral of 
Uncle Douglass. 


p. 74 (Mar) fryd 14th. I was at home in the foren finishing a Coffin for 
Isaac Fox's wife. 


p. 90 (July) Saturd 25. . . I made the Coffin for Mary Truman. . . 


p. 106 (Feb) Thursd 2d... I was at home al d. Cutting 1 pr gravestones, 
p. 107 (Mar) Wednsd 15. I was at home made a Coffin & went to ye 
funeral of R Prentf's. 


p. 113 (Sept) Saturd. 9... I was most of the day Cutting a pair of Grave 


The Joshua Hempstead Diary 

Stones for Mr Arnold. 

p. 121 (June) Mond .11... I was all day Cutting Letters in Ms Willsons 

grave Stones, 
p. 124 (Sept) Mond 17... I was att home in ye foren Cutting gr. Stones 

letters for James Rogers. 

Tuesd 18. . . I was att home foren Cutting gr. Stones letters. 

Wednsd 19... in ye foren I went to Poquoyog & drawed 

up 1 pr Gravestones, 
p. 127 (Nov) fryd 16... 1 Cut 1 pr gravestones for Mr Wm Wheeler. 
(Dec) Saturd 1 ... 1 was att home all day Cutting gr Stones. 

Saturd 8th. 1 went to Mr Wheelers to get directions to 

Cutt gravestones. 

p. 134 (Sept) Tuesd 10... after ye meeting I cut Some Letters in ye 

grave stones of Capt Rogers's & Mr Picketts wifes. 
p. 136 (Oct) Wednsd 16: 5-1/2 lb [wool] to Mr Johnson of Midletown 

wch was due to ym & 18-1/2 lb to buy 2 pr. gr. Stones & 

p. 138 (Dec) Saturd 28... 1 markt a pr of gr. Stones for G: Havens his 


p. 139 (Jan) Saturd. 4... I was at home all day Cutting gr. Stones. 
Tuesd 7... I was at home al day Cutting gr. Stones. 
Wednsd 8... I was at home all day Cutting gr. Stones. 
Thursd .9... I was at home all day Cutting letters. 
Wednsd 15... I was at home al day Cutting Letters. 
Mond 20... 1 was att home all day Cutting letter &c. 

p. 144 (June) 
p. 148 (Oct) 


Thursd 25. . . I dd 8 lb of wooll to Wm StancHff for a pr of 
gr: stones he Sent me last week. 

Wednsd 21... I bot of Jno Hartshorne 10. pr. of 
Gravestones. 1 Small foot Stone is wanting, price for [ ] 

Ralph L. Tucker 127 

Pound & I am to pay uncle Hartshorne all the money as 
fast as I can make money of them, to get him blue 
fish if I can & Send to [Norlwich. if I can get 2 bbs he will 
Take them, 
p. 149 (Nov) Tuesd 10th... I was at home Marking gr. Stones. 

Thursd 12... I set out for Stonington in Jos Coits 
Longboat with Stephen in order to fetch Cydar. I caryed 
10 pr gravestones. 7 for Wm Wheeler .1. for Ebe Wms & 
2 pr Not Sold, ye Wind was high about W S W & a great 
Sea tht I dare not venture Round Long point. I put in for 
Mumfords. but got on the flatts was forced to put most of 
the Stones overbord & yt got a Shore. Lay out al night 
under a Hay Stack, fry day 13 fair. In ye Morn wee went 
up to Mumfords on Mr Winthrops farm Stayed for the 
Tide to Rise got ye Stones in about 2 Clock & got up with 
them about 6. 

p. 154 (Feb) Saturd 20... I was at home most of the day blocking & 

Cutting gr. Stones, toward night at the funeral of Ja. 


Tuesd 23... I was at home all Day Cutting gr. Stones &c. 
p. 155 (Mar) Tuesd 9th... I was at home all day Cutting gr. stones &c. 

Saturd 13... I was at home all day Cutting gr. stones for 

Roger Dart. 

fryd 19... I was at ye farm all day Excepting I cut Some 

Letters in Wm Wheelers grave Stones. 


p. 156 Mond 29th. . . Sold G. Smith 1 pr Gr. Stones & Reed 25s in 


Wednsd 31 . . . I finished Cutting the gravestones (6pr) of 
Mr Wheelers. I have 3 pr their not Cut. 2 Red & 1 black. 

p. 159 (July) Tuesd 13. . . I markt a pr grstones W M. 

Tuesd 20... a pr of gr. Stones for Sister If I out live her. 

p. 160 (Aug) Thursd 12... I markt a pr of Gr. Stones for Sister Patience 
Hodsell yt was began yesterday. [See Fig. 3] 
Saturd 14... I was at home al day Marking gr. stones & 


The Joshua Hempstead Diary 




Fig. 3 Patience Hodsoll, 1725, New London, Connecticut 

Mending fence. 

Wednsd 25. . . I went to Norwich. I bot a pr of Gravestones 
of Jno Hartshorne for wch I pd 20s p pr. ye Rest to be pd 
in wool. 

Ralph L. Tucker 129 

p. 161 (Sept) Mond 27. . . I kept house al day though I did Something to 
marking a gravestone. 
Tuesd 28... I finisht marking the Stones. 
Wednsd 29... I markt a gr stone in part. 
(Oct) Saturd 2. . . I was at home al day Marking Gr. stones. 

p. 162 Thursd 21 . . . I was at home aftern Cutting gr Stones. 

p. 163 (Nov) Mond 29. . . I went to Norwich to buy Gravestones. 

Tuesd 30... I went up to Lads & agreed with Mr 
Hartshorne for 10 pr of gr stones 3 pr Large of about 20s 
price & ye other 10s 12s & 15s & I am to pay him in Wooll 
to Lett him have 100 lb & to take itt out in Stones. 
(Dec) fryd 3. . . I was at home al day Cutting gr stones. 

Thursd 9... In the morn i dd Jonat Bradley 1 pr gr. stones 
for his grand mother & 1 pr at the burying yard for his 
grandfather [ ] pd I ]. I dd 5 pr more their. I Cut 1 pr to 

p. 165 (Jan) Tuesd 25... I was at home al d. Cutting gr. Stones. 

Wednsd 26... 1 was at home al day Cutting gr. Stones &c. 

Thursd 27... I was at home al day Cutting gr. Stones &c. 
p. 167 (March) Tuesd 22... I went to Lads to See after gravestones & yn 

back & over to uncle Larobees. 


p. 168 (April) Thursd 21... aftern I Set out for Norwich in my whale- 
boat to find gravestones & to carry Mother. 
Saturd 23... I came home from Norwich foren... brot 
home 13 pr gravestones. 

Mond 25... yn 1 put a pr of gravestones for Jno 
Christophers on bord Capt King to go to Easthampton. 

p. 169 (May) Mond 9. . . 1 was most of the day Cutting Grave Stones for 
Thos Douglass's. 

fryd 13 ... I blockt 13 pr of gravestones. 
Mond 16... I was at home al day Cutting gr. stones. 
Thursd 19... I Set up Mr Dennis & Rackets gr. Stones 

p. 170 (June) Thursd 9. . . 1 was at home all day Cutting gr Stones &c. 
Mond 13 ... I was at home Cutting gr. stones & at 

130 The Joshua Hempstead Diary 

Hallams Childs funeral. 

p. 171 Tuesd 28th... I was at home al day Cutting gr stones &c. 

(July) fryday 1 ... I was at home marking gr. stones, aftern I Set 
up a pr for Ms Arnold & Reed of Thos Fosdyck 20s in part 
of pay. 

Wednsd.6... I was most of the day home Cutting grave- 

Thursd .7.... I was at home al day Cutting grstones till 
near night. 

fryd 8th... In the morning Sett up 3 pr gravestones 1 for 
Deacon Douglass & 2 for Thos Douglass & his Son . . . 

p. 173 (Aug) Wednsd 3... I went up to Samll Lads to breakfast. I car- 
ried 60 lb of Wooll for Mr Hartshorne & bot of him 9 pr 
Large grave Stones for £8 & yn to Windham. . . 
Tuesd 16 ... after I had fetched 9. pr Gravestones from 
Douglasses wharf brot from Norwich p. Wm Whitney. I 
pd him 7s 6d & trusted him 2s 6d. ... I began a pr gr stones 
for Samll Harris Junrs Child. 

Wednsd 17... toward night I was marking gr stones. 
Thursd 18 ... I sent 50 lb of wool by michel Rood to Mr 
Jno Hartshorne at Norwich. 

Saturd 20th ...I was at home Cutting gravestones... 
Mond 22... 1 finished cutting gr. stones for old Ms 

p. 174 (Sept) fryd 2... 1 was most of the day visiting and with Mr 
Wheeler to put up grave stones. 

p. 175 Thursd 22 ...I Reed of Capt Christophers 40s for a pr. gr. 

Stones & 8s of Jno Huntley & 10s of Danll Dishan in full 
of all accots. 


p. 181 (March) Mond 13 ... 1 was at home al day marking gravestones. 
Thursd 16 . . .1 was at home Cutting gr stones & yesterday 
for Ms Arnold & Wm Davise. [See Fig. 4] 
fryd 17... I Set up 2 pr gravestones for Ms Arnold & 1 for 
Wm Davise. 

p. 182 Wednsd 22. . .1 Returned home & blacked 6 pr gr stones . . . 

Ralph L. Tucker 


III HE ■ D/Ey.#;.-^.aii)§^4;{ 


'^. ' , ^' J, "&*• 


/it- '';^^i>J;i 

Fig. 4 William Davise, 1725, New London, Connecticut 


Mond 27 ...I was at home Cutting Letters... 
p. 186 (July) fryd 7 ...1 was al day helping draw up ye Courthouse 

Step Stones & Tombstones for Richard Christophers Esq. 

2 Lo[ad] & 1/2 was ym in all 11 L[oad]... 

fryd 14. . . 1 dd to old Mr Hartshorne 62-1 /2 of wool. I am 

to send it up to Norwich to Whitneys. 
p. 188 (Sept) Thursd 14 ...1 was at home all d. Marking gravestones & 

132 The Joshua Hempstead Diary 

pulling hops, 
p. 189 (Oct) Mond 2. . . Markt Gr Stones for Samll Fox Senr ye Junr he 

hath pd Mr for ym 40s & £3 12s Od for apprizing & 

Dividing &c & all Ballanced. 

Tuesd 3d ...1 was at home al day Cutting grstones for 

Wm Lathams wife. 

Wednsd 4 ... I was at home foren Cutting gr Stones... 

Saturd 5th... I was at home all day Cutting gr Stones... 

fryd 6... I was at home all d. Cutting gr stones... 

Saturd 7... 1 was at home all d. Cutting gr stones, 
p. 190 (Nov) Saturd 4 ... I Set up grstones for Samll Fox. 
p. 192 (Dec) Saturd 16 ... I was home al d. Cutting gr stones for Lt 

Hallams Child. 

p. 193 (Jan) Saturd 6. . . I was at home al day about gr stones. 

Thur 11 . . . I was at home al day making a Map & Cutting 


Saturd 13 ... I Cut Letters ... 

Wednsd 17 ... I was at home al d. Cutting Letters. 

p. 200 (July) Saturd 13... I sent 81 lb of Wool by Mr Whitney for Mr 

p. 202 (Sept) Thursd 19... I was at home al day Cutting Gravestones. 

fryd 20... 1 was at home al day Cutting Gravestones. 

Mond 23d. . . I was at home al day Cutting gr stones. 

Wednsd 25... I was at home al day Cutting Letters &c. 
p. 203 (Oct) Wednsd 9... I cut letters in ye aftern for Capt Conklins 

Mothers Gr. stones. 

Tuesd 15... 1 was at home al day Cutting Letters. 

Wednsd 16... I was at home al day Cutting Letters &c I 

went to the funeral of Ms Codner toward night. 


p. 209 (April) fryd 25... I was at home al day Cutting Letters &c. 

p. 213 (Oct) Thursd 2... in the morn I fetched home 7 pr of gr. stones 

Ralph L. Tucker 133 

brot down from Norwich by Whitney. I pd him 10s. 
p. 216 (Dec) Tuesd 16... I was home most of the day blacking grave- 

Wednsd 17... I was at home al day Cutting Letters &c. 
Thursd 18... I was at home al day Cutting Letters &c. 
fryd 19... I was at home al day Cutting Letters &c. 
Saturd 20... I was at home al day Cutting Letters &c. 


p. 225 (Sept) fryd 4... I was at home al day Cutting Letters &c. 

p. 226 fryd 11 . . . I Cut Some Letters in a Tomb Stone for C. C. 

Wednsd 30... I was Cutting Letters in C. C. Tomb Stone. 
(Oct) fryd 2d. . . aftern Cutting letters C. C. Tomb, 
p. 227 Thursd 8. . . Cutting Some letters &c. 

fryd 9. . . I was about home in Town Cutting Letters on C. 

Crs Tomb Stone. 


p. 234 (April) Wednsd 28. . . I Cut Some Letters in Tomb Stone. 

p. 237 (July) Saturd 10. .. I cut Some Letters. 

Tuesd 13... I was home most of the day & Cutting Some 
letters in a Tomb Stone for R. Christophers Esqr. 

p. 243 (Dec) Mond 20. . . I was Cutting Letters in ye Tombstone of R. C. 

p. 246 (March) Wednsd 22... I was at home al day Cutting Letters in gr 


Mond 27. . . I was at home al day Cutting Letters, 
p. 248 (June) Tuesd 6... aftern Cutting Letters in a Stone. 

Mond 12... I finished Cutting Letters in the Tomb Stone 

of Richd Christophers Esqr. 
p. 252 (Oct) fryd 6... aftern I was at home Cutting Letters. 

Saturd 7. . . I was at home most of the day Cutting Letters. 

Mond 9th. . . I finisht Cutting Letters in gr Stones for Capt 

[ ] 

134 The Joshua Hempstead Diary 

Tuesd 10... I was at home most of ye day Cutting gr 

p. 253 (Nov) Saturd 11 . . . I was at home al day Cutting Letters, 
p. 255 (Dec) Wednsd 27... I cutLetters in a grave stone. 

Thurd 28... I was at home al d lame Cutting Letters. 

p. 256 (Jan) Thurd 18... I was at home al day Cutting Letters. 

p. 264 (Oct) Wednsd 3d... I Reed of Jasper Latham 1 £5 Bill Society 

mony to pay for grave Stones for William Latham [see 

Fig. 2] if I can put it off Else he to take it again & 1 20s bill 

good for a Small pr. 
p. 266 (Nov) Mond 19... aftern at home Blacking gr Stones &c. 
p. 267 (Dec) fryd 21 . . . I was at home al day Cutting Letters. 

Saturd 22... I was at home al day Cutting Letters &c. 

Thursd 27. . . I was at home al day. I carted down 5 pr Gr. 

Stones to ye water side for Groton. 

Saturd 29... I was at home al day Cutting Letters. 

(Jan) fryd 4... I was at home al day Cutting Letters, 
p. 268 Mond 14... I was at home al d. Cutting Letters &c. 


p. 277 (Aug) Mond 5. . . I was at home al day Engraving &c. 

Saturd 10... I was at home al day Cutting Letters &c. 

Mond 12... I was at home al day Engraving Stones. 

Tuesd 13... I was at home all the foren Engraving. 

Mond 19... I was at home al day 2 Courts & also 


Tuesd 20... I was at home al day Engraving. 

Thursd 22... I was at home foren Engraving, 
p. 280 (Oct) Tuesd 22. . . I finished Cutting Letters in Gary Lathams Gr. 

p. 281 (Nov) Wednsd 13... I was most of the day at the burying place 

Ralph L. Tucker 135 

Cutting Letters in Justice Prenttis's Tombstone. 

Mond 18... aftern at the burying place Engraving. 

Tuesd 19... I was most of ye day Engraving at the Tomb 

of the Late Jonat Prenttis Esqr. 

fryd 12... I went to Norwich & went to Ladds & bot 10 pr 

of gr. stone for £8 to be pd when I Sell them. I pd £3 7s Od 

that was due before. . . 
p. 282 (Dec) fryday 20... I was at home al day Cutting Letters in a pr 

of Gr Stones for Lt Samll Sterry 81 Letters ys day & night, 
p. 283 Mond 23. . . I was at home al day Engraving &c. 

Tuesd 31 . . . I was at home al day Engraving Stones. 

p. 290 (July) fryd 4... 1 was at home forenoon Engraving Stones. 

Mond 7... 1 was at home al day Engraving... 

Tuesd 8... aftern at home Engraving. 

Mond 14... I was at home al day. Engraving aftern. 
p. 297 (Dec) Saturd 13... I was at home al day Engraveing. 

Tuesd 16... I was at home al day Engraving. 

fryd 19... I was at home al day Engraving &c. 

p. 305 (June) fryd 25... In the morn 1 went to Joseph Coits Wharff on 

bord of Jno Knot & bot 3 pr of gravestones of Danll 

Brewer of Midletown for 14s Id p pr. I pd him 15s and 

gave a Note for 28s 6d for 3 months. 
(July) Mond 5... I was home al d. Engraving. 

Tuesd 6... I was at home al Day Except about 3 hours at 

the burying place Engraving Tombstones. 

Tuesd 13. . . I finisht Engraving gravestones for old Justice 

Smith of Groton. 
p. 308 (Aug) Wednsd 25. . . aftern Engraving Tombstone at the burying 

(Sept) fryd 10th... aftern I was Cutting Letters in Deacon 

Plumbs Tombstone, 
p. 309 Thursd 30... Richd Christophers buried vizt put into the 

Tomb. Mr Seabury pr a funeral sermon at the Church & 

Read over the prayers (ordained by the Church on such 

136 The Joshua Hempstead Diary 

occasions) at the Tomb before he was put in. the Pall bear- 
ers were all Churchmen. 

p. 320 (May) Tuesd 24... I was at home all day. I helpt Dung Corn & 
markt Gr stones. 

fryd 27... I was at home al Day Cutting Letters for Ms 
Davise Deed of Groton Mr Davis's first wife Daughter of 
Ens Wm Morgan. 
(June) Tuesd 7. . . Engraving. 


p. 357 (Oct) Thursd 11... I went to Lebanon to See after gravestones 
and could get none at present. 


p. 381 (Aug) fryd 21 . . . 1 finished making a pr of Gravestones for Natt 
Larabee & began one for Jno Wood. 1 Reed 45s of Mr 
Wood for Sd Stones. 

Saturd 22... I was at home all Day Engraving... 
(Sept) Thursd 3d... I was at home all Day Engraving Stones. 


p. 391 (April) Saturd 3. . . I had 4 pr of gravestones from Wm Stancliff p 
Eprh Dones. I pd ye freight 15s Od. 


p. 423 (April) Wednsd 4. . . I was at home all day. I finisht Tim Foresyths 

Gr Stones, 
p. 424 fryd 6. . . I markt Gr-stones for Samll Lee. 

p. 426 (June) fryd 8... aftern at home Engraving, 
p. 436 (Dec) fryd 28... finisht Engraving gr-stones for Shackmaple. 


(Jan) Thursd 3... I was at home all Day Cutting Letters in a 
Stone of Wm Newport, finisht 81. 
p. 437 Tuesd 22... I was at home all Day Engraving Stones. 

Ralph L. Tucker 137 

p. 438 (Feb) fryd 8... I was at home all day Engraving. 

(Mar) Tuesd 5. . . 1 was at home all Day Cutting Letters &c. 

p. 444 (June) Saturd 22... I was at home all Day Engraving Letters for 

Wm Newport. 

Wednsd 26... 1 was at home foren Engraving. Joshua 

Carted up 7 pr gravestones & broke one yt was for Ms 

Richds. the head Stone. 

Thursd 27... I was about home all day Engraving Stones 

for Ralph Stodder ye 2d. 
p. 445 (July) Thursd 4... Iwas at home all Day Engraving Stones. 
p. 453 (Dec) Mond 30. . . 1 was at home all Day Engraving Stones. 

p. 454 (Jan) Saturd 25... 1 finisht marking grave Stones for Frank 

Poveddo Powers's negro man. 
p. 466 (Feb) Saturd 8... night over took me at Mr Powers's where 1 

stopt & Reed £3 10s Od for his Negro boys Gr. Stones. 


p. 458 (April) Tuesd 22... aftern I went to Stonington to Send Some 
money by my Son minor for Gravestons. 

p. 477 (Mar) fryd 6. . . I was at home all day Engraving. 


p. 485 (July) Mond 27. . . An Negro Wooman Servt to Mr Powers, Wife 
to old frank Poviddo was buried. She died yesterday & 
the Negro men 4 of them came for Gravestones for young 
frank. Carryed only ye head Stones ye foot Stones Not 
be[ Inged one. 

p. 491 (Nov) Wednsd 4th. . . I went to Capt Johnsons att ye upperhous- 
es & bot 3 pr of Gr Stones for £3 to be pd if 1 have them. 

138 The Joshua Hempstead Diary 

p. 497 (Mar) Mond 7. . . I was at home all day Engraving. 

p. 498 (April) Tuesd 5. . . I was att home all day Engraving &c. 
Wednsd 6... I was at home all day Engraving. 


p. 540 (Dec) Tuesd 12... I finisht a pr of Grave Stones for Capt 
Jonathan Starr of Groton, his grave, 
fryd 22... I was at home all day Engraving. 
Tuesd 26. . . I was at home all Day (Engraving) Except one 
hour I Went up to the Town meeting which was soon 
over, & nothing done. 

Wednsd 27... I finisht Engraving a headstone for Samll 
Bills wife. 


p. 545 (Mar) Mond 12... I was about home all d. I Reed 4 pr Gr Stones 

p Capt Es[ ] from Midletown Sent p Pierpont. 

Tuesd 12... I was at home all day Engraving &c. 

Wednsd 14... finisht ye Gr stones & DD them & Reed of 

Sd Darrow £6. 
p. 551 (June) Wednsd 4th. . . I finisht Engraving a gravestone for Jno 

Avery Junrs wife, 
p. 553 (Aug) Wednsd 1 ... I was at home all day Engraving gr Stones 

for S. Haughton. 

Wednsd 8... aftern I went up to Mr Christophers wharff 

to Rectifie a pr of Gr stone for Wm Cashkadden. I Cut out 

one Line because his name was Spelt wrong. & I blackt it 

over &c. 

Thursd 9... I was at home most of the day. towd night I 

went up to ye wharff & began to Engrave gr Stones for 

Wm Cashkadden. 


p. 568 (May) Tuesd 1 ... adm fetched home 4 pr Gravestones. Came 

Ralph L. Tucker 139 

from Mr Brewer of Midletown wch Cost £13. Joshua paid 

the Mony for me. 
p. 569 Tuesd 21 . . . I was att home all day Engraving &c. 

Wednsd 22... 1 was about home all day, Engraving, 
p. 571 (July) Thursd 4... 1 was att home all Day Engraving gr Stones. 

p. 589 (May) Thursd 21 . . . In the morning 1 went to Receive Six pair of 

Gr stones wch came from Daniel Brewer of Midletown. 

price £19 & freight £6. 1 also bot 2 pr of Capt Kelly for £8. 

I pd him £30. Still due £3. 

Saturd 23... markt pt of a gr ston. 

Mond 25... 1 was att home all Day Engraving Maples Gr 


Thursd 28... 1 finisht Engraving a pr of gr. stones for Mr 

(June) Thursd 4... aftern at home Engraving, 
p. 590 Thursd 11... I was att home all day Engraving &c. 

p. 593 (Aug) Mond 19... aftern at home Engraving... 

Wednsd 12... 1 was at home all day Engraving... 

Saturd 15... I was at home all day Engraving. 

Mond 17... 1 was att home foren Engraving. 
p. 599 (Dec) Saturd 2... I was att home all day mending Gr stone S 


p. 602 (Jan) Wednsd 24... finisht a pr Gravestones for Jasper Lathm. 
Thursd 25... I was at home Engraving most of the Day. 
fryd 26... I finisht a pr Gravestones for Jont Calkin's 
(Feb) fryd 9... 1 Sent 3 pr of Gravestones up to the burying 
place by adam in the Cart. 1 pr was for the grave of Lt 
Jonath Calkin, 1 pr for Widow Walwort & one pr for the 
Grave of Samll Bills wife, these Last were his Stones & I 
Engraved them 2 or 3 yrs ago. & now this Day he Died . 
aged 1 Supose near 60. 

Saturd 10... I was att home all day about Gr. stones. 
Wednsd 14... I was at home all day Engraving &c. 

140 The Joshua Hempstead Diary 

p. 609 (June) Wednsd 27... went with Pierpont a Cross ye River to ye 
Quary & bot 1 pr Large gr stones of one Edwards for £4 I 
pd him. 4 or 5 pr at 50s p pr wch Pierpt is to pay for me. 

p. 610 (July) Thursd 12... in the morning I went with adm & Team to 
Capt Coits wharf & brought home Six pr of Gravestones 
Stephen Harris brot & pd him £3 12s Od for freight. 

p. 611 Mond 16. . . in the morning I bot of Stephen Harris 1 pr Gr 

stones & 2 Baggs for 9 lbs 1 /4 of Wool. 

p. 614 (Aug) Tuesd 28. . . I was at home all day Engraving &c. 

Wednsd 29... I was at home all Day. finisht Engraving T. 

Trumans Stones. 

Wednsd 28... I was at home all day Engraving. 

p. 619 (Nov) Tuesd 20. . . I was att home all day Engraving, 
fryd 30... I was att home all Day Engraving. 

p. 620 (Dec) fryd 7... I was att home all day Engraving &c. 


p. 623 (Jan) Saturd 26... & I paid to Powers before on his acct 53-£118 

18s Od & also I pd him £9 before in a pr of Gravestones, 
p. 627 (April) fryd 5th... helpt adam Load up 4 pr of Gravestones at 

Picketts wharf . . . 
p. 635 (Aug) Thursd 22... Molly arived by water with Stephen Harris 

who brot me a pr of gravestones for Deacon Lee Deed. 

fryd 23. . . In the morn I fetched a pr of Gr. stones fro Capt 

Coits wharf, 
p. 636 Tuesd 27... 1 was at home all day Engraving. 

Wednsd 28... I was att home all day Engraving. 

Thursd 29... 1 finisht Engraving Ms Robinsons grstones. 
p. 641 (Dec) fryd 6... 1 was att home all Day Engraving &c. 

Mond 16... finisht Engraving for Dea. Lee. 
p. 642 Tuesd 24. . . 1 was at home all day Engraving. 

Satrd 28... 1 was at home all day Engraving. 

p. 659 (Nov) Wednsd 19... I was att home all Day Engraving. 

Ralph L. Tucker 141 


p. 666 (April) Thursd 1... I was att home all day Engraving gr Stone... 

going up with adam to ye Burying place with a Jagg of 

p. 676 (Oct) Tuesd 19... I was att home all day Engraving. 

Wednsd 20... I was att home all day Engraving Capt 

Barbats Stone. 

fryd 22... 1 finisht Engraving &c. 

p. 697 (Jan) Tuesd 10. . . 1 was about home all day. Engraving gr stones 
for Pages. 


The author is grateful to The New London [Connecticut] Historical Society for its permis- 
sion to reprint here the excerpts from the Diary of Joshua Hempstead, to which it holds copy- 
right. The photograph of the John Fox gravestone (Fig. 1) is from a glass negative by 
Harriette Merrifield Forbes, in the collection of Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber. The pho- 
tographs shown in Figs. 2-4 are by Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber. 

L Harriette Merrifield Forbes mentions Hempstead in her classic Gravestones of Early New 
England and the Men who Made Them, 1653-1800 (Boston, 1927; rpt. New York, 1989), 102- 
105. Ernest Caulfield first drew attention to Hempstead's diary in the critical literature: 
see his "Connecticut Gravestones XII: John Hartshorn (1650-C.1738) vs. Joshua 
Hempstead (1678-1758)," Bidletin of the Connecticut Historical Society 32:3 (1967), rpt. in 
Markers VIII (1991): 164-88. See also Allan I. Ludwig, Graven Images: New England 
Stonecarving and Its Symbols, 1650-1815 (Middletown, CT, 1966), 373; 377; 425; Peter Benes, 
"Lt. John Hartshorn: Gravestone Maker of Haverhill and Norwich," Essex Institute 
Historical Collections 109:2 (1973): 152-64; James A. Slater and Ralph L. Tucker, "The 
Colonial Gravestone Carvings of John Hartshorne," Puritan Gravestone Art II, ed. Peter 
Benes (Boston, 1978), 79-146; James A. Slater, The Colonial Burying Grounds of Eastern 
Connecticut and the Men Wlio Made Them (Hamdem, CT, 1987), passim. For a corollary 
example of the usefulness of such accounts (the daybooks of the Stevens Shop, Newport, 
Rhode Island) see Dickran and Ann Tashjian, Memorials for Children of Change: The Art of 
Early New England Stonecarving (Middletown, CT, 1974), 213ff. 

2. Diary of Joshua Hempstead of Neiv London, Connecticut (New London, CT, 1901; rpt. 1985). 
The preface to this volume contains much valuable collateral information on Hempstead 
and his family, the New London of his times, and the original manuscript volumes of the 


The Joshua Hempstead Diary 

3. For more on Stanclift and the Johnsons see Ernest Caulfield, "Connecticut Gravestones II: 
The Stanclift Family," Bulletin of the Connecticut Historical Society 16:4 (1951) and 17:1 
(1952), rpt. in Markers VIII (1991): 16-38, and "Connecticut Gravestones V: The Thomas 
Johnsons," Bulletin of the Connecticut Historical Society 21:1 (1956), rpt. in Markers VIII 
(1991): 58-89. 

4. At the time Hempstead composed his diary, the present day communities of Lebanon, 
Franklin, and Norwich were all known as Norwich: thus, Hartshorne lived in what is 
now Lebanon but was then a part of Norwich. 

5. For collateral information on the little understood process of painting gravestones in 
early America, see editor Theodore Chase's "addendum" (pp. 27-29) to Eloise Sibley 
West, "The John Dwight Workshop in Shirley, Massachusetts, 1770-1816," Markers VI 
(1989): 1-31. 

Summary of Gravestone Purchases by Joshua Hempstead 

1712 From Middletown for John Fox (made by one of the Stanclifts) 

1722 To Poquoyog for a pair of gravestones 

1723 A pair of stones from Mr Johnson of Middletown 

1 724 A pair of stones from William Stanclift 

1 724 Ten pair from Hartshorne 

1725 One pair from Hartshorne 

1725 Ten pair from Hartshorne 
1725/6 Thirteen pair from Hartshorne 

1726 Nine pair from Hartshorne 

1733 He sends five pair to Groton 

1 734 Ten pair from Hartshorne 

1736 Three pair from Daniel Brewer of Middletown 

1739 To Hartshorne for stones but "none at present" 

1742 Four pair from William Stanclift 

1745 To Stonington to send money for gravestones - to who?? 

1747 Three pair from Capt. Johnson 

1749/50 Four pair from Middletown, by Capt. Es[ ] 

1751 Four pair from Mr Brewer of Middletown 

1752 Six pair from Daniel Brewer of Middletown 

1752 Two pair of Capt. Kelly 

1753 Six pair from Edwards at quarry 

1753 One pair from Stephen Harris (for transporting ?) 

Ralph L. Tucker 


Summary of stones "cut," "markt," or "Engraved" by Hempstead 

1712 John Fox 1730 

1721 Mr Arnold 1732 

1722 Ms Willson 1733 
James Rogers 1734 
William Wheeler 

1723 Capt. Rogers 

Ms Pickett 1736 

child Haven 

1724 William Wheeler (7 pair) 1737 
Ebe. Williams 1741 

1724/5 James Daniels 1744 

Roger Dart 
William Wheeler 

1725 G. Smith 1744/5 
W.M. 1745 
Patience Hodsell 

Jonathan Bradley's grandparents 1745/6 

1726 John Christophers 1747 
Thomas Douglass & son 1749 
Mr Dennis 

Hackett 1749/50 

child Hallams 
Ms Arnold 
Thomas Fosdyck 

Samuel Harros' son 1752 

Ms Christophers 

John Huntley 1753 

Daniel Dishan 
1726/7 Ms Arnold 

William Davise 

Richard Christophers (Tomb) 

1727 Samuel Fox 1754 
William Latham's wife 

child Hallam 

1728 Capt. Conklin's mother 1756 
MsCodner 1758 

C. Christophers 

Capt. [ ] 

William Latham 

Cary Latham 

Jonathan Prentiss 

Lt. Samuel Sterry 

Justice Smith 

Deacon Plumb 

Ms Davise 

Nathaniel Larabee 

Timothy Forsyth 

Samuel Lee 


William Newport 

Ms Richards 

Ralph Stodder 

Frank Proveddo's Negro man 

Frank Proveddo's Negro woman 

Capt. Jonathan Starr 

Ms Samuel Bill 


John Avery's wife 

S. Haughton 

William Cashkadden 

S. Maples 

Mr Willoughby 

Jasper Latham 

Jonathan Calkins 

Widow Wallworth 

Ms Samuel Bill 



Deacon Lee 

Ms Robinson 

Capt. Barbat 



Contemporary Gravemarkers of Youths 

Fig. 1 Gravesite of Andrew Charles Lynch, 
Mt. Pamalpais Cemetery, San Rafael, California 



Gay Lynch 

Editor's Preface 

The essay which follows represents in several ways a departure from the type 
of article normally found within Markers. For one thing, it is far more intense- 
ly personal and contemplative than the generally analytical studies of individual 
carvers, gravemarker styles, and other cemetery-based materials and concepts 
which the journal has made its mainstay over the years. Wliich is not to say that 
this article is lacking in analytical and critical acumen: far from it, as I am con- 
fident will become apparent in its reading. Rather, it might be more accurate to 
say that this study carries with it - in addition to its valuable critical observa- 
tions - an element of personal commitment of the part of the author which ele- 
vates both the insights and the writing itself to a level of transcendent power 
rarely seen in merely academic prose. As such, I am reminded of the sometimes 
spiritually moving works of certain folklorists - John Lomax and Richard Dorson 
in several of their earlier efforts, and, more recently, Keith Cunningham in his 
American Indians' Kitchen-Table Stories (1992) - who discovered within the 
course of their own fieldwork certain truths which profoundly affected, perhaps 
even changed, their lives. It is this sort of power which infuses the present study 
and which, in some fashion, transfers its essence to the reader. 

A second manner in which this essay stands in contrast to most Markers 
entries is in its general paucity of illustrations (there are only three photographs, 
all of the same monument). This is a deliberate choice: the author could easily 
have supplied numerous visual examples of other markers meant to illustrate the 
various points she discusses. But these are neither necessary nor desirable, and 
this for two reasons. For one thing, despite the article's signally important obser- 
vations on the gravestones of youths in general, there is one memorial and one 
memorial only which constitute's its spiritual core - that of Andrew Charles 
Lynch - and to provide additional illustrations of other monuments would only 
serve to dilute that vitally important consideration. Furthermore, by deliberately 
choosing not to provide other visual examples (in the manner we have somewhat 
complacently become accustomed to) the author is presenting a subtle yet quite 
meaningful challenge to her readers - the invitation to get out of our comfortable 
armchairs and discover these striking contemporary artifacts in their natural set- 
tings, almost always a more poiverfid and revealing experience than merely 
studying their reflections within the bound pages of a printed work. 

146 Contemporary Gravemarkers of Youths 

In our ongoing efforts to appreciate and understand the beauty and unique- 
ness of gravemarkers as crafted artifacts, it is sometimes important that we take 
the time to grapple with fundamental questions concerning the equally important 
and often complex functions they serve in our culture. In her at times almost 
poetic treatment of the contemporary gravestones of young people, Gay Lynch has 
provided significant insights into the creation of not only these specific elements 
of the cemetery landscape, hut, perhaps even more importantly, the functioning 
and purposes of that landscape as a whole. 


This essay has emerged as the result of a journey, partially physical, 
perhaps even more so spiritual, which I undertook in 1993 as part of a per- 
sonal effort to understand the manner in which we as a culture attempt to 
deal with the loss of young people through the memorials we erect for 
them. The course of this journey took me to cemeteries on both coasts of 
the United States, to conversations with many people, and, finally, to 
what I feel to be at least a partial understanding of the principles I sought 
to comprehend. My suggestion here is that contemporary gravemarkers 
of youths constitute a distinct genre of memorial - we mark the deaths of 
adolescents differently than those of all other age categories - and my 
response to these markers has led me to two basic conclusions. Firstly, the 
deaths of young persons are extraordinary violations of the expected and 
we, in turn, respond with gravemarkers which also violate the expected. 
With the same passion of the youth who have been snatched too early, we 
create extraordinary monuments in their memory. Secondly, these unique 
memorials embody our struggle and brokenness as well as our path to 
healing. The examples I have observed display a willingness, indeed a 
daringness, on the part of the surviving families to acknowledge and 
reveal pain and brokenness in ways that often dramatically set these 
memorials apart in the cemetery landscape . As such, these creations are 
honest manifestations of intense wounds. But this is by no means all they 
embody, for at one and the same time they symbolize a journey toward 
healing. Within the darkness, sorrow, and torturing doubt in which they 
are created lies the path to joy and transcendency of the self. 

Though a number of recent studies have dealt with the denial of death 
in contemporary American culture, I have found one of the most useful 
treatments to be that of Ralph C. Johnston, Jr.^ Johnston begins with the 
work of Philippe Aries, whose general proposition is that humanity's rela- 

Gay Lynch 147 

tionship to death has become ever more distorted as our society has 
become increasingly technological. According to Aries, the "tame," non- 
threatening death of primal community-based societies has become "wild" 
with the progress of scientific knowledge, for it is the one condition science 
can never cure.^ Death has little place in this brave new world. 

Following an examination of what he terms the Thanatology 
Movement, i.e., contemporary publications and organizations seeking to 
change our culture's terror of death which have followed in the wake of 
the pioneering studies of Elisabeth Kiibler-Ross,^ Johnston presents his 
own program for "taming" death in contemporary culture. In the tradi- 
tion of Aries, he calls for the return of "an ethic of community" as a way 
of coming to terms with death and removing "the mantle of invisibility" 
our culture has cast over it."* 

Johnston's ethic calls for connectedness with our dead, integration of 
death into our lives, and union with sacred tradition. His assertion is that 
these communions, both intrapersonal and interpersonal, are best accom- 
plished by travelling the path of brokenness and mourning, and that only in 
our struggle with death do we receive a sense of God's mystery and there- 
by align ourselves with sacred tradition. This sense is not articulated as a 
conclusion but is, rather, revealed and grasped only in the spiritual bar- 
renness born of confronting struggle. The journey of loss and lament, 
argues Johnston, leads to the fullness of community.^ In short, we "tame" 
death by turning toward it. 

Johnston's evocation of the path of struggle, brokenness, and mourn- 
ing as a means by which to build community in the face of human death 
offers us an opportunity through which we are irrevocably changed and 
empowered. When we allow ourselves to struggle, to experience broken- 
ness, and to mourn, we encounter our creativity, our wholeness and our 
joy. When our cries are not voiced, heaven is not moved and history is not 
initiated. The result is hopelessness. However, when we do dare to initi- 
ate expression, we have a new chance. The distinctive memorials of 
youths which are the subject of this essay are born from the experience of 
travelling this path. By daring to cast our pain in material form and reveal 
our struggle at deeply personal levels, we create extraordinary memorials 
as well as build bridges with our world. 

One might wonder why I have chosen this particular age category. My 
family and I have lost a young person. Our youngest son, Andrew 
Charles Lynch, died in his sleep of myocarditis at the age of twenty-one 

148 Contemporary Gravemarkers of Youths 

on January 11, 1991. We had no warning: neither he nor we knew he was 
ill. Little did we know the steps to the path, the agonizing and ultimately 
joyful experience of creating our own young person's memorial, were but 
a heartbeat away. Hence this essay is written in the voice - my voice - of 
a bereaved parent. 

My family found itself resistant to any and all standard, pre-existing 
styles of stone carvings. In order to mark an event that we felt nature could 
never possibly absorb, we needed to create a memorial that the existing 
cemetery landscape would not absorb. We had been handed a tragedy out- 
side of the natural order. The only way we could possibly mark it would be 
with a memorial that, too, was unnatural. A gravestone that looked like any 
other gravestone would not do. To lose a youth is not a normal sorrow: in 
order to remain afloat and in the arena of participation and hope, we need- 
ed to respond with a memorial that was unlike the others. 

We knew our hearts had to do this unimaginable task. The mind does 
not tolerate the mystery of such a loss: it is only with the heart that one 
can enter such mystery and find relationship to it. While the mind judges 
and seeks to impose order on suffering, the heart appreciates and knows 
that suffering is the first step of healing. Our hearts needed time to absorb 
the pain, the agonizing pain, from within which the memorial would be 
created. We waited for months which totaled nearly three years. 

Although James T. McCarthy, third generation owner of California's 
oldest memorial company, Amador Memorial of Oakland, assured me 
when 1 consulted him that parents of young adults spend more time than 
any of his clientele in choosing gravemarkers, 1 wondered if our response 
was unusual. While our family tormentingly reflected on how to mark an 
event every fiber of our being passionately resisted, 1 set out to explore 
and discover how other parents mark the death of their adolescents. Thus 
began my cemetery wanderings. In my pilgrimage through the stones, 1 
was seeking community for my deepest wound. 

I discovered that gravemarkers have many ways of talking to us. As 
Richard E. Meyer notes in his Cemeteries and Gravemarkers: Voices of 
American Culture, we hear the voices of these markers not only through 
their verbal etchings but, as well, through their size, their shape, their 
composition (i.e., type of material), and their location within a cemetery 
site.^ On my journey - which even now 1 can see has no ending - I have 
encountered distinctive voices far beyond my expectations, and yet they 
are voices that are familiar to me. Their pain is my pain. These voices have 

Gay Lynch 149 

spoken to me as loudly as the silence I hear of those whose lives the stones 
represent: on many occasions I have heard them before I was sufficiently 
close for my eyes to determine, to confirm the age of the deceased. 
This is what I have heard. . . 


Personal Qualities 

The gravemarker is our only and our last chance to share the essence 
of our beloved young person with the world beyond our own personal 
sphere. Our youth has spent much of his or her life putting down roots 
and becoming familiar and comfortable with self-identity. They are in the 
early stages of the process of expressing unique sensitivities and gifts to 
the world. Now that they are dead, we strongly feel the need to etch in 
stone those qualities which - though familiar and precious to us - most of 
the world will never have the opportunity to know. 

While frozen expressions such as "Beloved Father and Husband" or 
"Mother We Love Thee" may typically be found on the contemporary 
gravestones of adults, or "Ours But a Little While" on that of infants, the 
epitaphs on gravestones of young people are, in many cases, specialized 
and highly personal inscriptions. Parents, as survivors, need to commu- 
nicate and seek to immortalize qualities of the young person so deeply 
dear to them, qualities of which the world has now, suddenly, been 
deprived: at the same time, there exists the passionate desire to immor- 
talize as well their own responses to these special qualities possessed by 
the now departed youth. Perhaps - or so it seems - if we somehow man- 
age to etch these qualities in stone, the world beyond our own personal 
world will understand and enter into a relationship with these gifts of 
which our present and future have now been disadvantaged. 

He was loving, strong, adventurous, exuberant, 
talented, with a big heart and wonderful smile. 
He touched so many. We love you so. 

A child of love, beauty, 
sweetness, laughter and joy. 
She taught us the meaning 
of love and life. 


Contemporary Gravemarkers of Youths 

Personal Quotations 

Another manner in which the verbal etchings provide unique voices is 
through personal quotes of our young persons which serve as the prima- 
ry inscriptions on the markers. These utterances, captured here in an 
image of permanence, tie us to relationships that are never replaced. 
Those widowed often remarry, and younger couples are likely to "try 
again" following the death of an infant. As parents of youths, frequently 
beyond our child-bearing years, we anticipate the process of transferring 
to these young adults our sense, whether real or imagined, of our own 
immortality. With their unexpected deaths, we become fixated upon their 
living images. Not only do the words and expressions of our cherished 
youths live on in us, we somehow find comfort and experience pride in 
sharing them with the world. 

Catch 'Ya Later 

Fig. 2 Detail, Gravesite of Andrew Charles Lynch, 
Mt. Pamalpais Cemetery, San Rafael, California 

Gay Lynch 151 

Don't Worry About It 

Where the earth touches the sea, 
We will be free and then truly happy. 

Survivor Comfort 

Survivor comfort is an important theme among primary inscriptions 
found on the gravestones of youths. Neither mortaHty statistics^ nor our 
Hfe experience would suggest that we should expect young adults to die. 
Their bodies have succeeded in surviving the early stages of life outside 
the nurturant womb. Save for chicken pox, injections and vaccines have 
eradicated all previous childhood illnesses, especially the great killers of 
previous eras. Our young people have managed the integrative process of 
social community within family and school structures. They have exhib- 
ited their flexibility and strength, both physical and emotional, in reach- 
ing their adolescent years. They are about to begin to live their own lives 
in their self-chosen ways. Now, suddenly, unexpectedly, their deaths 
leave us stunned and confused, our hearts incredibly heavy. We seek com- 
fort in order that we may heal, while, ironically, we often encounter pres- 
sure intended to cure us. We are frequently surrounded by the naive 
notion that having faith somehow cancels our pain and suffering. On the 
stones of our young people we inscribe the comfort for which our hearts 

He thought of all the good things 

he had accomplished in his life, 

thought of all the magnificent things 

he had learned in his relatively brief time 

of existence, and was happy within himself. 

My love involves the love before; 

My love is vaster passion now; 

Though mixed with God and nature thou, 

I seem to love thee more and more. 

Far off thou art but ever nigh; 

I have thee still, and I rejoice; 

I prosper, circled with thy voice: 

I shall not lose thee though I die. 

152 Contemporary Gravemarkers of Youths 

Visual Images 

One of the most compelling features of the contemporary gravemark- 
er is the reemergence of the visual image, particularly when used to 
impart a strong element of personalization to what otherwise might 
appear initially to be yet another nondescript element in the general 
cemetery landscape.^ Nowhere is this more apparent than on the markers 
of young people, where increasingly one finds intensely personalized 
images which form the visual counterpart to the inscribed personal quo- 
tations described earlier. Motorcycles, cheerleaders, musical instruments, 
sports figures in action, pets, automobiles, outdoors scenes - these and a 
myriad of other images sandblasted or etched upon the faces of contem- 
porary markers in cemeteries throughout America testify to the individu- 
ality and vital essence of the young persons who graced our existence. 

Size, Shape, Location, Composition 

The passion, the vitality, and the potential of our young adults seem 
too promising to be extinguished. This we announce to the world not only 
through word and image but also through the size, shape, composition, 
and positioning of the monuments we choose. In San Rafael, California's 
Mount Tamalpais Cemetery, at the top of a sloping hillside dotted with 
other memorials, sits a round and massive piece of local serpentine. To 
stand beside it is to experience being positioned on a speaker's platform. 
It boldly announces to the surrounding landscape the enormity of the 
experience represented in the loss of the youth it commemorates. Its size 
and positioning speak clearly to us: the intensity of the pain feels as if we 
were crushed by this immense boulder. 

In contrast, the smallest memorial in Oakland, California's vast and 
monumentally overpowering Mountain View Cemetery, a bronze marker 
measuring a diminutive six and three-quarter by ten inches, nestles qui- 
etly in the melancholy shade of a grassy glen, so still and so very private. 
I look at the sculpted youthful face captured in the bronze. It hugs the 
ground in the shadows of the trees, and I hear the whispering sounds: "I 
was too young and beautiful to die." 

Back in Mount Tamalpais Cemetery, a large heart shaped monument, 
carved of Indian marble, rests upon the green grass of the Sha'arei Shalom 
Jewish section. Etched upon its face are somewhat unusual looking Lions 
of Judah. For many months the family agonized with the carver over the 
expression on the faces of the lions, insisting that they be youthful. The 

Gay Lynch 153 

artist tried repeatedly to achieve what the family needed, with drawing 
after drawing rejected before final approval of the "adolescent" lions 
which personalize this stone. This I learned from the young person's 
mother one day while I was walking in the cemetery. She did not know 
me, nor I, her; yet, I approached her and said hello after watching her 
travel from stone to stone. The way she moved reminded me of myself: 
her body posture told me that she, too, was searching the landscape for 
other markers that might bring community to her struggle. 

On America's other coast, a rare metallic gravemarker in Boston's 
Mount Auburn Cemetery commemorates a twenty-one year old youth. 
Sculpted of shiny and hollow stainless steel by a New York artist, the 
monument is suggestive of a door. This holds an even larger and extend- 
ed meaning for us, for the gravemarkers of our young people serve as 
powerful symbolic hinges between the separate doors of death and life. 
To these monuments we return to soften the distance between the doors 
and to uncover within ourselves a threshold of knowing that both doors 
open to the same reality. Paradoxically, at the same time we renew our 
commitments to both realms. 

Gardens and Offerings 

Researchers and psychologists suggest that the most distressing and 
stressful grief anyone could encounter is that of the loss of a grown child. ^ 
Perhaps one of our greatest challenges as surviving parents is to somehow 
complete the past, find meaning in the present, and want to create a 
future. But the past is never over for it holds the living memories of our 
joy. And our child's death, albeit past, is always both now and new. The 
present is different than anything we have ever known: nothing in our 
world looks or feels the same. Compassion and empathy for all of life 
guide our actions, and we reach all around us to support and nurture 
potential. We want to want to create a future and, yet, it is too painful to 
look very far ahead. Today is enough of a challenge. 

There is another kind of gravesite memorial we create that helps us 
through each day. We plant grave gardens. These gardens reassert life 
over death and remind us how creation can flower from isolation. 
Moreover, they allow us an active participation in their growth and devel- 
opment. They become a metaphor for our self-healing wherein we seek to 
reclaim our own inner acorn nature. We yearn toward the creative and 
restorative powers of the natural world and hope that we, too, as surely 

154 Contemporary Gravemarkers of Youths 

as the bulbs sending up their shoots, may blossom again. 

But it is not only natural forms we plant. Often these gardens display 
a series of little things placed carefully in and around them - a beer bot- 
tle, a rubber duckie, pine cones, a comb, a package of chewing gum. Not 
only do such offerings serve, in the manner of the previously mentioned 
verbal inscriptions and visual images, as surrogates of the departed, they 
have an additional and equally powerful function. As Sharon Olds tell us 
in her poem "Little Things," these things, these little things, somehow 
have a magical way of giving us a sense that we belong to our world: 

So when I fix on this tiny image of resin 

or sweep together with the heel of my hand a 

pile of my son's sunburn peels like 

insect wings, where I peeled his back the night before camp, 

I am doing something I learned early to do, I am 

paying attention to small beauties, 

whatever I have - as if it were our duty to 

find things to love, to bind ourselves to this world. ^° 

Landscapes and Visits 

Pulitzer Prize-winning author N. Scott Momaday writes in his The 
Way to Rainy Mountain: 

Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon 
the remembered earth, I believe. He ought to give himself 
up to a particular landscape in his experience, to look at 
it from as many angles as he can, to wonder about it, to 
dwell upon it. He ought to imagine that he touches it 
with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds 
that are made upon it. He ought to imagine the creatures 
there and all the faintest motions of wind. He ought to 
recollect the glare of noon and all the colors of dawn 
and dusk." 

For certain of us, the "particular landscape" to which Momaday beck- 
ons is the gravesite of our child. Our rational minds never really under- 
stand, but our hearts, broken open to God, consistently direct us to these 
spots. These sites are alive, for we keep them alive. The lives of our young 
adults are not over in us. 

Sometimes we go there to pull up weeds: there are other times when 
to pull up a weed is to experience our child die all over again. We water. 
We bring birthday cakes, and Valentine hearts, and Easter eggs, and 
Christmas trees. We light candles. And we also bring the "little things" 

Gay Lynch 155 

that bind us to this world and the world of our young persons. 

There are many times when we bring nothing but a deep yearning to 
sit in silence and feel and listen to the memories. We watch the light; we 
are aware of the slightest and most gentle of breezes; no movement of 
anything alive escapes our attention: the bough of a branch softly sways; 
a lizard makes a sudden movement from one rock to another; a hawk 
rides the currents of air above us; a male quail, donning topknot in a crest 
of perfection, sits both haughtily and cautiously atop a nearby stone. In 
these moments in this sacred landscape all distinction disappears, and we 
feel that there is but one heart in all of life and death. Our suffering con- 
nects us to a universal rhythm, "an ethic of community," and admonish- 
es us of the absolute holiness of our task. Perhaps such an experience 
breathes life into Johnston's claim that "redemption and transcen- 
dence.... can be born of suffering and sorrow." ^^ 

These visits revitalize our lives, for once again we lean into our pain 
within which we experience our joy. The memorials we have recreated 
never forsake us but, rather, invite us to find life in death by encouraging 
us to express our understanding of the source of our suffering. Just as they 
give voice to the passion which allows us freedom from imagined sepa- 
rateness, we hear a Voice speaking from beyond the distinction of life and 
death. Perhaps within this sound lies the ultimate "ethic of community." 


In his commitment to intrapersonal and interpersonal community in 
the face of death as a means of coming to terms with death, Ralph 
Johnston suggests "that the sacred can be realized through a web of 
shared meanings that transcend the isolated self."^^ The gravemarkers 
which 1 experienced in my journey and have discussed in this essay pos- 
sess sacred meaning for me. I know the pit of despair and the longing out 
of which they were created, and 1 know I am not alone. 

In his book Who Dies?, Stephen Levine claims that "the death of a child 
is a fire in the mind."^"* The fire must burn its purifying way from our 
minds into our hearts. This is the work of a lifetime. This intrapersonal 
integrative process is part of the very "ethic of community" Johnston calls 
for. For some of us, these gravemarkers are our first and initiatory experi- 
ence at allowing the air to kindle the flame. Interpersonal community is 
engendered as well: something in us dies that prepares us to love as God 
loves when we openly bear and share the unbearable. 

156 Contemporary Gravemarkers of Youths 

The voices of the gravemarkers of our youths are caUing to us to inte- 
grate death into our Hves. Are we, the surviving famihes of these adoles- 
cent deceased, participating in the "taming" of death in our culture? 
There seems little doubt that in our bright and beautiful young persons 
we have been given the greatest teachers of all. They will not let us get 
away with false strength. Each day, and most often when we least expect 
it, they remind us that our strength and sense of communal belonging lie 
within our willingness to embrace life's sorrows and to be vulnerable to 

1 have suggested that mourning is a gown of the process of healing, 
and that these unique gravemarkers of youths are material images that 
embody this vital and life-sustaining process. Our particular pain has cre- 
ated these images, but they, too, provide others with an opportunity to 
resonate with their own suffering. The heartache embodied in these 
memorials beckons others to participate in this universal experience of 
humankind. They stand as invitations for a shared participation in lives 
in which wounding has meaning. 

The wound itself gets us through. It has its own soul, its own whole- 
ness, and its own way of knowing. It is a window, and it is the first step 
of healing. Each marker in this sacred landscape of my pilgrimage 
through the stones has assured me that to have no more than a thinly 
transparent tissue of protective tissue over my wound is not only safe, but 
essential if 1 am to be within the range of the Voice which speaks to me, in 
its all-embracing unifying wisdom, from beyond the distinction of life 
and death. 

I bring this essay and record of my journey to a close with a personal 
anecdote which perhaps best summarizes all 1 have written and experi- 
enced. Recently I was walking in the cemetery where our son is buried. At 
the time, the memorial brass marker was not yet affixed to his stone. As I 
approached the gently sloping hillside where he lies, 1 noticed an elderly 
woman sitting peacefully on the stone. The stone itself is one which I 
found in the forest in the Sierras of Northern California, an area most dear 
to our son's heart. Its shape and size are such that it provides a comfort- 
able seat. 

As 1 grew closer to the woman, I said, "Good Morning." 

"Oh, Good Morning," she replied. 

She hesitated for a moment. "You know, 1 come here often. 1 love to sit 

Gay Lynch 


"You do?" I asked. 

"Oh, yes/' she responded. 

As she lovingly patted the stone, she continued: "Just look at this 
beautiful piece of natural granite. Now, don't you think this was a won- 
derful idea? I understand a vital young man is buried here and I imagine 
this is just what he would have loved." 

For a moment she was quiet before she went on: "And look at this 
lovely garden. Do you see the beer bottle snuggled down in the rosemary? 
And all the special rocks the family has brought? And look, pennants of 
his favorite sports teams. I understand he was very tall and a fine athlete." 

Again she paused. "As a matter of fact," she continued, "when my 
husband died a year ago at the age of eighty-six I chose his burial site just 
a little down the hillside. I chose the site that was closest to where I am sit- 
ting. I wanted my husband to be near this youth and this beautiful stone 
and this lovely garden. He always loved being in the presence of youths, 
for he felt they had such promise." 

Together, for some moments, we held her words in silence. Slowly my 
body moved closer to her. My eyes glistened with tears of fire which 
poured forth from my heart. "Yes," 1 said. "Their promise never dies." 


. -V 


MARCH 21, i969 - JANUARY 11. 1^^ 






^ J \ i. 

Fig. 3 Memorial Plaque, Gravemarker of Andrew Charles Lynch, 
Mt. Pamalpais Cemetery, San Rafael, California 

158 Contemporary Gravemarkers of Youths 

Editor's Postscript 

Andrew Charles Lynch's memorial (Figs. 1, 2, and 3) is located in Mt. 
Pamalpais Cemetery, San Rafael, California. Completed in 1994, and three and a 
half years in the making, it is a product of the collective heart of the Lynch fami- 
ly - Gay, her husband John, daughter Lindsay, and son John, Jr. 


Professor Kimberley C. Fatten of Harvard University's Divinity School trusted me in my 
struggle and in my need to write this essay Her confidence in my suffering is forever a part 
of my healing. The photographs shown in Figures 1 and 2 were taken by John Lynch, Jr., and 
that shown in Figure 3 by his father, John. 

1. Ralph C. Johnston, Jr., Confronting Death: Psychoreligious Responses (Ann Arbor, MI, 1988). 

2. Ibid., 2-7. Aries has discussed this concept on several occasions, perhaps most fully in his 
The Hour of Our Death, trans. Helen Weaver (New York, 1981). 

3. Especially her On Death and Dying (New York, 1969). 

4. Johnston, 55-67. 

5. Ibid., 64-67. 

6. Richard E. Meyer, "Icon and Epitaph," in Cemeteries and Gravemarkers: Voices of American 
Culture, ed. Richard E. Meyer (Ann Arbor, MI, 1989; rpt. Logan, UT, 1992), 9. 

7. Recent figures indicate the statistical probability that someone who reaches the age of 
ten will die before his twenty-fifth birthday (i.e., the general age range under discussion 
in this essay) is 0.0112, or 1%, a formula including death by accident, which is by far the 
leading cause of death among young persons. By contrast, the figure for those between 
the ages of fifty and sixty-five is 0.1395, or 14%. See National Center for Health Statistics, 
Vital Statistics of the United States, 1989, vol. II (Washington, D.C., 1989), sect. 6. 

8. For a more extended discussion of this phenomenon see Richard E. Meyer, "Images of 
Logging on Contemporary Pacific Northwest Gravemarkers," in Cemeteries and 
Gravemarkers: Voices of American Culture, ed. Richard E. Meyer (Ann Arbor, MI, 1989; 
rpt. Logan, UT, 1992), 61-85. 

9. See Catherine M. Sanders, Grief: The Mourning After (New York, 1989), 161. 

10. In Sharon Olds, The Gold Cell (New York, 1987), 68. 

11. N. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain (Albuquerque, 1969), 83. 

12. Johnston, 65. 

Gay Lynch 159 

13. Ibid., 67. 

14. Stephen Levine, WIio Dies? (New York, 1982), 113. 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

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Fig. 1 Entrance to the Presidio Pet Cemetery. 





Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 

To many, San Francisco's most notable landmark - indeed perhaps its 
very symbol - is the Golden Gate Bridge, spanning the entrance to San 
Francisco Bay from the Marin County headlands on the north to the 
Presidio Military Post at its southern extremity. For more than 200 years 
the Presidio's 1,400 acres have successively been the scene of military 
activities of the Spanish Empire (1776-1822), Mexican Repubhc (1822- 
1848), and the United States (1848-1994). ^ Among the post's historic struc- 
tures, now on the National Register, are the enlisted mens' barracks con- 
structed in the 1890s around the old parade ground and the Civil War offi- 
cers' quarters built in 1852 along Funston Avenue. The fort's burial 
ground, in existence from its earliest days, was established as the San 

Fig. 2 Rows of uniform gravestones at the 
San Francisco National Cemetery. 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

Francisco National Cemetery on December 12, 1884 under War 
Department General Orders which designated 9.5 acres of land (increased 
over the years to its present 28.34 acres) for this purpose.^ Contained with- 
in its grounds are the remains of veterans from the Civil War to the pre- 
sent, in addition to reinterments of American war casualties from other 
times and places. 

Just down the hill, nestled amidst a stand of Scotch pines beside the 
approach ramps to the Golden Gate Bridge, and a mere stone's throw 
away from its venerable neighbor, lies a small white-fenced plot of land 
which is literally miles apart in its colorful and highly personalized dis- 
play of memorialization for an astounding variety of animals who shared 
with their owners the peculiarities of a military lifestyle (Fig. 1). In strik- 

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Fig. 3 Sign displaying cemetery "regulations. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 163 

ing contrast to the precisioned uniformity of landscape projected by the 
cemetery up the hill (Fig. 2), where, as in military cemeteries throughout 
the world, the ranks of neatly aligned gravestones extend on, ad infini- 
tum, each at attention or at least, in a manner of speaking, at mortuary 
parade rest, the immediate sensation upon entering the Presidio Pet 
Cemetery is one of wild and riotous disarray, a melange of homemade 
marker styles and graveside decorations which, in its total informality 
and seeming spontaneity, might suggest a relationship to the National 
Cemetery not unlike that of base canteen to parade ground. Quite ironi- 
cally, one feels in this contrast that the pet cemetery is somehow more 
human than its actual human counterpart if, indeed, ingenuity, innova- 
tiveness, causative thought, emotion, and a sense of aesthetics are among 
the hallmarks of our species. 

Despite such obvious and dramatic contrasts, the visitor to the 
Presidio Pet Cemetery soon comes to realize that a more subtle type of 
uniformity is in fact apparent here, lending to the site a distinctive char- 
acter which sets it apart from pet cemeteries in general and leaving no 
doubt that, despite its seeming disharmony and lack of organizational 
principles, there exists ample evidence to indicate that one has entered a 
military pet burial ground. Just inside the entrance, several rudely fash- 
ioned signs (e.g.. Fig. 3) are couched in language which sounds oddly 
familiar to anyone who has served in the military. Though lacking a 
specifically named authority, the tone of command and regulations is 
clear, as is the "military vernacular," vis-a-vis spelling and grammar, evi- 
denced in the language itself: 

Keep graves in line. Place marker, pets name. Stop 
stealing & diging flowers up. Heart signs and plain 
stones are graves. Please show respect whatever reason 
here you may be. Thank U! 

Another example, somewhat more closely allied with standard English 
and occasionally blending an element of frustrated pleading with its 
"command" tone, reads: 

This is a military pet cemetery. Keep graves in line. 
Use only space necessary and use name and type of pet 
please (also dates). Those markers with hearts are 
unknown and signify love. Private expenses are high 
and limited so please stop stealing my equip, and 
flowers. Do not pull up flowers. Only space 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

Fig. 4 Example of "conventional" pet inscription. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 


Fig. 5 Oscar. Sentry dog, with personnel number 
and unit designation. 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

Fig. 6 Sally. Owner's military rank noted on marker. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 


Fig. 7 Patches. Place of birth signifies overseas duty station. 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

available is in rear and far left. Please help by 
leaving things alone. Thank you. I am doing my best 
to keep our cemetery up. No front space available 
Many unmarked due to past storms.^ 

Language provides another indicator of the speciaUzed nature of this 
pet cemetery by virtue of the inscriptions found on individual markers. To 
be sure, in some instances the epitaphs and other inscriptional data found 
here are rather conventional (well, for pet cemeteries at least), providing 
virtually no clue as to the distinctive occupational identity of those who 
erected them. Thus we encounter Easy, who "was a part of our life from 
the day she was born 'till her death," Cindy, "The Dog With The Crossed 
Paws," Shilo, who now "hunts in Heaven," and Charlie (Fig. 4), "my 
favorite pet I ever had." 

A surprisingly large number of the markers in the Presidio Pet 
Cemetery do, however, indicate quite clearly that the animals buried here 
were the pets of military families. While there is only one example of an 
animal who shared a military occupational identity at the most literal 
level (Fig. 5), there are many who apparently partook of this experience in 

Fig. 8 Herr Bitte Binns. Pet's name signifies German connection. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 


subtler but no less meaningful ways. Inscriptionally, this is indicated in a 
variety of manners. Quite frequently, the owner's military rank finds its 
way onto the marker (e.g.. Fig. 6), though here - as often in battlefield and 
other military cemeteries - the distinctions of rank blur, with enlisted and 
officer pets resting side by side. 

Previous duty stations and the mobility of military family life are often 
indicated on the markers through the use of place names of birth - 
Doggie, for example, in Utrecht, Netherlands; Champagne, in Australia; 
Tar Baby and Miss Dusty, in England; Pepper, in Germany; and Patches 
the Cat (Fig. 7), who was born in Dachau, Germany, but reached the "end 
of the long trail" at the Presidio. The emphasis on Germany, a reflection 

Fig. 9 Bird Dog. A world traveler. 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 




Fig. 10 Navy Doggie. The Presidio was home to more than 
one branch of the military. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 



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Fig. 11 Knuckle Head. Like other recruits, this bird may have 
occasionally been advised to 'shape up and fly right.' 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

Fig. 12 SNAFU. An acronym familiar to many veterans. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 173 

of both the lengthy U.S. mihtary occupation there and the affiHation of 
mihtary spouses, is especially evident and is also reflected in such pet 
name choices as Siglund, Liebchen, Muschee Regis, Fritz, Gretchen, 
Pfeffer ("Unser Lieber Hund"), and Herr Bitte Binns (Fig. 8). Sometimes 
the simplest of descriptors will seem to sum up the entire career military 
experience, as in the case of Bird Dog (Fig. 9), the "world traveler." 

Besides the evocation of foreign duty stations, many of the pets' names 
reflect decidedly non-civilian qualities of one sort or another. Navy 
Doggie's marker (Fig. 10) is one of several which serve to remind us that 
the Presidio was often home to other branches of the military in addition 
to its primary connection with the U.S. Army, while that of Knuckle Head 
(Fig. 11) might well reawaken memories of basic training to anyone who 
has ever served in the military. Veterans will undoubtedly appreciate the 
acronymic associations of SNAFU's name (Fig. 12)^ and one need not be 
a veteran (merely a devoted reader of the comic strips) to recognize Sarge 
(Fig. 13).^ Skipper's name (Fig. 14), while neither unusual (one of the 
authors particularly remembers an ill-tempered cocker spaniel of that 
name from his youth) nor necessarily military, is followed by an epitaph - 
"The Best Damm Dog We Ever Had" - which, again, partakes of a ver- 
nacular strongly associated with the military services.^ Finally, echoing a 
phenomenon of military - particularly battlefield - cemeteries every- 
where, some of the markers for those buried here are unable to provide a 
name at all (Fig. 15). 

The connection of the pet to a member of the military is often indi- 
rectly or explicitly stated, as in the case of Kitty Hanlon (1990-1991), a 
"Lover of the Presidio and an Army Nurse," Wimpy (Fig. 16), who 
"Served in the Women's Army Corps," the rather extraordinary Hasso 
(Fig. 17), who (with MSgt. C.R. Gleason) served in both the WAC and the 
WAF (Women's Air Force), and the touchingly understated marker (Fig. 
18) "In Memory of My Army Pet." Other memorials mark the graves of 
Chappy Champion ("USAF, Ret.") and Chen ("Semper Fidelis"). In a 
rather fascinating blend of material and verbal elements, the marker for 
Duke, "Beloved Member of the Hurst Family," incorporates into its sur- 
face an actual military identification tag (appropriately known within the 
military as a "dog tag") which, as in the case of most commercially avail- 
able pet l.D. tags, provides his owner's name, address, and telephone 

The material form of the markers and other gravesite elements in the 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

Fig. 13 Sarge. Did Beetle and his friends serve at the Presidio? 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 


Fig. 14 Skipper. Epitaph couched in military vernacular. 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

Fig. 15 Unknown. An echo of battlefield cemeteries. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 


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Fig. 16 Wimpy. "Served in the Women's Army Corps. 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

Presidio Pet Cemetery supports both the type of subtle uniformity linked 
to the military which we have been emphasizing in this essay up to this 
point, and, oddly enough, the wildly disharmonious elements which, in 
combination, serve to render it such a striking contrast to the conservative 
uniformity displayed by its near (human) neighbor, the San Francisco 
National Cemetery/ With regard to the former, a quick glance at the pet 
cemetery reveals that a significant majority of the gravesites are marked 
by simply cut wooden markers falling within a relatively limited range of 
sizes and styles, their surfaces whitewashed and lettered in black through 
the use of stencils (e.g.. Figs. 12, 14, 16, etc.). Their form, in short, is oddly 
suggestive of the upright, white marble markers found in most (human) 
military cemeteries, while the stenciled lettering style inevitably evokes 

Fig. 17 Hasso. A multi-service pet. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 


images of duffel bags and cases of C-rations. We shall return to this point 

Such patterns established, it is the exceptions which - as is so often the 
case - prove most interesting, and, in this instance, link the Presidio Pet 
Cemetery with elements present to some degree in virtually all pet ceme- 
teries. Variations on the most common wooden format described above, 
for instance, are readily apparent. Large and small polygonal tablets are 
relatively frequent, and there are a number of uniquely fashioned wood- 
en forms such as the heart-shaped marker for Coco, the bone-shaped one 
for Lady, and the memorial for Regina (Fig. 19), carved (sawn?), appro- 

Fig. 18 Roman cross on marker for unnamed Army pet. 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

Fig. 19 Regina. Marker's shape reflects name of pet. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 




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Fig. 20 Boomer. At the Presidio Pet Cemetery, minimalist 
monuments are not oxymoronic. 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

priately enough, with a crown. Other markers are fabricated, in a more ad 
hoc fashion, from at hand or recycled pieces of lumber. Thus, the memor- 
ial for Smoke consists of the end of a pyramidal fence post, while pieces 
of l"x2" lumber are used to fashion simple cruciform markers such as that 
for the cat. Handsome 'Licky Face' Cuevas. Boomer (Fig. 20), a pet of 
indeterminate type, is marked by a flower and a truly minimalist monu- 
ment consisting of a lettered stick thrust into the ground. 

Some of the wooden markers, as well as a few fashioned of other 
materials, display painted visual images, a personalization of the type 
increasingly found on markers erected for humans. Most frequently, as in 

Fig. 21 Ah Sawat. Stylized, hand rendered portraits are found 
on a number of markers. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 183 

the marker for Ah Sawat (Fig. 21), the image represents a stylized portrait 
of the pet rendered in black on white, though other colors (including, 
most recently, day-glow paints) are found as well. Other materials may be 
combined with the wood or other basic monument substance: the leather 
and glass bead collar of teacup poodle Cricket, for example, has been 
countersunk into a wooden tablet, while on another wooden tablet a brass 
(military) eagle is centered above a plaque which, somewhat enigmatical- 
ly, exclaims "Loving Memory. Faith, Hope, Love, was born to Shatawa 
Feb. 6, 1992. God saw fit for them to remain little angels. We love you. 
Mitze Shirley." 

The cemetery also contains a fair number of stone monuments, a few 
of marble, more of granite. In some instances (e.g.. Fig. 22), the latter are 
virtually indistinguishable from what one is likely to encounter as the 
norm in the more than 400 "regular" pet cemeteries scattered throughout 
the United States. The dog, Jake O'Connell, is memorialized by a larger 
granite monument displaying his photograph and representations of 
sticks to run and fetch. Other granite markers of varying sizes, colors, and 
surface etchings cover the graves of Yaro Kirk, Piccolo, Teddy Medellin, 
and Cally In a few cases, broken chunks of granite have been put to use 
as gravemarkers. 

Concrete blocks are used with some frequency as gravemarkers in 
addition to grave covers and curbs. A painted rectangular block desig- 
nates the burial place of Boots, while a cylindrical block marks the grave 
of Jason, "The Dancing Dog." Teckel, a dachshund, is memorialized by an 
elongated concrete block which perhaps recalls his earthly form. Concrete 
blocks of several forms - along with red, white and blue bunting - grace 
the family plot where rest Laddie and Princess. A few painted flat metal 
markers may also be found in the cemetery, as well as several metal card 
holders of the type provided by funeral parlors to serve as temporary 
markers in human cemeteries. 

Of particular interest are several complex, composite gravemarkers 
and gravesite montages. The memorial for Sammi contains a painted tile 
likeness of a cat, along with a brass plaque, numerals, drawer pulls, and 
door handles, all set into a concrete slab. Vladamier's grave is surrounded 
by a sturdy iron fence set into a slab: inside is a pink granite marker, with 
the names of his owners scrawled into the concrete support. Dandy is 
memorialized with a granite marker, set into concrete and surrounded by 
red bricks: chunks of shell pressed into the concrete form an epitaph. The 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

Fig. 22 Tippy. "Human" relationship expressed on granite marker 
resembling those most frequently found in commercial pet cemeteries. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 


most elaborate burial site is that created for the two basset hounds. 
Raspberry and Mr. Twister (Fig. 23). Each of the separate granite monu- 
ments displays photographs and a long epitaph "signed" by owner Ken's 
name within a heart. A postscript on the reverse side of Mr. Twister's mon- 
ument reads "....he was the end of my rainbow." The graves are surround- 
ed by a low fence within which is a ground cover of white marble frag- 
ments. Associated mortuary objects are in abundance - a red, heart-shaped 
concrete block, living plants, artificial flowers, two basset figurines, sever- 
al small gift-wrapped packages, four mylar balloons, ribbons, strands of 
gold beads, and several packets of "Hearty Chews." Such colorful abun- 
dance of gravesite decoration is highly unusual in mainstream American 
burial practices accorded humans, the only general exceptions occurring in 
certain ethnic contexts or in the case of children and young persons.^ 

Diversity is certainly celebrated in the Presidio Pet Cemetery, and not 
just in monument fashion but in the enormous variety of animals buried 
there (far greater than one is likely to encounter in the generic "civilian" 
pet cemetery). Dogs, as elsewhere, are represented in profusion: included 
(i.e., so designated on their markers) are Great Danes, Chinese Lion Dogs, 
Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Water Spaniels, Brittany Spaniels, Boxers, 

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Fig. 23 Elaborately decorated gravesite of Raspberry and Mr. Twister. 

186 Presidio Pet Cemetery 

Miniature Schnauzers, German Shepherds, Dachshunds, Toy Poodles, 
other Poodles, Akita-Schnauzers, Basset Hounds, Shepherd /Airedales, 
Border Collies, other Collies, Tibet Lhasas, Samoyeds, Scottish Terriers, 
and a host of lovable Mutts not designated as to breed. Cats are the next 
most common pet burials, and although varieties are not usually listed, 
Siamese (somewhat as in life) seem to receive special notice here. 

Several rabbits are present, the most interesting of the lagomorph 
markers (Fig. 24) being an appropriately colored, stylized carrot desig- 
nating the final cabbage patch of Jake. Rodents of various sorts are well 
represented: Willie the hamster is here, as are the rats Noah Knoes, T. 
Toes, Lupe, Linda, Chocolate, Candy, and Zorah. Bilbo Baggins, a white 
mouse, shares a gravemarker with Mr. Bird, a canary. Other markers for 
birds are present with some frequency and include those for Frieda and 
Phred Finch, Sweet Alyssum ("The Yellow Canary"), the aforementioned 
Knuckle Head ("Parakeet to Paradise"), Birdie (another parakeet). Peep 
("Pet Pigeon of Johnnie Burke"), Roc (a macaw), and Toby and Unknown 
Baby, zebra finches whose final roosting place is marked by a granite frag- 
ment and an ephemeral cross fashioned from sticks and vines. Such buri- 
als seem logical enough: one of the authors recalls, as a young child, bury- 
ing with dignity more than one bird beneath the lilac bushes behind his 
house. He also recalls, however, that expired pet goldfish were uncere- 
moniously flushed down the toilet. Such is far from the case at the 
Presidio Pet Cemetery, where even such humble creatures as these are 
interred with decorum (Fig. 25). 

Though one is never allowed to forget that they are in a pet cemetery, 
the visitor to these grounds finds many analogues to practices and senti- 
ments observable in human burial grounds. One instance of this is the fre- 
quent employment of multiple markers and "family" plots. The marker 
for Shilo (mentioned earlier), though created specifically for that feline 
upon his death in 1990, has been amended several times to include memo- 
rial testimonies to Mandy ("A Perpetual Puppy") and Dino, who had 
"'purr' haps the 'purr' feet purr." The epitaph on the marker for Jane (a 
Chinese Water Dragon) reads: 

She lived a full life of 10 years. She was the 
greatest lizard I ever knew and will be greatly 
missed by Emily her owner and friends Randall, Poncho, 
Nellie, Mr. Iguana, Lucy Rabbit and the many others 
who knew and loved her. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 


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Fig. 24 Jake. A carrot-shaped marker designates this rabbit's 
final cabbage patch. 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

1987- 1990 





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Fig. 25 Silver. No toilet bowl funeral for this fish! 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 


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Fig. 26 Puddin Dandridge. Epitaph stresses family connection. 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

Fellow reptile Mr. Iguana ultimately joined Jane in the family plot, as did 
her other friends Randy Rat, Nellie (a hamster), and Lucy Rabbit (one pre- 
sumes a space has been reserved for Poncho, though such "pre-need" 
arrangements are not likely to bring as much comfort and reassurance to 
the survivor as they purportedly do in the human sphere). 

Kinship and social relationships are frequently stressed here, much as 
they are in human cemeteries (and, indeed, in other pet cemeteries as 
well). An exceptional example - displaying strong elements of ethnic cul- 
tural value as well - is found on a gravestone, carefully inscribed in the 
traditional Chinese manner, which in translation declares: "This is the 
tomb of Liang, a Xiang, an old man. He is from Yi Xinghui in southern 
Canton province, a person from the Ren-ho district of the Liang family 
village."^ Other references, though perhaps less exotic, also emphasize 
family connections. Ceaser [sic], like a number of the animals buried at 
this site, is commemorated as a "beloved member" of a human family. 
Even more specific is the reference to Tippy (Fig. 22) as "Daddy's Little 
Baby Boy" on the polished black granite monument which also displays 
his porcelain cameo photograph. Nearby, the beagle Peppy's marker iden- 



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Fig. 27 Pfeffer. The use of religious iconography is not uncommon in 
the Presidio Pet Cemetery. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 191 

tifies him as a "little boy" and the "son of Lucy, people Mom, Bebe." Here 
also we find the grave of Spitz, who was Anthony's "best friend and hunt- 
ing companion," while other markers indicate the burials of Teufel, "pro- 
tector and loving member of the Maxwell family" and "Ole Brown Dog, 
pal for 10 years to Bob, Jean, Mike, Lana, Mama and Pop." The marker 
for Puddin Dandridge (Fig. 26) not only displays a cute drawing of 
Puddin D., but also the epitaph "Mean thing, rotten Cat, but loved and 
missed by us all. June, 1985 - Sept., 1986. Daddy, Mommy, Tannic, Skyler, 
Carly, Lassie, Trinka, Isis, Marshmello. You'll always be with us." This 
insistence upon the cherished pet as friend, trusted companion, family 
member, even child, is actually a quite widespread phenomenon in pet 
cemeteries, and not necessarily the foolishness it might at first appear to 
be. "Intimate bonds among family members and friends," note Vivian 
Spiegelman and Robert Kastenbaum: 

have become strained by our society's mobile life style, 
tendencies toward age segregation, and the whole continuing 
pattern of dislocative change that some have described as 
post modernization. Within this context, an animal 
companion may have an even more important socio-emotional 
role to play than in former times. Technology changes: 
dogs remain doggedly dogs, and cats can be counted upon 
to be cats. Perhaps the pet is the child who does not 
grow up and leave home, the familiar face who is always 
there, the initiator and enforcer of many reassuring 
little household routines.^" 

Another element common in human cemeteries but stressed here as 
well centers about religious and philosophical views. Above the granite 
marker of the aforementioned Pfeffer ("Unser Lieber Hund") is a 
Tyrolean-style shrine with a crucifix: Jesus keeps a watch over Pfeffer's 
identification tags (Fig. 27). The marker for "My Army Pet," which we 
have already seen, displays a Roman cross (Fig. 18). Epitaphs indicate var- 
ious beliefs in a supreme being and an afterlife: "Maxine. We love you and 
will miss you. Go with God 'til we meet again"; "Muffin Witty. We love 
you. We will be with you again someday"; and, in instances noted earlier, 
we are assured that Shilo is now hunting in Heaven while Knuckle Head 
is winging his way to Paradise. Other epitaphs are animistic, as that for 
Quentin, "a native of California and a cat to match its mountains." 
Perhaps the wisdom of Zen is expressed in such inscriptions as "Pee Wee. 
Dust to Dust, Man to Man"; "God is Love - Backward It's Dog"; and 

192 Presidio Pet Cemetery 

"Trouble. He Was No Trouble." 

To experience the Presidio Pet Cemetery first hand inevitably raises 
questions as to its origins and the manner of its continuing upkeep. 
Seeking the answers to these questions proved both frustrating and, at the 
same time, oddly enlightening in a manner which we had not anticipat- 
ed. In the course of attempting to pursue what would generally be the 
logical sequence of research procedures to supplement our on-site field- 
work - i.e., the consulting of relevant written documentation and the con- 
ducting of what one might expect to be rather straightforward informant 
interviews - a curious folkloristic pattern surrounding the cemetery, one 
quite apart from the material considerations which we have so far been 
dealing with in this essay, began to emerge. 

First of all, the written documentation was either nonexistent or sus- 
piciously ephemeral. Not only that, there were precious few informants to 
be found, and none whatsoever of the type we would have been primar- 
ily interested in - i.e., the pet owners themselves. Naturally, many had 
moved on over time, the even normally mobile circumstances of military 
family life having been accelerated in the past several years by the grad- 
ual downsizing of the base's personnel in anticipation of its decommis- 
sioning in the Fall of 1994. But the cemetery did accept a few new burials 
until as recently as 1993. Certainly, it seemed, we ought to be able to locate 
at least one or two of the people whose own personal involvement in this 
experience might help us to evaluate our own speculations. This, howev- 
er, proved fruitless: among its other eccentricities, the Presidio Pet 
Cemetery keeps no formal records of who is buried there or of who did 
the burying - what you see is thus literally what you get - and attempts 
to utilize surnames found in the cemetery as the basis for telephone inter- 
views were unrewarding and, in a few instances, somewhat embarrass- 
ing. Perhaps selected base personnel, their memories (or files!), might at 
least supply us with certain basic elements of background information - 
precisely when and by whom the cemetery was founded, how many ani- 
mals are buried there, who performs routine upkeep, that sort of thing. 
Things now began to get somewhat more interesting. 

It rapidly became apparent that answers to the seemingly basic ques- 
tions raised above were as difficult to come by as the whereabouts of the 
pet owners we had been fruitlessly seeking. On the matter of the ceme- 
tery's age, a wide range of opinions exist. One version, repeated several 
times in slight variation, contends that the cemetery was already in exis- 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 193 

tence at the time of construction of the Golden Gate Bridge (1933-1937), 
and indeed had to be moved to its present location when the approach 
ramps to the bridge were built. A brochure published by the Golden Gate 
National Park Association states that the pet cemetery was "...originally a 
burial place for 'K-9' guard dogs and since World War II, the final resting 
place for pets of Presidio families,"" a dating which would seem to place 
the cemetery's origins somewhere in the 1940s. This is disputed both in 
oral testimony' 2 and in at least one written account - supported by dating 
evidence on the markers themselves - which has the cemetery established 
in 1951 on orders of a general who wished to have a place set aside for 
base personnel to bury their deceased pets.'^ Yet another (oral) account 
attributes the cemetery's origin to a Major General L.B. "Dutch" Keiser, 
who in 1963 wished to create a suitable burying spot for Butch, his 
beloved Chinese Lion Dog. Butch's gray granite marker (Fig. 28), looking 
very much like the standard military headstones found in the military 
cemetery up the hill, is in fact located under one of the site's Scotch pines, 
but its' claim for marking the first burial is disputed by both the written 
record'^ and a number of markers in the cemetery which clearly predate 

Still more numerous were explanations concerning the cemetery's 
maintenance. It was evident - at least prior to 1994 - that the site was 
receiving frequent and meticulous attention. The enclosure was cleaned 
and weeded, the white picket fence painted and in excellent repair, flow- 
ers and other decorations adorned the individual gravesites, and, most 
remarkably of all, the overwhelming majority of markers - even those 
dating from the 1950s - were in splendid condition (many, in fact, repre- 
senting replacements of original markers, something obvious to the eye 
but also confirmed by informants and, in at least one instance, by the 
opportunity to compare the marker for Skipper [Fig. 14] with a photo- 
graph of its quite similar predecessor which appeared in a 1981 newspa- 
per article'^ about the cemetery). So who was performing this mainte- 
nance? Informants at the base public affairs office, the post museum, and 
other units were at first rather cagey: they said they didn't really know, 
though they had heard a local boy scout troop might be responsible. Calls 
to local boy scout organizations in the bay area for confirmation of this 
story resulted in nothing other than a rather large phone bill. 

What about the explanation found in a walking guide to the Presidio 
which says the cemetery is maintained by the post veterinarian?'^ Yes, 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

Fig. 28 Butch. Discredited candidate for the 
cemetery's first inhabitant. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 195 

informants had heard that one too, although they were dubious as to its 
veracity in that the Presidio had been lacking a post veterinarian for the 
past 25 years or so. The most widely held theory, they said, was that the 
site represented the loving personal project of an old and totally anony- 
mous Navy veteran who had "adopted" the place and who, somewhat 
incredibly, managed to perform all these ministrations by himself (this 
story, too, appears in recognizable form in several other printed^^ and oral 
accounts). One amazing constant in all of the explanations was the fact 
that whoever was responsible for the cemetery's upkeep - whether 
unnamed boy scout troop, departed post veterinarian, or mysterious 
Navy veteran - apparently managed to accomplish all their work under 
cover of darkness, for no one had ever observed it being done in daylight 

Folklorists might sense a somewhat familiar pattern emerging here. 
Traditional explanations, among their numerous other functions, have 
been known to exist as screens ("cover-up" seems somehow too harsh a 
word here) to obscure a truth which, while widely known, cannot be con- 
veniently acknowledged. Such indeed proved to be the case in the present 
instance: the truth of the matter, as several informants eventually 
revealed, was that the cemetery was being maintained on a weekly basis 
by the post engineers, a practice of many years' standing. This, of course, 
goes a long way towards explaining the ubiquitous nature of so many of 
the wooden markers, including their whitewashed surfaces and the pre- 
dominant use of stenciled inscriptions. Much of what one actually sees in 
the cemetery - not to speak of the labor involved - is quite literally gov- 
ernment issue, from wood to paint to hot house flowers. Such activity, of 
course, while it might be fairly common knowledge to base personnel at 
all levels from orderlies at the Letterman General Hospital complex to the 
commanding general of the Sixth U.S. Army, would of necessity be quite 
unofficial and, for that matter, technically unauthorized. Thus the stories 
of midnight boy scouts and shadowy Navy veterans. 

And so, as we have seen, the Presidio's pet cemetery presents several 
levels of anthropological and folkloristic interest, ranging from the testi- 
mony of its material artifacts to the traditional accounts and explanations 
of its founding and continuing maintenance. The Presidio Pet Cemetery 
is, we feel, indeed a very unique and special place, and yet at the same 
time it should be remembered that what we see here has broad corollar- 
ies with and should properly be viewed within the even larger context of 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

death and bereavement in general and, even more specifically, the roles 
played by funerary activities and memorialization in helping individuals 
cope with loss. Every bit as importantly, we would stress that these fac- 
tors are as pertinent to pet loss as they are to the deaths of human com- 
panions and other family members. ^^ And in this, military families are 
certainly no different than families of any sort. 

This point is brought home many times within the Presidio Pet 
Cemetery, but perhaps nowhere more vividly than at the gravesite of 
Molly the Collie (Figs. 29, 30, 31). Here, on the back of an unpainted 
wooden German-style shrine marker, carefully lettered in pink and pur- 
ple paint, we find the words: "In Loving Memory of Our Collie / The 
Carpenters / 13 3 1978 / 9 7 1991." Below the inscription are several 
painted figures - a peace symbol, a heart, and a smiley face. In front of the 
marker is a rectangular enclosure made from round concrete-with-pebble 
stepping stones turned on end, inside of which are found live geranium 
and daisy plants. Standing outside the enclosure are a silk geranium bush 
and a tiny American flag. Beneath the pitched roof of the marker's front 
is placed a cross, while across its base is painted the name "MOLLY." 

Fig. 29 Molly. Back of shrine-type marker and gravesite enclosure 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 


Fig. 30 Molly. Front view of marker, with cross, photograph 
and typed 16-line poem. 

198 Presidio Pet Cemetery 

Propped up within the shrine's protective enclosure is a clear plastic pic- 
ture frame containing the somewhat faded color photograph of a man and 
woman (in civilian clothing) standing with a black and white Collie, 
beneath which appears this typed poem: 


This passage was written after you left, 

Ar\ ode, a eulogy following your death. 

Your joy and love chronicled our lives 

The 6th member of our family whose memory will always survive. 

A soulmate, a guardian, a friend who crossed our paths; 

a sister, a teacher, a spirit whose strength never wavered. 

We ran, we played together, sometimes taking a bath. 

We laughed and we cried, sharing life's labors. 

Our hearts merged into one, no line of demarcation 

Capturing a bond the Book talks about 

before the great separation. 

Although you have gone, and our pain will never subside 

We feel no absence because our spirits with you reside. 

At night, we can see your heavenly constellation. 

Knowing that you are well 

Shining down upon us, watching over us still. 

We miss you, Molly, and love you even more. 


Molly's touching memorial goes far towards validating the thesis that 
the emotional energy we invest in our pets rivals and perhaps on occasion 
even exceeds that which we direct towards each other, and, bearing such 
sentiments as it does, could as easily have been found in any one of the 
hundreds of pet cemeteries located both in this country and abroad. Her 
marker reminds us that the animals of the Presidio Pet Cemetery - and, 
even more importantly, their owners - are linked spiritually with their 
counterparts elsewhere. Yet, as we have seen, the Presidio Pet Cemetery 
is clearly no ordinary pet cemetery, indicating at the very least that the 
efforts shown here to commemorate a shared experience of very special 
significance may indeed represent a primary element in successful man- 
agement of the grieving process. This is, in fact, a phenomenon common 
to much material memorialization: it is just that only rarely, as in the 
cemeteries of certain self-contained mining or logging communities, or 
here within the boundaries of one of America's oldest military installa- 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 


Fig. 31 Molly. Detail of photograph and poem. 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

tions, do we have the opportunity to see it articulated on a broad scale 
and permeated by a common occupational bond. 

In some ways, inside the picket fence surrounding the Presidio's foot- 
note to its larger National Cemetery, the normal distinctions between 
humans and their pets are lost - or at least significantly blurred - to an 
extent even greater than may be observed elsewhere, the result of a shared 
and deeply meaningful existence within an esoteric occupational folk 
group. Whatever the case, two things seem clear. The first is that, as with 
virtually all pet animals who were treated with affection, the love offered 
in return by these permanent Presidians was seen to be both uncondi- 
tional and deeply important to those who mourned and remember them. 

Fig. 32 A G.I. Pet who "did his time. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 201 

But the second, and equally evident perception is that, in a manner per- 
haps even beyond what might be encountered with normal pets, these 
members of military families who - like their owners - "did their time" 
(Fig. 32) were considered to be very special indeed. 

In talking with base personnel during the course of our research, it 
was not difficult to sense the sadness and uncertainty they felt for the 
future of this beautiful and historic military post as it wound down 
towards the date when it would cease to be an active military installation 
and would subsequently become a portion of the Golden Gate 
Recreational Area administered by the massive bureaucracy of the 
National Park Service. The San Francisco National Cemetery will remain 
intact under its own administration, but what does the future hold for the 
many other features of the Presidio which have made it so unique and so 
loved by those who have served or even visited there - its splendid muse- 
um, its parade ground, its historic buildings? And what of the Presidio Pet 
Cemetery, that colorful and unruly repository of love and esoteric lore 
beneath the shadow of one of the world's great bridges, when the post 
engineers have become as insubstantial as their surrogate boy scouts, vet- 
erinarians, and old retired Navy veterans? 


This essay is the result of largely independent fieldwork and research undertaken by the 
authors in a period stretching from 1991 to 1994, with preliminary findings presented at 
Annual Meetings of the American Folklore Society (Meyer/1992) and the American Culture 
Association (Gradwohl/ 1993). As one of the prerogatives of scholarly collaboration, we 
hereby cheerfully ascribe any errors of fact, interpretation, or omission to each other. We 
wish to happily acknowledge the assistance and support of our wives - Hanna Rosenberg 
Gradwohl, who, like Muschee Regis, a Presidio pet, was born in Germany and was called by 
that diminutive appellation of endearment as a child, and Lotte Larsen Meyer, who, 
although born in Denmark, has no known Danske navnefaetter in the Presidio Pet Cemetery. 
Our thanks for assistance of various sorts also go to Professor Charlotte Bruner, Dr. Shu-Min 
Huang, Dr. Steven E. Gradwohl, Jim Jewell, Lisa L. Mann, Robert Pierce, and a number of 
informants at the Presidio who by their own request shall remain anonymous. The pho- 
tographs found in Figures 1-2, 4-16, 19-22, 25-26, and 32-34 were taken by Richard E. Meyer, 
those in Figures 3, 17-18, 23-24, and 27-31 by David M. Gradwohl. 

1. John Martini, The Official Map and Guide to the Presidio of San Francisco (San Francisco, 

202 Presidio Pet Cemetery 

2. Dean W. Holt, American Military Cemeteries: An Illustrated Guide to the Hallowed Grounds 
of the United States, Including Cemeteries Overseas (Jefferson, NC, 1992), 328. 

3. The use of the first person singular here would seem to indicate that maintenance of the 
cemetery is, or was, the responsibility of a single individual. As shall be discussed later 
in this essay, however, interviews with base personnel conducted in 1991 and 1992 con- 
tradict such a scenario. 

4. In the best tradition of scholarly explanatory notes, we humbly render the translation 
of this popular military slang term as "Situation Normal, All Fouled [euphemism] Up." 

5. For the benefit of the uninitiated, the somewhat esoteric reference here is to the popu- 
lar strip "Beetle Bailey." 

6. Skipper is not the only animal in the Presidio Pet Cemetery to be thus linguistically 
honored. On the reverse side of a hand- made ceramic marker for one T. Toes ('89-'91) 
is found the inscription "Best Damn Rat We Ever Had." As Skipper's date (1967) is con- 
siderably earlier, we conclude that Mr. or Ms. Toes' memorial sentiment is the mortu- 
ary equivalent of what ballad scholars refer to as a "traveling line." 

7. Though the temptation to engage in pop psychological theorizing as to the ultimate rea- 
sons for such distinctions proves almost overwhelming at times, we shall show restraint 
and leave such matters to those better equipped by training to ponder these mysteries. 

8. See, for example, Lynn Gosnell and Suzanne Gott, "San Fernando Cemetery: 
Decorations of Love and Loss in a Mexican-American Community," in Cemeteries and 
Gravemarkers: Voices of American Culture, ed. Richard E. Meyer (Ann Arbor, MI, 1989; 
rpt. Logan, UT, 1992), 217-236; and Paul F Erwin, "Scottish, Irish, and Rom Gypsy 
Funeral Customs and Gravestones in Cincinnati Cemeteries," in Ethiiicity and the 
America?! Cemetery, ed. Richard E. Meyer (Bowling Green, OH, 1993), 104-130. See also 
the essay by Gay Lynch, "Contemporary Gravemarkers of Youths: Milestones of Our 
Path through Pain to Joy," in this edition of Markers. 

9. This inscription flabbergasted our Chinese colleague and interpreter, Dr. Shu-Min 
Huang. Even though he had been told the context of the gravestone, he exclaimed "but 
this is the tombstone of a human being," thereby independently confirming one of the 
theses of this essay. 

10. Vivian Spiegelman and Robert Kastenbaum, "Pet Rest Memorial: Is Eternity Running 
Out of Time?", Omega: Journal of Death and Dying 21:1 (1990): 8-9. 

11. Martini. 

12. e.g., interview with Col. Milton B. Halsey, Jr., Executive Director of the Fort Point and 
Army Museum Association, at the Presidio of San Francisco, 4 December 1992. 

13. Joan McKinney, "Beloved Presidio Pets Have Their Own Memorial," Oakland Tribune 
(23Augustl981), C-1. 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 203 

14. The Oakland Tribune article cited above mentions General Keiser's monument for Butch, 
but somewhat unflatteringly in the context of attempts to discourage a trend towards 
the erection of larger and more ostentatious memorials which began to emerge approx- 
imately a decade after the cemetery's founding. 

15. Ibid. 

16. Presidio Historical Trail Guide (San Francisco, 1980), entry for Station # 16. 

17. e.g., McKinney 

18. Much thinking and writing remains to be done before we understand these relation- 
ships completely. In the meantime, several treatments of this matter deserve mention. 
J. Joseph Edgette treated the relationship between pet bereavement and memorializa- 
tion quite succinctly in two papers presented at professional conferences, "Like 
Human, Like Pet: Parallelism in Gravemarkers" (American Culture Association 
Annual Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; March, 1990), and "Personahty and the Pet 
Epitaph: Correlative Link Between Owner and Pet" (American Culture Association 
Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas, March, 1991). For an excellent collection of essays 
on this general topic, see William J. Kay et al., eds.. Pet Loss and Human Bereavement 
(Ames, lA, 1984). In addition to the scholarly treatment of pet cemeteries by 
Spiegelman and Kastenbaum cited previously, a number of very useful stories have 
appeared in newspapers and magazines in the past several years: see, for example, 
Jerry Adier, "Let Us Pray for the Animals," Newsweek 11 (January, 1988): 53; Christopher 
Cox, "Animal Rites," Boston Sunday Herald (3 June 1990), Sunday Magazine Section, 12- 
16; Sarah Lyall, "Cemetery Journal: Pet Burials Rivaling Some for People," The New York 
Times (1 July 1991), B-3; Alex Vagelatos, "In Loving Memory: Pets Rest in Peace at Area 
Cemetery," Ft. Wayne ]ournal-Gazette (2 August 1992), D-1/2; Linda Young, "At Pet 
Cemeteries the No. 1 Concern is Peace of Mind," Chicago Tribune (4 February 1993), 7. 
An interesting documentary film focusing on a pet cemetery in California is Errol 
Morris' Gates of Heaven (1987). 


Presidio Pet Cemetery 

Fig. 33 George. He "accepted us people.' 

Richard E. Meyer and David M. Gradwohl 


Fig. 34 Exterior view of the Presidio Pet Cemetery. 



With this edition. Markers inaugurates a feature common to many 
scholarly publications, the presentation of an annual bibliography of 
works pertinent to its field which have appeared in print during the pre- 
ceding year. Since, with the exception of Edward L. Bell's Vestiges of 
Mortality & Remembrance: A Bibliography on the Historical Archaeology of 
Cemeteries (1994), a comprehensive bibliographical listing of this sort has 
not appeared since that found in the 1989 Cemeteries and Gravemarkers: 
Voices of American Culture, this first compilation will actually be somewhat 
broader in its temporal range and will cover the years 1990 through 1994. 
Entries, listed in alphabetical order by author, consist mainly of books and 
of articles found within scholarly journals: excluded are materials found 
in newspapers, popular magazines, and trade journals, as well as 
genealogical publications and cemetery "readings," book reviews, and 
irretrievably non-scholarly books (i.e., the "Little Book of Bedside Grave 
Humor" sort of thing). Though not included here, it should be noted that 
short but valuable critical and analytical pieces are frequently published 
in the quarterly Newsletter of the Association for Gravestone Studies. 
Since errors of omission are perhaps inevitable, the editor would welcome 
addenda from readers (complete citations, please) for inclusion in Markers 

Ambler, Cathy. "A Place Not Entirely of Sadness and Gloom: Oak Hill 
Cemetery and the Rural Cemetery Movement." Kansas History 15:4 
(1992-1993), pp. 240-253. 

Ames, Kenneth L. Death in the Dining Room and Other Tales of Victorian 
Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992, especially 
Chapter 3, "Words to Live By," pp. 97-149. 

Anderson, Timothy G. "Czech-Catholic Cemeteries in East-Central Texas: 
Material Culture and Ethnicity in Seven Rural Communities." 
Material Culture 25:3 (1993), pp. 1-18. 

Arthur, Caroline. "Place Names: Bury Me Down at Buzzard Roost." 
American Demographics 13 (1991), pp. 18-19. 


Baird, Scott. "Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards." Markers IX 
(1992), pp. 216-255. 

Barber, Russell J. "The Agua Mansa Cemetery: An Indicator of Ethnic 
Identification in a Mexican-American Community." In Ethnicity and 
the American Cemetery. Edited by Richard E. Meyer. Bowling Green, 
OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1993, pp. 156-172. 

Barth, Gunther. Fleeting Moments: Nature and Culture in American History. 
New York: Oxford University Press, 1990, especially pp. 123-180 
(rural cemetery movement). 

Bell, Edward L. Vestiges of Mortality & Remembrance: A Bibliography on the 
Historical Archaeology of Cemeteries. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 

Blake, C. Fred. "The Chinese of Valhalla: Adaptation and Identity in a 
Midwestern American Cemetery." Markers X (1993), pp. 52- 89. 

Briggs, Martha Wren. "Charles Miller Walsh: A Master Carver of 
Gravestones in Virginia, 1865-1901." Markers VII (1990), pp. 139-171. 

Bronner, Simon J. "Elaborating Tradition: A Pennsylvania German Folk 
Artist Ministers to His Community." In Creativity and Tradition in 
Folklore: New Directions. Edited by Simon J. Bronner. Logan, UT: Utah 
State University Press, 1992, pp. 277-325. 

Brown, Ian W. "The New England Cemetery as a Cultural Landscape." In 
History from Things: Essays in Material Culture. Edited by Steven Lubar 
and David Kingery. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Press, 
1993, pp. 140-159. 

Brown, John Gary. Soul in the Stone: Cemetery Art from America's Heartland. 
Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1994. 

Browning, James A. Violence YJas No Stranger: A Guide to the Grave Sites of 
Famous Westerners. Stillwater, OK: Barbed Wire Press, 1993. 


Bunnen, Lucinda, and Smith, Virginia Warren. Scoring in Heaven: 
Gravestones and Cemetery Art of the American Sunbelt States. New York, 
Aperture, 1991. 

Burleigh, Betty Rose, and D. Reber Dunkel. "Cemeteries as Loci of 
Diasporan Memory: The Case of Hickory Hill." Conexoes 5:2 (1993), 
pp. 1-5; 15. 

Burns, Stanley B. Sleeping Beauty: Memorial Photography in America. 
Altadena, CA: Twelvetrees Press, 1990. 

Calkins, Charles F. "Cobblestone Tombstones in Door County, 
Wisconsin." Pioneer America Society Transactions 15 (1992), pp. 49-58. 

Caulfield, Ernest. "Connecticut Gravestones I: George Griswold (1633- 
1704)." Markers VIII (1991), pp. 9-16. 

. "Connecticut Gravestones II: The Stanclift Family (1643- 

1785)." Markers VIII (1991), pp. 16-38. 

. "Connecticut Gravestones III: Ebenezer Drake (1739- 1803). 

Markers VIII (1991), pp. 38-49. 

. "Connecticut Gravestones IV: The Glastonbury Lady'." 

Markers VIII (1991), pp. 50-57. 

. "Connecticut Gravestones V: The Thomas Johnsons." Markers 

W// (1991), pp. 58-89. 
. "Connecticut Gravestones VI: Joseph Johnson (1698- 1783?). 

Markers VIII (1991), pp. 90-100. 
. "Connecticut Gravestones VII: The Bat'." Markers VIII (1991), 

pp. 101-108. 

'Connecticut Gravestones VIII: The Mannings." Markers VIII 

(1991), pp. 108-127. 


'Connecticut Gravestones IX: The Collins Family." Markers 

VIII (1991), pp. 128-140. 

. "Connecticut Gravestones X: Charles Dolph (1776-1815).' 

Markers VIII (1991), pp. 141-151. 

. "Connecticut Gravestones XI: The Lambs (1724-1788).' 

Markers VIII (1991), pp. 152-163. 
. "Connecticut Gravestones XII: John Hartshorn (1650- c.1738) 

vs. Joshua Hempstead (1678-1758)." Markers VIII (1991), pp. 164-188. 
. "Connecticut Gravestones XIII: The Kimballs." Markers VIII 

(1991), pp. 188-203. 

'Connecticut Gravestones XIV: The Bucklands." Markers VIII 

(1991), pp. 204-226. 

_. "Connecticut Gravestones XV: Three Manning Imitators. 

Markers VIII (1991), pp. 226-241. 

. "Connecticut Gravestones XVI: The Loomis Carvers." 

Markers VIII (1991), pp. 242-269. 

. "Connecticut Gravestones XVII: The Colonial Gravestone 

Carvings of Obadiah Wheeler." Markers VIII (1991), pp. 270- 309. 

. "Connecticut Gravestones XVIII: Wanted: The Hook-and- 

Eye Man." Markers VIII (1991), pp. 310-337. 

Chase, Theodore, ed. "Boston's Historic Burying Grounds Initiative." 
Markers VII (1990), pp. 58-102. 

Chase, Theodore, and Gabel, Laurel K. Gravestone Chronicles: Some 
Eighteenth-Century New England Carvers and Their Work. Boston: New- 
England Genealogical Society, 1990. 


Collins, Bobbie L. "Decoration Day at Higgins Chapel Cemetery in Unicoi 
County, Tennessee: A Time to Remember and Celebrate Life." 
Tennessee Folklore Society Bulletin 54:3 (1990), pp. 82-90. 

Colvin, Howard. Architecture and the After-Life. London: Yale University 
Press, 1991. 

Crawford, Sybil F. Jubilee: The First 150 Years of Mount Holly Cemetery, Little 
Rock, Arkansas. Little Rock: The Mount Holly Cemetery Association, 

Crissman, James K. Death and Dying in Central Appalachia: Changing 
Attitudes and Practices. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1994, 
especially pp. 99-155. 

Crowell, Elizabeth A., and Mackie, Norman Vardney, III. "The Funerary 
Monuments and Burial Patterns of Colonial Tidewater Virginia, 1607- 
1776." Markers VII (1990), pp. 103-138. 

Culbertson, Judi, and Randall, Tom. Permanent Londoners: An Illustrated 
Guide to the Cemeteries of London. Post Mills, VT: Chelsea Green, 1991. 

Cunningham, Keith. "The Angel and the Lions: Stone Carving as 
Biographical-Cultural Expression." Northwest Folklore 8:2 (1990), pp. 

. "The People of Rimrock Bury Alfred K. Lorenzo: Tri- Cultural 

Funerary Practice." In Ethnicity and the American Cemetery. Edited by 
Richard E. Meyer. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State 
University Popular Press, 1993, pp. 173- 192. 

Dimmick, Lauretta. "Thomas Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney in 
Mount Auburn Cemetery 'A Work of Rare Merit'." Markers IX (1992), 
pp. 158-195. 

Ehl, Petr, et al.. Old Bohemian and Moravian Jewish Cemeteries. Prague: 
Paseka, 1991. 


Elia, Ricardo J. "Silent Stones in a Potter's Field: Grave Markers at the 
Almshouse Burial Ground in Uxbridge, Massachusetts." Markers IX 
(1992), pp. 132-157. 

Erwin, Paul F. "Scottish, Irish and Rom Gypsy Funeral Customs and 
Gravestones in Cincinnati Cemeteries." In Ethnicity and the American 
Cemetery. Edited by Richard E. Meyer. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling 
Green State University Popular Press, 1993, pp. 104-130. 

Finnell, David Vance. "Fifty Years of Reliability: The Stonecarving Career 
of Charles Lloyd Neale (1800-1866) in Alexandria, Virginia. Markers X 
(1993), pp. 90-115. 

Flanagan, Teresa M. Mourning on the Pejepscot Lanham, MD: University 
Press of America, 1992. 

Forbes, Harriette M. "Symbolic Cemetery Gates in New England." 
Markers VII (1990), pp. 3-18. 

Francaviglia, Richard V. Hard Places: Reading the Landscape of America's 
Historic Mining Districts. Iowa City, lA: University of Iowa Press, 1991, 


. "Victorian Bonanzas: Lessons from the Cultural Landscape of 

Western Hard Rock Mining Towns." Journal of the West 33:1 (1994), pp. 

Freeman, James A. "The Protestant Cemetery in Rorence and Anglo- 
American Attitudes Toward Italy" Markers X (1993), pp. 218- 242. 

Gayle, Margot. "A Portfolio of Harriette Forbes's Cast-iron Gates." 
Markers VII (1990), pp. 19-33. 

Gabel, Laurel K. "Ritual, Regalia and Remembrance: Fraternal Symbolism 
and Gravestones." Markers XI (1994), pp. 1-27. 

Goodwin, Catherine L. Mourning Glory: The Story of the Lowell Cemetery. 
Lowell, MA: Lowell Historical Society, 1992. 


Goody, Jack, and Poppi, Cesare. "Flowers and Bones: Approaches to the 
Dead in Anglo-American and Italian Cemeteries." Comparative Studies 
in Society and History 16:1 (1994), pp. 146-175. 

Goto, Akira. "A Preliminary Report on Gravestone Studies of Japanese 
Immigrants in Hawai'i." Christianity and Culture 27 (1994), pp. 1-49. 

Gradwohl, David M. "Intra-Group Diversity in Midwest Jewish 
Cemeteries: An Ethnoarchaeological Perspective." In Archaeology of 
Eastern North America: Papers in Honor of Stephen Williams. Edited by 
James B. Stoltman. Jackson, MS: Mississippi Department of Archives 
and History, Archaeological Report No. 25, 1993, 363-382. 

. "The Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville, Kentucky: Mirrors of 

Historical Processes and Theological Diversity through 150 Years." 
Markers X (1993), pp. 116-149. 

Graves, Thomas E. "Keeping Ukraine Alive through Death: Ukrainian- 
American Gravestones as Cultural Markers." In Ethnicity and the 
American Cemetery. Edited by Richard E. Meyer. Bowling Green, OH: 
Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1993, pp. 36-76. 

Griffith, James S. Beliefs and Holy Places: A Spiritual Geography of the Pimeria 
Alta. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1992, pp. 100-129. 

Gundaker, Grey. "Halloween Imagery in Two Southern Settings." In 
Halloween and Other Festivals of Death and Life. Edited by Jack Santino. 
Knoxville, TN: University Press of Tennessee, 1994, pp. 247-266. 

Halporn, Roberta. "American Jewish Cemeteries: A Mirror of History." In 
Ethnicity and the American Cemetery. Edited by Richard E. Meyer. 
Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 
1993, pp. 131-155. 

Harvey, Anthony, and Mortimer, Richard, eds. The Funeral Effigies at 
Westminster Abbey. Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Boydell & Brewer, 


Hawker, Ronard W. "A Faith of Stone: Gravestones, Missionaries, and 
Culture Change and Continuity among British Columbia's Tsimshian 
Indians." Journal of Canadian Studies / Revue d' Etudes Canadiennes 26:3 
(1991), pp. 80-100. 

. "In the Way of the White Man's Totem Poles: Stone 

Monuments among Canada's Tsimshian Indians 1879-1910." Markers 
WJ(1990), pp. 213-231. 

Haven in the Heart of the City: The History of Lakewood Cemetery. 
Minneapolis: Lakewood Cemetery, 1992. 

Holt, Dean W. American Militaiy Cemeteries: A Comprehensive Illustrated 
Guide to the Hallowed Grounds of the United States, Including Cemeteries 
Overseas. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1992. 

Horton, Loren N. "Victorian Gravestone Symbolism on the Great Plains." 
Journal of the West 33:1 (1994), pp. 67-73. 

Hosley, William, and Holcombe, Shepherd M., Sr. By Their Markers Ye Shall 
Know Them: A Chronicle of the History and Restorations of Hartford's 
Ancient Burying Ground. Hartford, CT: The Ancient Burying Ground 
Association, Inc., 1994. 

Johnson, Abby Arthur. "'The Memory of the Community': A 
Photographic Album of the Congressional Cemetery." Washington 
History 4:1 (1992), pp. 27-45. 

Kidney, Walter C. Allegheny Cemetery: A Romantic Landscape in Pittsburgh. 
Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 1990. 

Kiest, Karen S. "Czech Cemeteries in Nebraska from 1868: Cultural 
Imprints on the Prairie." In Ethnicity and the American Cemetery. Edited 
by Richard E. Meyer. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State 
University Popular Press, 1993, pp. 77- 103. 


Kriiger-Kahloula, Angelika. "Homage and Hegemony: African- American 
Grave Inscription and Decoration." In Slavery in the Americas. Edited 
by Wolfgang Binder. Wurzburg: Konigshausen & Neumann, 1993, pp. 

Linden- Ward, Blanche. "The Fencing Mania': The Rise and Fall of 
Nineteenth-Century Funerary Enclosures." Markers VII (1990), pp. 35- 

Litten, Julian. The English Way of Death: The Common Funeral Since 1450. 
London, 1991. 

Llewellyn, Nigel. The Art of Death: Visual Culture in the English Death 
Ritual, C.1500-C.1800. London: Victoria and Albern Museum, 1991. 

Lucas, Jermifer. "Stonecarvers of Monroe County, Indiana, 1828- 1890." 
Markers VII (1990), pp. 194-212. 

Mac Lean, Douglas. "The Origins and Early Development of the Celtic 
Cross." Markers VII (1990), pp. 232-275. 

Malloy, Thomas A., and Malloy, Brenda. "The Disappearing Shaker 
Cemetery." Markers IX (1992), pp. 256-274. 

. "Slavery in Colonial Massachusetts as Seen through Selected 

Gravestones." Markers XI (1994), pp. 112-141. 

Masson, Ann M. "Pere La Chaise and New Orleans Cemeteries." Southern 
Quarterly 31:2 (1993), pp. 82-97. 

Matturri, John. "Windows in the Garden: Italian-American 
Memorialization and the American Cemetery." In Ethnicity and the 
American Cemetery. Edited by Richard E. Meyer. Bowling Green, OH: 
Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1993, pp. 14-35. 

McDowell, Peggy, and Meyer, Richard E. The Revival Styles in American 
Memorial Art. Bowling Green, OH; Bowling Green State University 
Popular Press, 1994. 


Meierding, Thomas C. "Marble Tombstone Weathering and Air Pollution 
in North America." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 
83:4 (1993), pp. 568-588. 

Mellett, Dorothy M. Gravestone Art in Rockland Count]/, New York. Tappan. 
NY: Hudson Valley Press, 1991. 

Meyer, Richard E. "'And Who Have Seen the Wilderness': The End of the 
Trail on Early Oregon Gravemarkers." Markers XI (1994), pp. 186-219. 

. "The Literature of Necroethnicity in America: An Annotated 

Bibliography." In Ethnicity and the American Cemetery. Edited by 
Richard E. Meyer. Bowling Gren, OH: Bowling Green State University 
Popular Press, 1993, pp. 222- 237. 

. "Strangers in a Strange Land: Ethnic Cemeteries in America." 

In Ethnicity and the American Cemetery. Edited by Richard E. Meyer. 
Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 
1993, pp. 13. 

Milbauer, John A. "Folk Monuments of Afro-Americans: A Perspective on 
Black Culture." Mid-America Folklore 19:2 (1991), pp. 99- 109. 

Moore, Jerry, et al. "Cherished are the Dead: Changing Social Dimensions 
in a Kansas Cemetery." Plains Anthropologist 36 (1991), pp. 67-78. 

Nakagawa, Tadashi. "Louisiana Cemeteries: Manifestations of Regional 
and Denominational Identity." Markers XI (1994), pp. 28-51. 

Nishiura, Elizabeth, ed. American Battle Monuments: A Guide to Military 
Cemeteries and Monuments Maintained by the American Battle 
Monuments Commission. Detroit: Omnigraphics, Inc., 1989. 

O'Donnell, Joseph. The Paths of Glory: A Guide to the Gravesites of Our 
Deceased Presidents. West Bethesda, MD, 1992. 

Petke, Stephen. "A Chronological Survey of the Gravestones Made by 
Calvin Barber of Simsbury, Connecticut." Markers X (1993), pp. 1-39. 


Potter, Elisabeth Walton, and Boland, Beth. National Register Bulletin 41: 
Guidelines for Evaluating and Registering Cemeteries and Burial Places. 
Washington, D.C.: National Register of Historic Places, 1992. 

Purnell, Nanette Napoleon. "Oriental and Polynesian Cemetery 
Traditions in the Hawaiian Islands." In Ethnicity and the American 
Cemetery. Edited by Richard E. Meyer. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling 
Green State University Popular Press, 1993, pp. 193-221. 

Reisem, Richard O., and Gillespie, Frank A. Mount Hope, Rochester, New 
York: America's First Municipal Victorian Cemetery. Rochester, NY: 
Printing Methods, Inc., 1994. 

Richardson, Bill. "Quaker Burial Grounds: Plainness Texts from 
Community and Family in Dutchess County, New York." Material 
Culture 25:1 (1993), pp. 37-48. 

Rigby, Ivan B., with Noordsji, Katherine M. "Recollections of a 
Collaboration: A Tribute to the Art of Francis Duval." Markers IX 
(1992), pp. 1-21. 

Roberts, Warren E. "Notes on the Production of Rustic Monuments in the 
Limestone Belt of Indiana." Markers VII (1990), pp. 172- 193. 

Sarapin, Janice Kohl. Old Burial Grounds of New Jersey: A Guide. New 
Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994. 

Schlereth, Thomas J. Victorian America: Transformations in Everyday Life, 
1876-1915. New York: Harper-Collins, 1991, especially Chapter 8, 
"Living and Dying," pp. 271-293. 

Schoemaker, George H. "Acculturation and Transformation of Salt Lake 
Temple Symbols in Mormon Tombstone Art." Markers IX (1992), pp. 

Schwartzman, Arnold. Graven Images: Graphic Motifs of the Jewish 
Gravestone. New York: Abrams, 1993. 


Sexton, Rocky. "'Don't Let the Rain Fall on My Face': French Louisiana 
Gravehouses in an Anthro-Geographical Context." Material Culture 
23:3 (1991), pp. 31-46. 

Shuang, Li. "The Funeral and Chinese Culture." Journal of Popular Culture 
27:2 (1993), pp. 113-120. 

Slater, James A. "Ernest Joseph Caulfield (1893-1972)." Markers VIII (1991), 
pp. 1-8. 

Sloane, David Charles. The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American 
History. Baltomore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. 

Smith, Deborah A. "Humble Stones: A Study of Four Monumental 
Masons." Ulster Folklife 39 (1993), pp. 1-8. 

. "Monumental Ambition: A Kentucky Stonecutter's Career." 

Markers XI (1994), pp. 168-185. 

Stone, Gaynell. "Material Evidence of Ideological and Ethnic Choice in 
Long Island Gravestones, 1670-1800." Material Culture 23:3 (1991), pp. 

Svanevik, Michael, and Burgett, Shirley. Pillars of the Past: A Guide to 
Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, California. San Francisco: Custom 
& Limited Editions, 1992. 

Teilhet-Fisk, Jehanne. "Tongan Grave Art." In Art and Identity in Oceania. 
Edited by Allan Hanson and Louise Hanson. Honolulu: University of 
Hawaii Press, 1990, pp. 222-243. 

Tucker, Ralph L. "The Lamson Family Gravestone Carvers of 
Charlestown and Maiden, Massachusetts." Markers X (1993), pp. 150- 

'Merrimac Valley Style Gravestones: The Leighton and 

Worster Families." Markers XI (1994), pp. 142-167. 


. "The Mullicken Family Gravestone Carvers of Bradford, 

Massachusetts, 1663-1768." Markers IX (1992), pp. 22-57. 

Vlach, John Michael. "From Gravestone to Miracle: Traditional 
Perspective and the Work of William Edmondson." In By the Work of 
their Hands: Studies in Afro-American Folklife, by John Michael Vlach. 
Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1991, pp. 109-126. 

Voller, Jack G. "The Textuality of Death: Notes on the Reading of 
Cemeteries." Journal of American Culture 14:4 (1991), pp. 1-9. 

Ware, Thomas C. "'Where Valor Proudly Sleeps': Theodore O'Hara and 
'The Bivouac of the Dead'." Markers XI (1994), pp. 82-111. 

Weil, Tom. The Cemetery Book. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1992. 

Williams, Gray, Jr. [Photographs by Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber]. "The 
Center Church Crypt of New Haven, Connecticut: A Photographic 
Essay" Markers IX (1992), pp. 78-103. 

. "Solomon Brewer: A Connecticut Valley Yankee in 

Westchester County" Markers XI (1994), pp. 52-81. 

Willsher, Betty. "The Green Man as an Emblem on Scottish Tombstones.' 
Markers IX (1992), pp. 58-77. 

. "Scottish Churchyard Memorials in the Eighteenth Century.' 

The Local Historian: Journal of the British Association for Local History. 
23:2 (1993), pp. 66-84. 

Wilson, Jane. The Very Quiet Baltimoreans: A Guide to the Historic Cemeteries 
and Burial Sites of Baltimore. Shippensburg, PA: White Mane, 1991. 

Wilson, Jean. "Icons of Unity" History Today 43 (1993), pp. 14-20. 

Wilson, John S. "Purchase Delay, Pricing Factors, and Attribution 
Elements in Gravestones from the Shop of Ithamar Spauldin." 
Markers IX (1992), pp. 104-131. 


Zelinsky, Wilbur. "Gathering Places for America's Dead: How Many, 
Where, and Why?" The Professional Geographer 46:1 (1994), pp. 29-38. 

. "A Toponymic Approach to the Geography of American 

Cemeteries." Names: Journal of the American Names Society 38:3 (1990), 
pp. 209-229. 



Gary S. Foster is a sociologist and faculty member at Eastern Illinois 
University, Charleston, Illinois. He has published numerous articles in 
Sociology, Folklore, and Anthropology. 

David M. Gradwohl, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Iowa State 
University, lists as his principal research interest the relationship of eth- 
nicity and material culture. His published books and articles have dealt 
with the prehistory, archaeology, and ethnoarchaeology of the Prairies 
and Plains. A past president of the Plains Anthropological Society, he is 
currently a member of the Board of Editors of the National Association for 
Ethnic Studies. His article on the Jewish cemeteries of Louisville, 
Kentucky appears in Markers X. 

Richard L. Hummell, a sociologist at Eastern Illinois University, 
Charleston, Illinois, has published numerous articles in Sociology, and is 
author of the book Hunting and Fishing for Sport: Commerce, Controversy, 
and Popular Culture (1994). 

Gay Lynch indicates that she is a new member of the Association for 
Gravestone Studies. In January, 1995 she will have completed her Masters 
of Theological Studies degree at Harvard Divinity School. She lives in the 
San Francisco Bay area with her family. 

Richard E. Meyer teaches English and Folklore at Western Oregon State 
College in Monmouth, Oregon. Besides serving as editor of Markers, he 
has edited the books Cemeteries and Gravemarkers: Voices of American 
Culture (1989, reprinted 1992) and Ethnicity and the American Cemetery 
(1993) and is co-author (with Peggy McDowell) of the book The Revival 
Styles in American Memorial Art (1994). He is a member of the editorial 
board of The Journal of American Culture, and since 1986 has chaired the 
Cemeteries and Gravemarkers section of the American Culture 
Association. His article on Oregon pioneer gravemarkers appears in 
Markers XL 

Ralph L. Tucker is a retired clergyman who has been involved with 
genealogical research and the study of New England gravestones since 


the early 1960s. He was the first president of the Association for 
Gravestone studies, is currently a member of the organization's Board of 
Trustees, and in 1992 was recipient of AGS' Harriette Merrifield Forbes 
Award for excellence in gravestone studies. He has authored previous 
articles in Markers IX, Markers X, and Markers XI. 

Richard Veit is a Ph.D candidate in Anthropology at the University of 
Pennsylvania, and holds an M.A. in Anthropology from the College of 
William and Mary. A historical archaeologist by trade, his research has 
focused on New Jersey's Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century grave- 
stones. His other areas of interest include the archaeological study of eth- 
nicity and the rise of industrialism. 

Betty Willsher was asked in 1983 by the Royal Commission on the 
Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland to survey graveyards in 
the Scottish Lowlands. Since then she has visited, photographed, and 
described in detailed notes more than five hundred churchyards in 
Scotland and in some English counties. Her books include Stones: A Guide 
to Some Remarkahle Eighteenth Century Gravestones (with Doreen Hunter, 
1978), Understanding Scottish Graveyards (1985, reprinted 1988), and How to 
Record Scottish Graveyards (1985). In 1989 she was the recipient of AGS' 
Harriette Merrifield Forbes Award. Two of her previous articles may be 
found in Markers II and Markers IX. 



Boldface page numbers [in brackets] indicate illustrations 

A. Hall and Sons' Terra-Cotta Works 3 
Adkins-Woodson Cemetery, Coles, County, 

IL 92-117, [96] 
Alba, Vincent 3, 4-5, 9 
Ailing, Nels 19, 21 

Alpine Cemetery, Perth Amboy, NJ 2, 16, 22 
Amador Memorial, Oakland, CA 148 
Angus, Scotland 41-46, 49, 51 
Annandal, Anna 45, [45] 
Annandal, James 45 
Argyllshire, Scotland 67 
Aries, Philippe 146-147 
Arnold, [Mr.] 126 

Association for Gravestone Studies 39-40 
Atlantic Terra-Cotta Works 4, 9, 20 
Attwill, Richard 124 
Avery, John, Jr. 138 
Ayrshire, Scotland 75, 83-87 

Barbat, [Capt.j 141 
Baugher, Sherene 21 
Bell, John 79-80, [80] 
Berwickshire, Scotland 71, 75 
Bill, Samuel 138-139 
Black, George 59-60, [60] 
Bonitone, Basil 71 

Bradley, Jonat 129 

Brewer, Daniel 135, 139 

Brewster, Richard 124 

Brumfield, Bijah 123 

Bulkeley Mary and Freke 37-38, [37] 

Burgess, Frederick 36 

Burry, John 52-53, [52] 

Calkin, Jont 139 

Cameron, Daniel 61 

Cameron, John, and Janet McLaren 61-62, 

Campbell, John 53-54, [53] 
Cashkadden, William 138 
Catholic Burying Ground, Halifax, NS 38 
Chambers, Annable 75 

Chapell, Nath[ ] 123 

Christison, David 32-91 

Christopher, John 123, 129 

Christopher, Richard 131, 133, 135 

Clark, Lynn 20 

Coade's Stone 5 

Codner, [Ms.] 132 

Coit, Joseph 127, 135, 140 

Coles County [IL] Genealogical Society 95 

Coles County, IL, 92-117, [92] 

Conklin, [Capt.] 132 

Connacher, Margaret 54-55, 59, [56] 

Cunningham, Keith 145 

Daniels, Ja 127 

Danish Brotherhood in America 16 

Danish Home for the Aged, Edison, NJ 3 

Darro, Nicholas 125 

Dart, Roger 127 

Davis, Charles 19 

Da vise, William 130, [131] 

Deetz, James 112 

Dennis, Sarah 125 

Dethlefsen, Edwin 99, 104, 106-107, 112 

Dewar, Cathrine 46 

Dickie, Margaret 46, [47] 

Dishan, Daniel 130 

Dog, James 47 

Dorson, Richard 145 

Douglas, [Deacon] 125 

Douglas, George 81, [82] 

Douglas, John and James 59, [59] 

Douglas, Samuel 125 

Douglas, William 59 

Douglass, Robert 125 

Douglass, Thomas 129 

Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife 

(1978) 32 
Dumfriesshire, Scotland 78-82 
Durand, John D. 93 

East Burial Ground, Bristol, RI 38-39 

Edwards, [ ] 140 

Elmwood Cemetery, New Brunswick, NJ 9, 

Erskine, James, and Agnes Burn 41-42 


Federal Seaboard Terra-Cotta Corporation 

1, 4, 6, 9 
Foresyth, Timothy 136 
Fosdyck, Thomas 130 
Fox, Hannah 123 
Fox, Isaac 123, 125 
Fox, John, Jr. 120, 122-123, [118] 
Fox, Samuel, Jr. 132 
Fox, Samuel, Sr. 132 

Gardner, John 48 

Garioch, Wilham 80-81, [81] 

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA 

161-162, 193 
Golden Gate Recreational Area, CA 201 
Grandelis, Bruno 6, 18, [7] 
Green Man 83 

Halbert, John and Mary [15] 

Hallam child 130 

Hallam, [Lt.] 132 

Hansen, Otto E. 4 

Harris, Samuel, Jr. 130 

Harris, Stephen 140 

Hart, Robert 63 

Hartshorn, Stephen 39 

Hartshorne, John 119-120, 126-132 

Hartshorne, Lucy Hempstead 120 

Haughton, S. 138 

Havens, G. 126 

Hempstead, Joshua 118-143 

Herese, Agnes 75, [76] 

Hill, Jonat 124 

Hill, Jonathan [Jr.], 124 

Hill, Ruth 124 

Hill, William 124 

Hillside Cemetery, Metuchen, NJ 6, 18 

Hodso[e]ll, Patience 127, [128] 

Holy Trinity Cemetery, Woodbridge, NJ 

Hunter, Doreen 40 
Huntley, John 130 
Husband, William 59, [58] 

Ingrem, Mary 124 
Irving, Janet 80 

Jardine, Margaret 75-76, [77] 
Johnson family carvers 120 

Johnson, Thomas 121, 126, 137 
Johnston, James 78-79, [79] 
Johnston, Ralph C, Jr. 146-147, 155 

Kastenbaum, Robert 191 
Keiser, Maj. Gen. L.B. 193 
Kelly, [Capt.] 139 
Kephart, William 93 
Kincardineshire, Scotland 46 
Kirkcudbright, Scotland 75-78 
Kubler-Ross, Ehsabeth 147 

Lad, Samuel 130 
Lambeth, England 18 
Lanarkshire, Scotland 68-69 

Larabee, Natt 136 

Latham, Gary 134 
Latham, Eliza 123 
Latham, Jasper 134, 139 
Latham, William 132, 134, [121] 
Lauder, Christian 63 
Layell, Gilbert 62, [62] 
Lebanon, CT 120 
Lee, Samuel 136 
Lester, Andrew 124 
Lester, Ann 123 
Lester, Benjamin 123 
Lester, John 123 
Levine, Stephen 155 
Lomax, John 145 
Longley, J.H. [8] 
Lowe, Virginia A.R 94 
Loyd, William Dickinson 18 
Loyd, William Payne 18 
Lynch, Andrew Charles 144-159, [144, 150, 

Maple, S. 139 

Mathiasen, Karl 3-4, 16 

Mayer, Lance 32 

McCalla, James 86, [87] 

McCarthy, James T. 148 

McFarland, Peter 59 

McGuire, Randall 21 

McKissock, Andrew, and Maram McNiellie 

84, [86] 
McLaren, John 54, [55] 
McLaren, Margaren, and Ann Steuart 59, 



McMonies children 76-78 [78] 
McNaught children 75, [74] 
Meyer, Richard E. 94, 114, 148 
Middlesex County, NJ 1-29 
Middlesex County [NJ] Cultural and 

Heritage Commission 21 
Mitchell, James 49 
Momaday, N. Scott 154 
Morgan, Collins C.W. 18-19 
Morgan, John 123 
Morgan, William 136 
Morrison, James 62 
Mount Auburn Cemetery, Boston 

[Cambridge], MA 153 
Mount Tamalpais Cemetery, San Rafael, CA 

152-153, 158 
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA 

Mure, John and Agnes 75, [73] 

National Monuments Record of Scotland 40 

Nelson, Jess 40 

New Jersey Terra-Cotta Company 4, 16 

New London, Connecticut 118-143 

New London County (CT) Historical 

Society 119 
Newport, William 136-137 
Nockel, James 49, [50] 
Nonestied, Mark 21 

Nova Scotia Museum, Hahfax, NS 38, [38] 
Novak, RL. [14] 

Olds, Sharon 154 
Olsen, Peter C. 1,4 

Paterson, Robert and Margaret 42, [41] 
Peebleshire, Scotland 71 
Perth Amboy, NJ 1-29 
Perth Amboy Terra-Cotta Company 4, 9 
Perthshire, Scotland 43,47-49, 52-63 
Pickett, [Mr.] 126 

Pictish stone, Farnell, Angus, Scotland 35, 

Plumb, 123 

Plumb, [Deacon] 135 
Pove[i]ddo, Frank 137 
Powers, [Mr.] 137 

Prentiss, Jonat 135 

Prentt, R. 125 

Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, 

CA 160-205 
Presidio Pet Cemetery, San Francisco, CA 

160-205, [160, 205] 
Prestack, John, and Margaret Scott 43-44, 

Pringle, William, and Agnes Guldilock 71, 

75, [72] 

Quarles, Francis 31 

Royal Commission on the Ancient and 

Historical Monuments of 

Scotland (RCAHMS) 40 
Reid, Alan 71 
Reid, James 71, [69] 
Revell, Owen 18, [13] 
Richards, [Ms.] 137 
Ripa, Cesar 31 

Ritchie children 49, 51-52, [51] 
Ritchy, Janet 49, [49] 
Robertson children 62-63 
Robertson, David 62 
Robinson, [Ms.] 140 
Rodgers, Robert 67 
Rogers, James 126 
Rosslyn Chapel, Midlothian, Scotland 36 

Roxburhshire, Scotland 71 
Royle, Ellen Falvey [10] 

Sally Lincoln Chapter, DAR, Coles County, 

San Francisco National Cemetery, The 

Presidio, San Francisco, CA 161-162, 

201, [161] 
Separate Baptist Church, Coles County, IL 

96, 109, 111, 113 

Shackmaple, [ ] 136 

Smith, G. 127 

Smith, [Justice] 135 

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 40 

Spiegelman, Vivian 191 

St. Paul's Cemetery, Halifax, NS 37-38 

Stanclift, William 120-121, 126, 136 

Standard Terra-Cotta Company 4 

Starr, Jonathan 138 

Staten Island, NY 1-29 

Stephenson, [Doctr] 125 


Sterry, Samuel 135 
Stirlingshire, Scotland 63-66 
Stodder, Ralph 137 
Stratton, [Ms] 124 
Swan, Sarah 38-39, [39] 

Telfer, James 69 
The Child's Guide (1725) 38 
Thomlinson, Ralph 93 
Thulesen, Oluf E. 16, [17] 
Tinker, Amos 124 
Trask, Deborah 37 
Traynor, John 69 
Truman, Mary 125 
Truman, T. 140 

Veitch, Janet 71, [70] 
Venables, Robert 21 
Vidutus, Ricardas 94 

Walwort, [Widow] 139 
Warner, W. Lloyd 93 
Waterous, Ann 124 
Waterous, Jacob 124 
Watt children 47, [48] 
Watt, John 47 
Way, Thomas, Jr. 122 
West Lothian, Scotland 71 
Wheeler, William 126-127, 130 
Whitney, William 130 
Wightman, James 82 
Will, Margaret 45-45, [46] 
Willoughby, [Mr.] 139 
Willson, [Mr.] 126 
Winthrop, [Mr.] 127 
Wood, John 136 

Young, Frank W. 93-94 





The Association for Gravestone Studies was incorporated as a non- 
profit corporation in 1978 as an outgrowth of the DubHn Seminar for New 
England FolkHfe. The first volume of the Association's scholarly journal, 
Markers, appeared in 1980. While the charter purposes of AGS are broad, 
the general editorial policy of Markers is to define its subject matter as the 
analytical study of gravemarkers of all types and encompassing all his- 
torical periods and geographical regions of North America. 
Gravemarkers are here taken to mean above-ground artifacts that com- 
memorate the spot of burial, thereby excluding memorials or cenotaphs. 
Articles on death and dying in general or on other aspects of death-relat- 
ed material culture would not normally fall within the journal's purview 
unless clearly linked to the study of gravemarkers. Particular cemeteries 
may form the basis of study if a major focus of the article is on the mark- 
ers contained therein and if the purpose of the article is more than simply 
a history or description of the cemeteries themselves. While not neces- 
sarily excluded, articles dealing with material not found in North 
America should seek in some fashion to provide meaningful comparative 
analysis with material found here. Finally, articles submitted for publica- 
tion in Markers should be scholarly, analytical and interpretive, not mere- 
ly descriptive and entertaining. Within these general parameters, the 
journal seeks variety both in subject matter and disciplinary orientation. 
For illustration of these general principles, the prospective author is 
encouraged to consult recent issues of Markers. 


Submissions to Markers should be sent to the journal's editor, Richard 
E. Meyer, English Department, Western Oregon State College, 
Monmouth, OR 97361 (Telephone: (503) 838-8362 / E-Mail: Meyerr@fsa. Manuscripts should be submitted in triplicate (original 
and two duplicate copies) and should include originals of any accompa- 
nying photographs or other illustrations. Generally, articles in Markers 
run between fifteen and twenty-five 8/^ x 11 typescripted, double-spaced 

pages in length, inclusive of notes and any appended material. Longer 
articles may be considered if they are of exceptional merit and if space 

Should the article be accepted for publication, a final version of the 
manuscript must be submitted to the editor in both a hard copy and com- 
puter diskette format. The following word processing programs are cur- 
rently compatible with the journal's disk translation software (one 
assumes more recent versions of these programs, should they become 
available, will also be acceptable): Ami Pro 1.0, 2.0; AppleWorks WP 2.0, 
3.0; DCA-RFT (DisplayWrite); FrameMaker MIF 2.0, 3.0; MacWrite 4.5, 
5.0; MacWrite II; Multimate; Multimate 4.0; OfficeWriter 5.0., 6.0;; 
Professional Write; RTF (Rich Text Format); Text; Word Mac 3.0, 4.0, 5.0; 
Word PC; Word for Windows 1.0, 2.0; WordStar 3.0, 4.0. 5.0, 6.0, 7.0; 
WordPerfect 4.2, 5.0; WordPerfect PC 5.1, 6.0 (DOS & Windows); 
WordPerfect Mac 1.0, 2.0, 2.1; Works WP Mac & PC 2.0, 3.0; WriteNow 
Mac 2.0; WriteNow NeXT 1.0, 2.0; XYWrite III. 

Regular volumes of Markers are scheduled to appear annually in 
January. No deadline is established for the initial submission of a manu- 
script, but the articles scheduled for publication in a given volume of the 
journal are generally determined by the chronological order of acceptance 
and submission in final form. 


In matters of style, manuscripts should conform to the rules and prin- 
ciples enumerated in the most current edition of The Chicago Manual of 

Notes, whether documentary or discursive, should appear as end- 
notes (i.e., at the conclusion of the article) and those of a documentary 
nature should conform in format to the models found in the chapter enti- 
tled "Note Forms" of The Chicago Manual of Style. In manuscript, they 
should be typed double-spaced and appear following the text of the arti- 
cle and before any appended material. Separate bibliographies are not 
desired, though bibliographical material may, of course, be included with- 
in one or more notes. Any acknowledgements should be made in a sepa- 
rate paragraph at the beginning of the note section. 

Again, the prospective author is encouraged to consult recent issues of 
Markers for examples of these principles in context. 


Markers is a richly illustrated journal, its subject matter naturally lend- 
ing itself to photographs and other visual material. The journal encour- 
ages prospective authors to submit up to twenty illustrations with the 
understanding that these be carefully chosen so as to materially enhance 
the article's value through visual presentation of points under discussion 
in the text. Photos should be5x7or8xl0 black and white glossies of 
medium to high contrast. Maps, charts, diagrams or other line art should 
be rendered as carefully as possible so as to enhance presentation. A sep- 
arate sheet should be provided listing captions for each illustration. It is 
especially important that each illustration be numbered and clearly iden- 
tified by parenthetical reference at the appropriate place in the text, e.g. 
(Fig. 7). 


Submissions to Markers are sent by the editor to members of the jour- 
nal's editorial advisory board for review and evaluation. Every effort is 
made to conduct this process in as timely a manner as possible. When 
comments have been received from all reviewers, the author will be noti- 
fied of the publication decision. If an article is accepted, suggestions for 
revision may be made and a deadline for submission of a finalized man- 
uscript established. All accepted articles will be carefully edited for style 
and format before publication. 


Authors are responsible for understanding the laws governing copy- 
right and fair use and, where appropriate, securing written permissions 
for use of copyrighted material. Generally, if previously copyrighted 
material of more than 250 words is used in an article, written permission 
from the person holding the copyright must be secured and submitted to 
the editor. In like manner, permission should be obtained from persons 
who have supplied photographs to the author, and credit to the photog- 
rapher should be provided in captions or acknowledgement statement. 

As regards articles published in Markers, copyright is normally given 
to the Association for Gravestone Studies, though requests for permission 
to reprint are readily accommodated. Offset copies of published articles 
are not provided to authors: each contributor, however, receives a com- 
plimentary copy of the volume. 

Gravestone studies in general, and the Association 
for Gravestone Studies in particular, lost a dear 
and valued friend with the untimely death, on 
October 8, 1994, of Jim Jewell. Inscribed upon the 
gravestone which Jim designed for himself in 
Lindenwood Cemetery, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, are the 
words from poet William Blake, 'No bird soars too 
high if he soars with his own wings,' to which we 
would add, in dedicating this volume, another fit- 
ting epitaph seen from time to time over the years: 

'There is no death so long 

as we live in the hearts 
of those who remember us.' 


MARKERS I Reprint of 1980 journal. 
Collection of 15 articles on topics such as 
recording and care of gravestones, resources 
for teachers, some unusual markers, and 
carvers Ithamar Spauldin of Concord, Mass. 
and the Connecticut Hook-and-Eye Man. 
182 pages, 100 illustrations 

MARKERS II Signed stones in New England 
and Atlantic coastal states; winged skull sym- 
bol in Scotland and New England; early sym- 
bols in religious and wider social perspective; 
Mass. carvers Joseph Barbur, Jr., Stephen and 
Charles Hartshorn, and carver known as 
"JN"; Portage County, Wise, carvers from 
1850-1900; and a contemporary carver of San 
Angelo, Tex. 

226 pages, 168 illustrations 

MARKERS III Gravestone styles in frontier 
towns of Western Mass.; emblems and epi- 
taphs on Puritan gravestones; John 
Hartshorn's carvings in Essex County, Mass.; 
and New Hampshire carvers Paul Colburn, 
John Ball, Josiah Coolidge Wheat, Coolidge 
Wheat, and Luther Hubbard. 
154 pages, 80 illustrations 

MARKERS IV Delaware children's stones of 
1840-1899; rural southern gravemarkers; New 
York and New Jersey carving traditions; cam- 
posantos of New Mexico; and death Italo- 
American style. 

180 pages, 138 illustrations 

MARKERS V Pennsylvania German grave- 
stones; mausoleum designs of Louis Henri 
Sullivan; Thomas Gold and 7 Boston carvers 
of 1700-1725 who signed stones with their ini- 
tials; and Canadian gravestones and yards in 
Ontario and Kings County, Nova Scotia. 
240 pages, 158 illustrations 

MARKERS VI Carver John Dwight of 
Shirley, Mass.; gravestones of Afro- Americans 
from New England to Georgia; sociological 
study of Chicago-area monuments; more on 
New Mexico camposantos; hand symbolism in 
Southwestern Ontario; an epitaph from 
ancient Turkey; and a review essay on James 
Slater's The Colonial Burying Grounds of Eastern 

245 pages, 90 illustrations 

MARKERS VII A trilogy on cemetery gates 
and plot enclosures; the Boston Historic 
Burying Grounds Initiative; unusual monu- 
ments in colonial tidewater Virginia; tree 
stones in Southern Indiana's Limestone Belt; 
life and work of Virginia carver Charles Miller 
Walsh; carvers of Monroe County, Ind.; Celtic 
crosses; and monuments of the Tsimshian 
Indians of Western Canada. 
281 pages, 158 illustrations 

MARKERS VIII A collection of the pioneer- 
ing studies of Dr. Ernest Caulfield on 
Connecticut carvers and their work: fifteen 
essays edited by James A. Slater and three 
edited by Peter Benes. 

342 pages, 206 illustrations 

MARKERS IX A tribute to the art of Francis 
Duval; the Mullicken Family carvers of 
Bradford, Mass.; the Green Man on Scottish 
markers; photo-essay on the Center Church 
Crypt, New Haven, Conn.; more on Ithamar 
Spauldin and his shop; the Almshouse Burial 
Ground, Uxbridge, Mass.; Thomas 

Crawford's monument for Amos Binney; Salt 
Lake City Temple symbols on Mormon tomb- 
stones; language codes in Texas German 
cemeteries; and the disappearing Shaker 

281 pages, 176 illustrations 

MARKERS X The markers carved by Calvin 
Barber of Simsbury, Conn.; Chinese markers 
in a midwestern American Cemetery; the 
stonecarving of Charles Lloyd Neale of 
Alexandria, Va.; the Jewish cemeteries of 
Louisville, Ky; four generations of the 
Lamson family carvers of Charlestown and 
Maiden, Mass.; and the Protestant Cemetery 
in Florence, Italy. 

254 pages, 122 illustrations 

MARKERS XI Fraternal symbolism and 
gravemarkers; regional and denominational 
identity in Louisiana cemeteries; the carvings 
of Solomon Brewer in Westchester County, 
NY; Theodore O'Hara's 'The Bivouac of the 
Dead'; slave markers in colonial 
Massachusetts; the Leighton and Worster 
families of carvers; a Kentucky stonecutter's 
career; and pioneer gravemarkers in Oregon. 
237 pages, 132 illustrations