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Markers XXII 

Annual Journal of 
the Association for Gravestone Studies 

Edited by 
Gary Collison 

Association for Gravestone Studies 
Greenfield, Massachusetts 

Copyright 2005 by 

Association for Gravestone Studies 

278 Main Street, Suite 207 
Greenfield, Massachusetts 01301 

All rights reserved 
Printed in the United States 

ISBN: 1-878381-15-6 
ISSN: 0277-8726 
LCN: 81-642903 

The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the 

American National Standard for Information Sciences — Permanence of Paper 

for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984. 

Cover Illustration: Iron cross from Old St. Mary Cemetery, 
Hague, North Dakota, photo by Bob Pierce. 



Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia: A Survey 1 

Sally Ross, photos by Deborah Trask 

The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 34 

June Hadden Hobbs 

Remembering Man's Other Best Friend: U.S. Horse Graves 

and Memorials in Historical Perspective 70 

Gary CoUison 

Eighteenth-Century Gravestone Carvers of the 

Upper Narragansett Basin: George Allen 108 

Vincent F. Luti 

"Unser Lieber Gottesacker" (Our Dear God's Acre): An Iron-Cross 
Cemetery on the Northern Great Plains 160 

Timothy J. Kloberdanz, photos by Bob Pierce 

Elegy 182 

James Silas Rogers 

The Year's Work in Cemetery and Gravemarker Studies: 

An International Bibliography 189 

Compiled by Gary Collison 

Contributors 205 

Index 207 



Gary Collison, Editor 
Penn State York 

June Hadden Hobbs Richard E. Meyer 

Assistant Editor Editor, Markers X-XX, 

Gnrdner-Webb Universitif Western Oregon University 

Tom Malloy Barbara Rotundo 

Assistant Editor State University of New York 

Mount Waclmsett Connniinity College at Albany 

Jessie Lie Farber Julie Rugg 

Editor, Markers I University of York (UK) 

Richard Francaviglia James A. Slater 

University of Texas at Arlington University of Connecticut 

Laurel Gabel David H. Watters 

Former AGS Research Editor, Markers II-IV 

Clearinghouse Coordinator University of New Hampshire 

Wilbur Zelinsky 

Tlie Peimsylvania State University 

This is the second issue in the new, slimmer format, and the second 
year that Markers is being distributed to all AGS members. This year's 
issue provides something of an odyssey across North America. Sally 
Ross takes in the easternmost territory in her survey of the Acadian 
graveyards of the Province of Nova Scotia, comprised of peninsular 
Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. Her essay is illustrated by the 
photographs of co-researcher Deborah Trask, a long-time AGS member 
and chairperson of the 2005 Halifax conference. Vincent Luti takes us to 
his now-familiar territory in the Narragansett Basin, a geographical area 
comprising Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut. 

His subject this time is the remarkable work of George Allen, the master 
of Upper Basin stonecarving. 

Four other pieces take us westward. My essay on horse graves 
mentions many areas of the United States but concentrates on the 
bluegrass country of Kentucky, where many of the nation's legendary 
thoroughbreds have been buried. Assistant Markers editor June Hadden 
Hobbs introduces and interprets the "cowboy" cemetery of Kenton, 
Oklahoma, part of the rugged western panhandle once known as "No 
Man's Land." With the help of photographs taken by the late Bob Pierce, 
Tim Kloberdanz explores the history and meaning of the iron crosses 
in one of the most interesting of many German-Russian cemeteries 
scattered over a large area of the northern Great Plains. Tim's short but 
authoritative text introducing a group of photographs will, I hope, be a 
model for similar short contributions in the future. Finally, writer James 
Rogers provides a reflective work on a neglected Minnesota cemetery. 

I thank the members of the board of editors anci several anonymous 
scholars for their generous and conscientious assistance in evaluating 
manuscripts. For invaluable support both tangible and intangible, I am 
grateful to Dr. Diane Disney, Dean of the Commonwealth College of 
the Pennsylvania State University; Dr. Sandy Gleason, Associate Dean; 
and Drs. Joel Rodney, CEO, Penn State York, and Joseph P. McCormick 
III, Director of Academic Affairs. For assistance of various kinds, I am 
indebted to Brenda Malloy, Gray Williams, and Jim O' Hara. 

Sadly, I note the passing in December 2004 of Barbara Rotundo, 
former president of AGS and an invaluable member of the Markers 
editorial board since 1993. She will be greatly missed, hi the short time 
that I have been editor of Markers, I have had the benefit of her experience 
and guidance on many occasions. It is hard to imagine either Markers or 
AGS without her. An obituary will appear in next year's issue. 

Markers is indexed in America: History and Life, the Bibliography of the 
History of Art, Historical Abstracts, and the MLA International Bibliography. 
Prospective contributors should consult the editorial guidelines and 
style sheet on the Markers pages at the AGS Web site. Send queries 
and comments to Gary Collison, Markers Editor, PeiTn State York, 1031 
Edgecomb Avenue, York, PA 17403. E-mail: 


Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

Detail of Deportation of the Acadians at Grand-Pre in 1755, 
modern painting by Claude Picard, Grand-Pre National 
Historic Site © Parks Canada. Courtesy of Parks Canada. 

Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia: A Survey 

Sally Ross, photos by Deborah Trask 

The year 2004 marked the four hundredth anniversary of French 
settlement in North America. In 1604, Pierre Dugua de Monts was 
granted the monopoly of the lands situated between the 40th and the 
46th parallels. This territory or colony was called Acadie. Although 
the boundaries of the colony changed many times throughout history, 
the Acadie of the seventeenth century covered, in today's terms. Nova 
Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and part of Maine. The 
settlement that De Monts and Samuel de Champlain established on St. 
Croix Island turned out to be ephemeral. Even their settlement of Port 
Royal, founded in 1605, was relatively short-lived. For various reasons, 
French colonization in this part of the New World did not really take 
off until the arrival of men, women, and children in the 1630s. These 
colonists became known as Acadians. From the basic core of about fifty 
families who settled in Port Royal, the Acadian population grew to 
approximately 10,000 inhabitants by 1755.^ 

Situated close to the main shipping lines and the great fishing 
grounds of the North Atlantic, Acadie was a strategic but vulnerable 
colony. It suffered numerous attacks from New England and changed 
hands between France and England several times. Port Royal suffered 
a disastrous attack in 1710 led by troops from Boston. The Treaty of 
Utrecht in 1713 transferred ownership of Acadie to Great Britain, who 
renamed the colony "Nova Scotia." Since Britain made no serious 
effort to colonize Nova Scotia until the founding of Halifax in 1749, the 
Acadians were able to prosper for another fifty years in relative safety on 
their rich dikeland farms along the Bay of Fundy. As French Catholics, 
the Acadians were now ruled by Protestant masters who, nevertheless, 
allowed them to practice their religion, albeit with restrictions regarding 
the immigration of priests. All the large Acadian settlements like Port 
Royal, Grand Pre, Canard, Pisiquid, Cobequid, and Beaubassin had a 
parish that was served by a resident priest or a missionary and that 
included a church and a graveyard. Isolated outports along the coast 
had chapels, no doubt with a nearby cemetery. The custom of burying 

Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

the dead in consecrated ground next to the house of worship dates back 
to medieval France. 

The British decision in July 1755 to remove the Acadians from 
Nova Scotia was the result of a series of events and circumstances that 
had evolved over several decades.- The Expulsion of the Acadians, or 
the Deportation as it is called nowadays, is unquestionably the most 
traumatic event in the history of Nova Scotia. Immortalized by Henry 
Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem Evangeline, the Deportation 
lasted for almost ten years and caused the dispersion of the entire French- 
speaking population of the Atlantic region. In the fall of 1755 alone, over 
6,000 Acadians were deported to the British colonies along the eastern 
seaboard from Massachusetts to Georgia. As the Acadians were rounded 
up and loaded onto transport ships, the British and New England troops 
serving in Nova Scotia set fire to the Acadians' crops, barns, houses, and 
churches. Even the Acadians' graveyards do not appear to have been 
spared. All visual traces of the cemeteries have disappeared. Over the 
years, archeological research and oral traditions have enabled historians 
to locate some of the original pre-Deportation cemetery sites. Generally, 
however, very little information remains regarding the burial grounds of 
the generations of Acadian pioneers who died between the early 1600s 
and 1755. 

The only known detailed image of a seventeenth-century Acadian 
church and cemetery appears on Jean-Baptiste-Louis Franquelin's 1686 
map of Port Royal (Fig. 1). This wonderful map showing the wayside 
cross, the parish church, the rectory, and the fenced graveyard with 
seven small crosses and one larger cross provides a visual representation 
of the cultural archetype from which all Acadian villages have evolved. 

There is no archeological or written evidence of the French in 
Louisbourg or the Acadians in Port Royal, Grand Pre, or elsewhere 
using stone monuments to mark their graves. The only reference 
to gravemarkers discovered thus far is a statement by Father Pierre 
Maillard, who served as a missionary to the Mi'kmaq, the native people 
on Isle Royale and Isle Saint Jean (present-day Cape Breton and Prince 
Edward Islands) during the French Regime. Referring to an attack on 
a Mi'kmaq settlement by New England soldiers near Louisbourg in 
1745, Father Maillard wrote: "The burying-place of the Savages was 
demolished, and all the crosses, planted on the graves, broke into a 
thousand pieces."^ Based on this comment and the absence (at least so 

Sally Ross 

Fig. 1. Port Royal church (2) and cemetery (4), 'TLAN TRES EXACT 

DV Terrain ou sont s^ituees les maisons du Port Royal et ou Ion pent 

faire une Ville considerable/' Jean-Baptiste-Louis Franquelin, 1686, 

cliche Bibliotheque nationale de France, Paris, Dep. des Cartes et 

Plans, SH groupe 132:2:2. Courtesy Bibliotheque nationale. 

Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

far) of any evidence of gravestones, it is perhaps safe to conclude that 
wooden crosses were the customary gravemarkers for all Catholics in 
Acadie or Nova Scotia prior to the Deportation. 

After 1764, Acadians were allowed to return to Nova Scotia provided 
they settled in small numbers in distant parts of the territory (Fig. 2). 
Their fertile farms along the Bay of Fundy had already been granted to 
Protestants from New England. In addition to having been uprooted 
and dispossessed, the Acadians who returned to Nova Scotia and the 
other Maritime Provinces became an ostracized minority who suffered 
the consequences of both religious and political intolerance.'* By the 
beginning of the 1800s, despite the fact that they had been scattered 
over a vast territory on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, more than 
70 percent of the estimated 23,400 Acadians were living in the three 
Maritime Provinces and Quebec. About 17 percent were living in 
Louisiana.^ Today the majority of Acadians in the Maritime Provinces 
are concentrated in New Brunswick, where they form over a third of the 
population. Acadians constitute about 10 percent of the population of 
both Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. 

e Breton 

Pointe- P^'* '^''y^' 


<^M».m''J Digby 


Saumons F' .'■, fT. 

Yarmouth — 'f^ta^ Queens, 

Wedgeport-^^ Sfielbum 


AntiaontSKi . x> . , 


Larrys River\ Port Felix 

Charlos Cove 

Nova Scotia 

Fig. 2. Modern map showing Nova Scotia county divisions (dotted 
lines) and Acadian communities (bold type) scattered along the coast. 

Sally Ross 

The post-Deportation Acadian settlenients in Nova Scotia were 
founded between the late 1760s and the early 1790s, depending on the 
area.*' The parish cemeteries in these communities form the focus of the 
research project entitled "Acadian Cemeteries and Grave Markers" that 
I carried out with the assistance of Deborah Trask between June and 
September 2003. The aim of the project was to document and photograph 
gravemarkers of cultural, linguistic, and historical significance. No 
systematic study had been done of Acadian cemeteries anywhere in 
the Maritime Provinces. For the purposes of the project, an Acadian 
cemetery was defined as any graveyard associated with a Catholic 
church in a parish settled exclusively or predominately by Acadians after 
the Deportation (i.e. after 1764). During the initial phase of the project, 
I worked through a network of local contacts in the various Acadian 
regions of the province to explain the purpose of the study and to solicit 
advice and suggestions. Later, I conducted formal interviews. During 
the field-research phase of the project, Deborah Trask and I visited sixty- 
one post-Deportation Acadian cemeteries with visible above-ground 
gravemarkers located in forty-two different parishes or missions (see 
Appendix). These cemeteries are located in the following counties of 
Nova Scotia: Halifax (1), Yarmouth (14), Digby (16), Cumberland (2), 
Antigonish (6), Guysborough (4), Richmond (12), and Inverness (6). In 
the course of our travels, Deborah Trask took approximately 1,850 black- 
and-white photographs, fifty color photos, and several hundred color 

Despite the fact that the post-Deportation Acadian settlements in 
Nova Scotia were established between the late 1760s and the early 
1790s, we found no eighteenth-century Acadian gravemarkers. There 
are several possible explanations for this lack of eighteenth-century 
material. If, as appears to have been the case before the Deportation, the 
markers consisted solely of wooden crosses, then they would obviously 
have been subject to decay. Another possible explanation is that 
before the repeal of the laws prohibiting Catholics from owning land, 
holding public office, worshiping publicly, and building churches, the 
development of the Catholic Church and the eniancipation of Catholics 
took place very slowly in Nova Scotia.' Among other things this meant 
that until the early 1800s, Acadians had no resident priests, and mass 
was said in private homes or in rudimentary chapels. As communities 

Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

grew and parishes developed, the early chapels with their adjoining 
graveyards were gradually replaced by larger churches in more 
convenient locations, and the old chapels and cemeteries fell into disuse 
and gradually disappeared from the landscape. This phenomenon has 
been documented in various communities.^ To take but one example, 
archeological investigation carried out by Laird Niven in 1997 at Roco 
Point near Sainte-Anne-du-Ruisseau in Yarmouth County confirmed the 
existence of four graves and the probable foundation of a 1784 chapel 
(now reconstructed). The investigations uncovered no evidence of stone 

The oldest permanent Acadian gravemarkers in Nova Scotia are 
located in the old cemetery in St. Pierre parish in the village of Cheticamp 
in northern Cape Breton Island. Cheticamp was settled in 1785, about 
twenty years after the Acadian migrations into Yarmouth and Digby 
counties at the other end of the province. The graveyard was virtually 
impenetrable when the late Father Anselme Chiasson and one of his 
uncles tried to do an inventory of the gravestones in 1936." It stayed that 
way until 1955, at which time the parish priest decided to have it cleaned 
up for the bicentennial of the Deportation. The stones were moved and 
put in rows. By the time a systematic inventory was done around 1981 
by another priest, eighty-four stones were extant, most of them intact.^° 
All the stones are painted white and are made of hand-carved sandstone 
from the nearby coastline. Easy access to an abundant supply of local 
sandstone probably explains the early use of more permanent material. 
Death dates range from 1817 to 1864 (several are undated). One of the 
oldest stones commemorates J LL (Jean LeLievre), who died in 1817 at 
the age of about fifty (Fig. 3). He is the ancestor of all the LeLievres in 
the Cheticamp area today. The other example is a more elaborate stone 
(Fig. 4) erected to the memory of Pierre Aucoin, who died at the age of 
sixty-seven in 1863. As one can detect from the initials P O Q, Pierre 
Aucoin's name was anglicized to Peter O'Quin. The "M" preceding the 
date stands for mort (died)" and the "A" after "67" stands for nus (years). 
The cross on Aucoin's stone is placed above the letters IHS, the Greek 
monogram for Jesus. 

On a plateau just above the old cemetery in Cheticamp lies the main 
St. Pierre parish cemetery, established around 1854 and still in use. At 
the time of an inventory completed in 1981, there were 2,061 inscribed 
gravemarkers. All but about fifty of the inscriptions are in French, a very 

Sally Ross 

Fig. 3. "J LL" (Jean LeLievre), 1817, painted sandstone, 
old St. Pierre Cemetery, Cheticamp, Inverness County. 

high percentage in comparison to some Acadian cemeteries, especially 
on mainland Nova Scotia, where English inscriptions are common. 
Sandstone markers dominate this vast cemetery in the highlands (Fig. 5). 
There has been a long tradition of whitewashing and painting sandstone, 
concrete, and cast iron gravemarkers in this part of Cape Breton. When 
we visited the area in July 2003, the gravemarkers were being repainted 
to be ready for the celebrations of the 2004 Congres mondial acadien and 
the four hundredth anniversary of French settlement in North America. 
Locally carved sandstone markers also dominate the cemeteries 
of the two other Acadian parishes in Inverness County: St. Michel in 
East Margaree and St. Joseph in St.-Joseph-du-Moine. East Margaree 
was settled by Acadian and Scottish families in the late 1780s. The old 
cemetery has interpretive signs and a commemorative monument but no 
gravemarkers. Another cemetery in use since the early 1800s is located 
across the road from the present-day church. The striking iconography 
on a number of the stones is unlike anything that we saw in the Acadian 
cemeteries on mainland Nova Scotia, and the carved inscriptions are 

Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

Fig. 4. "P O Q" (Pierre Aucoin), 1863, painted sandstone, 
old St. Pierre Cemetery, Cheticamp, Inverness County. 

Sally Ross 

Fig. 5. A section of the vast St. Pierre Cemetery, 
Cheticamp, Inverness County. 

highlighted with black paint. The spelling is sometimes phonetic. The 
wonderful stone dedicated to the memory of Dominique Doucette (Fig. 

6) is an Acadian version of the Murdoch McNeil 1846 relief-carved 
stone, the oldest in the cemetery. The stylized flowers, the angels, the 
crucifix, the Gloria, and the Latin monogram INRI for Jesus Nazaremis Rex 
ludaerorum make this gravestone remarkable. The sandstone marker (Fig. 

7) showing a crucifix flanked by two candles commemorates Catherine 
Rains (Ryan), the wife of Patriqe (Patrice) Doucait, who died in 1866 in her 
27th year. A 1924 stone (Fig. 8) decorated with a simple cross placed in a 
circle is dedicated to Marie Boudreau and two children who predeceased 
her. In keeping with the eighteenth-century French custom, the woman 
is identified by her maiden name. Her husband's name, P.J. LeBlanc, 
is also given in the inscription. The common abbreviation "D.C.D." is 
a homonym for the word decide (died). Many of the gravestones in St. 
Joseph's Cemetery have also been painted white and their inscriptions 
painted black. The black painted background on Thomas Chiasson's 
1893 sandstone highlights the delicately carved doves, roses, and crucifix 
with details of Christ's face and crown (Fig. 9). Also dated 1893, the stone 
of Luce Aucoin and her infant son Severin shows two angels kneeling at 
the crucifixion (Fig. 10). 


Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

Fig. 6. Dominique Doucette, 1885, painted sandstone, 
St. Michel Cemetery, East Margaree, Inverness County. 


Arv me mo I re 
t4 ^TAae 1 "^ 

i An 

Fig. 7. Catherine Rains Doucait, 1866, painted sandstone, 
St. Michel Cemetery, East Margaree, Inverness County. 


Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

Fig. 8. Gravemarker for Marie Boudreau LeBlanc (d. 1924) and 

two children, Willie (1917) and Flora (1920), painted sandstone, 

St. Michel Cemetery, East Margaree, Inverness County. 

Fig. 9. Thomas Chiasson, 1893, painted sandstone, 
St. Joseph Cemetery, St.-Joseph-du-Moine, Inverness County. 


Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

Fig. 10. Luce Aucoin and infant son Severin, 1893, painted sandstone, 
St. Joseph Cemetery, St.-Joseph-du-Moine, Inverness County. 

Sally Ross 15 

The type of sandstone markers that one sees in the three Acadian 
cemeteries of Inverness County are rare elsewhere on Cape Breton Island 
and almost non-existent on mainland Nova Scotia. There are, however, 
a number of imported sandstone markers in the old cemetery of Notre- 
Dame-de-l'Assomption in Arichat, Richmond County, which forms the 
southwestern corner of Cape Breton Island and includes seven Acadian 
parishes. The oldest surrounds Arichat, which was settled around 1765 
by Acadians who came to work for the fish companies run by Huguenot 
merchants from the British Channel Islands. With the arrival of Scottish 
and Irish settlers in the early 1800s, Arichat became a thriving trading 
port that for a short time eclipsed Halifax in importance. Described by 
Bishop Joseph-Octave Plessis in 1812 as being vaste et bien clos^^ (vast 
and well-fenced), the old graveyard reflects the elegance and prosperity 
of bygone days. A number of impressive sandstone monuments from 
the 1840s were probably imported from Ireland and Halifax. One of the 
most imposing memorializes two priests. Father Lairey (Lairez) from 
France and Father Maranda from Quebec, who died in 1834 and 1847 
respectively (Fig. 11).^^ Erected by the parishioners of D'Escousse and 
Arichat, the stone was carved by E. Fearon. A simple cross surmounted 
by elegant drapery decorates the 1849 headstone of the young Bregitte 
LeBlanc, wife of Remi Forest (Fig. 12). By the 1870s, the economy of 
Arichat and the surrounding communities had begun a slow decline 
that forced hundreds of Acadian families to emigrate to the fishing and 
factory towns of New England in search of employment. As a result of 
these departures, a number of surnames such as Lavache disappeared 
from Arichat. As if to appeal to all passers-by in a multi-ethnic port, 
Abraham Lavache' s marble headstone, signed by the firm of Phillips 
and McQueen from the neighboring province of Prince Edward Island, 
is inscribed in three languages: French (vital statistics), English (the 
common epitaph ending "Prepare for death and follow me"), and Latin 
(the phrase Gloria in excelsio Deo) (Fig. 13). 

One of the oldest post-Deportation graveyards is found in Digby 
County at the opposite end of the province. Its fourteen crudely shaped 
gravestones are the only ones made of slate that we found in our travels. 
The dates on these markers in the Sainte-Marie graveyard in the village 
of Pointe-de-1'Eglise range from 1838 to 1902. Although further research 
is necessary, it would appear that some of the stones were placed a long 


Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

Fig. 11. Fathers Lairey and Maranda, 183^/1847, sandstone, signed 
"E. Fearon," old Notre-Dame-de-rAssomption Cemetery, Arichat. 
A piece of the original wrought-iron cross finial leans at the base. 

Sally Ross 


Fig. 12. Bregitte LeBlanc Forest, 1849, sandstone, old 
Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption Cemetery, Arichat, Richmond County. 


Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

Fig. 13. Abraham Lavache, 1879, marble, signed 

'Phillips & McQueen," [Charlottetown PEI], old Notre-Dame-de- 

I'Assomption Cemetery, Arichat, Richmond County. 

Sally Ross 


time after the inscribed date. Of particular historic interest is the large 
gravestone of Joseph Dugas, who died in 1858 at the age of ninety-two. It 
states that he was the first Acadian born in Clare (Fig. 14).^'' 

The first post-Deportation parish in Nova Scotia was established in 
1799 in Sainte-Anne-du-Ruisseau, Yarmouth County, by Father Jean- 
Mande Sigogne. The oldest gravemarker in this parish, a marble grave- 
stone for Ambroise Potier, who died in 1854 at the age of fifty-eight, 
stands beside Sainte-Anne Church (Fig. 15). The sculpted fleur-de-lys 
cross, the IHS monogram, and the phrase Priez pour I'ame de (Pray for 
the soul of), all frequently appear on marble markers of this vintage. 
Ambroise was a third-generation Potier in Sainte-Anne-du-Ruisseau. 
Records indicate that Dominique Potier, the first Potier to arrive in the 
area, was buried in this cemetery in 1818 at the age of eighty-seven.^^ The 
fact that there are no visible signs of the first two generations of Potiers 
in the cemetery serves as a reminder that to fully appreciate Acadian 
cemeteries, one has to value and respect invisible heritage. 






Fig. 14. Joseph Dugas, 1858, slate fieldstone, 
Sainte Marie Cemetery, Pointe-de-rEglise, Digby County. 


Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

Fig. 15. Ambroise Potier, 1854, marble, old Sainte Anne Cemetery, 
Sainte-Anne-du-Ruisseau, Yarmouth County. 

Sally Ross 


Informants interviewed in the field indicated that early generations 
of post-Deportation Acadians continued to use wooden crosses to 
mark their graves. A wooden cross was both a sign of humility and 
the quintessential symbol of the Catholic faith. Longevity was not a 
priority. If there was money to spare, it was probably spent on masses. 
Traditionally, masses said for the soul of the deceased were niuch more 
important than gravemarkers.^^ Prayers, not material considerations 
regarding the body, could shorten the sojourn of the soul in purgatory. ^^ 
In his study of the history and traditions of Cheticamp, Father Anselme 
Chiasson describes the ancient custom of la criee des dmes (the auction 
for souls) that was practiced in the early days of the community. 
Parishioners donated items such as a bag of potatoes, a pig, or a ewe 
that would be auctioned off on the steps of the church. The money raised 
would be used to pay the priest for masses for the souls of the dead.^'' 
Although this custom does not appear to have existed in other Acadian 
communities in Nova Scotia, it illustrates the importance of prayers of 

The oldest and most elaborate wooden crosses we found are located 
in Sainte- Agnes Cemetery in Quinan, Yarmouth County (Fig. 16). Erected 

Fig, 16. Simon and Scholastique Doucet, 1910 and 1909, 
painted wood, new St. Agnes Cemetery, Quinan, Yarmouth County. 

22 Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

in memory of Simon and Scholastique Doucet, who died in 1910 and 1909 
respectively, they appear to be original, not replacements. According to 
a document in the municipal archives in Tusket, they were made of 
"hackmatack" (larch) and have been painted regularly by members of 
the family. Acadians throughout Nova Scotia still use wooden crosses to 
mark recent graves and to replace old markers. In addition to wooden 
crosses, we found about twenty wooden monuments. The oldest is dated 
1897 and is located in St. Pierre Cemetery in Pubnico-Ouest, Yarmouth 
County. A slightly newer one (1904) with a French inscription is located 
in the nearby village of Wedgeport (Fig. 17). It, too, is made from a large 
single plank that shows evidence of having been painted white. 

A number of Acadian cemeteries in Nova Scotia contain striking 
metal crosses. There is a lovely wrought-iron cross in St. Anselme 
Cemetery in Chezzetcook, across the harbor from Halifax. By far the 
largest and most ornate cast-iron cross niarks the grave of Adrien C. 
Amirault, who died in 1909 (Fig. 18). Located in St. Pierre Cemetery in 
Pubnico-Ouest, it bears an inscription revealing that it was made at the 
foundry of "A. Belanger, Montmagny, Que[bec]."'^ 

Starting in the 1920s, concrete monuments made from many diff- 
erent types of aggregates became common in Acadian graveyards. 
In some cases, these concrete markers were apparently one-of-a-kind 
labors of love like the one decorated with beach glass and shells in the 
old cemetery in Louisdale (Fig. 19). It marks the grave of a child who 
lived a little more than a month in the winter of 1955-1956. In other cases 
concrete markers appear to have been mass-produced locally. Small 
leaning crosses, for example, were made in Buttes- Amirault, Yarmouth 
County, and sold in the neighboring parishes (Fig. 20). Andre DeVillers' 
circa 1928 gravemarker, an elegant example of a mass-produced concrete 
marker, boasts raised letters on the cross, an art deco angel, and ornate 
chamfers (Fig. 21). The concrete monument dedicated to Evangeline 
Surette is eye-catching not only because of its pressed leaf designs but 
also because of the name and birthdate of the deceased (Fig. 22). Born 
in 1854 only a few years after the publication of Longfellow's famous 
poem, Evangeline (nee Blinn) Surette was perhaps one of the first 
Acadian women named after Longfellow's heroine.''^ 

Sally Ross 


Fig. 17. Charles M. Boudreau, 1904, carved and painted wood, 
St. Michel Cemetery, Wedgeport, Yarmouth County, 


Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

Fig. 18. Adrien C. Amirault, 1909, cast iron, St. Pierre Cemetery, 

Pubnico-Ouest, Yarmouth County. The base bears the cast mark of 

the A. Belanger foundry, Montmagny, Quebec (inset). 

Sally Ross 


Fig. 19. Kelvin Joseph Marchand, 1956, concrete with glass 
and shells, old St. Louis Cemetery, Louisdale, Richmond County. 

Fig. 20. Several "leaning cross" markers, concrete, 
new Sainte-Anne-du-Ruisseau Cemetery, Yarmouth County. 


Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

pr ^-^^ 

Fig. 21. Andre DeVillers, 1928, concrete, St. Gabriel Cemetery, 
Buttes-des-Comeau, Yarmouth County. Noye means "drowned." 

Sally Ross 



■>:. ' 

' /■ 

Fig. 22. Evangeline Blinn Surette (born 1854), 
1954, concrete, Surelte's Island, Yarmouth County. 


Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 

Fig. 23. Placide Belliveau, 1890, marble, 
old St. Bernard Cemetery, St. Bernard, Digby County. 

Sally Ross 29 

Marble gravestones, which make up only a small percentage of 
all the gravemarkers in the Acadian cemeteries of Nova Scotia, were 
definitely more expensive and therefore an obvious sign of social status 
and stratification. The majority of the marble monuments in Acadian 
cemeteries were produced by well-known companies in Halifax, 
which tended to use the same standard styles and symbols.^" One 
unusual 1890 gravestone in the old St. Bernard graveyard in Digby 
County provides a noteworthy exception to this general rule (Fig. 23). In 
true romantic style, the sculptor placed more emphasis on the dramatic 
poses of the grieving women in the foreground than on the crucifixion. 
This moving scene is further accentuated by a high relief trefoiled frame. 
Placide Belliveau's elaborately carveci marble stone certainly stands in 
marked contrast to the simplicity of the traditional wooden crosses. 

The results of this survey show that until fairly recently the Acadians 
of Nova Scotia used a wide variety of materials for their gravemarkers. 
As a general rule, they preferred markers that were made in their own 
communities. For cultural and economic reasons, the traditional wooden 
cross predominated for many generations and is still used today. Regional 
differences in the choice of materials are due in part, but not entirely, to 
the presence or absence of local sandstone. Numerous factors, including 
French-speaking priests front France and Quebec who were moved from 
one Acadian parish to another, influenced changes in Acadian cemeteries 
over the years. As might be expected at the end of a large survey covering 
forty-two Acadian parishes spread out to the four corners of a province 
of almost 25,000 square miles, considerable research has yet to be done 
in order to chronicle the shifts in gravemarker materials and styles at the 
regional level. This initial study of Nova Scotia's Acadian cemeteries and 
gravemarkers has attempted to provide insights into the French Catholic 
culture of Nova Scotia and to provide a solid basis for further research 
on an important part of the cultural legacy of the Acadians. 

30 Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 


^ Sally Ross and Alphonse Deveau, The Acadians of Nova Scotia (Halifax: 
Nimbus Publishing, 1992), 3-70. 

- For a well-written summary of the Deportation, see James E. Candow, TJie 
Deportation of the Acadians (Societe Promotion Grand-Pre and Parks Canada, 
2003). The booklet is available from the online catalogue of the Societe 
Promotion Grand-Pre: 

^ A. J. B. Johnston, Life and ReUgion in Loiiisbourg, 1713-1758 (Montreal and 
Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1984), 199. 

^ Sally Ross, "Rebuilding a Society: The Challenges Faced by the Acadian 
Minority in Nova Scotia during the First Century after the Deportation, 
1764-1867," in Looking into Acadie, Curatorial Report 87 (Halifax: Nova Scotia 
Museum, 1999), 52-80. 

-^ Robert G. LeBlanc, "The Acadian Migrations," Canadian Geographical Journal 
81:1 (July 1970). 

*' For a description of the Acadian regions in Nova Scotia today, see Ross and 
Deveau, Tlie Acadians of Nova Scotia, 72-143. 

^ Brian J. Hanington, Every Popish Person: The Story of Roman Catholicism in Nova 
Scotia and the Church of Halifax (Halifax: Archdiocese of Halifax, 1984), 48-49. 

^ See, for example, Anselme Chiasson, Cheticarnp: histoire et traditions 
acadiennes (Moncton: Editions des Aboiteaux, 1961), 117-118. We observed the 
phenomenon ourselves in various places including Pomquet, Havre-Boucher, 
and East Margaree. 

^ Letter from Pere Anselme Chiasson to Sally Ross, Dec. 17, 2003. 

^° Charles Aucoin, "Ce qui reste de notre cimetiere," Bidletin d'histoire et de 
genealogie de la Societe Saint-Pierre 5:4 (1988) and "Notre vieux cimetiere: qui sont 
les defunts qui y reposent?" 8:3 (1991). 

" "Le Journal des visites pastorales de Mgr. Joseph-Octave Plessis (Eveque de 
Quebec) en Acadie," La Societe historique acadienne 11:1-3 (1980): 105. 

^^ A. J. Johnston, A History of the Catholic Church in Eastern Nova Scotia II 
(Antigonish: Saint Francis Xavier University Press, 1960), 5, 96. 

" Clare was the name given to the township granted to the Acadians in 1768. It 
is now called the municipality of Clare. 

^•^ Bernard Pothier, Jean Pottier and His Nova Scotia Progeny (Lower Wedgeport: 
Association des Pothier/ Pottier de la Nouvelle-Ecosse, 2004), 30. 

^' It is interesting to note that Marie- Aimee Cliche's analysis of attitudes 
towards death in Quebec wills and testaments between 1680 and 1760, 
"Les attitudes devant la n"iort d'apres les clauses testamentaires dans le 
gouvernement de Quebec sous le Regime frangais," Revue d'histoire de 
V Amerique frani^aise 32:1 (1978), refers to preferences regarding burial location 
(church, parish cemetery, etc.) but makes no reference to gravemarkers. 

Sally Ross 31 

" In her book entitled Vie Dead and the Living in Paris and London, 1500-1670 
(Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 179-180, Vanessa Harding points 
out that the fundamental change introduced by the Protestant Reformation 
was the rejection of prayers of intercession for the dead and the doctrine of 
purgatory. "By declaring that the living could do nothing for the dead, and vice 
versa," she writes, "it challenged the reciprocity previously exemplified by the 
testamentary benefactions and obligations". 

'^ Chiasson, Clieticamp: histoire et traditions acadiennes, 163. The custom was 
common throughout the province of Quebec. 

^^ Although further research is required, it would appear that this foundry was 
established in 1867 and specialized in cast-iron stoves. According to an article 
on the history of the cemeteries of Montmagny, the attractive cast-iron crosses 
made by the A. Belanger foundry were no longer permitted in Saint-Odilon 
cemetery as of September 1921 because the concrete bases had deteriorated, 
causing the crosses to fall. See: "Les cimetieres de Montmagny," http:// st-thomas/ cimetiere.htm. 

" Not being a saint's name, the name Evangeline was not used by Acadians 
prior to Longfellow's poem. The first French translation of Evangeline was 
published in 1865, but many Acadians had already heard of the famous heroine 
by that time. 

2° Deborah Trask, Gravestone Carving and Carvers in Nova Scotia (Halifax: Nova 
Scotia Museum, 1978), 38, 83-92. 


Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia 


County/Community Parish Church 

Halifax County 

1. Chezzetcook Saint- Anselme 

Yarmouth County 

1. Pubnico-Est 

2. Pubnico-Ouest-le-Bas 

3. Pubnico-Ouest 

4. Sainte-Anne-du-Ruisseau 

5. Sainte-Anne-du-Ruisseau 

6. Roco Point 

7. Surette's Island 

8. Buttes-Amirault 

9. Wedgeport 

10. Pointe-a-Pinkney 

11. Melbourne 

12. Quinan 

13. Quinan 

14. Butte-des-Comeau 

Digby County 

1. Plympton 

2. Doucetteville 

3. Weymouth 

4. Saint-Bernard 

5. Saint-Bernard 

6. Pointe-de-l'Eglise 

7. Pointe-de-l'Eglise 

8. Concession 

9. Corberrie 

10. Saulnierville 

11. Meteghan 

12. Meteghan 

13. Saint-Alphonse 

14. Riviere-aux-Saumons 

15. Riviere-aux-Saumons 

Immaculee Conception 

Saint-Pierre - old cem. 


Sainte-Anne - old cem. 

Sainte Anne - new cem. 

Sainte-Anne - archeological digs 





Our Lady of Lourdes 

Sainte-Agnes - old cem. 

Sainte-Agnes - new cem. 


Holy Cross 

Sacred Heart 


Saint-Bernard - old cem. 

Saint-Bernard - new cem. 

Sainte-Marie - old cem. 

Sainte-Marie - new cem. 




Stella Maris - old cem. 

Stella Maris - new cem. 


Saint- Vincent-de-Paul - old cem. 

Saint-Vincent-de-Paul - new cem. 

Sally Ross 


16. Hectenooga 

Cumberland County 

1. Minudie 

2. Ragged Reef 

Antigonish County 

1. Pomquet 

2. Tracadie 

3. Tracadie 

4. Merland 

5. Havre-Boucher 

6. Havre-Boucher 

Guysborough County 

1. Larry's River 

2. Charlo's Cove 

3. Port Felix 

4. Port Felix 

Richmond County 

1. Arichat 

2. Arichat 

3. Arichat-Ouest 

4. D'Escousse 

5. D'Escousse 

6. Petit-de-Grat 

7. Petit-de-Grat 

8. Louisdale 

9. Louisdale 

10. Riviere-Bourgeois 

11. L'Ardoise 

12. L'Ardoise 

Inverness County 

1. East Margaree 

2. East Margaree 

3. Saint-Joseph-du-Moine 

4. Cheticamp 

5. Cheticamp 

6. Cheticamp 



St. Thomas Aquinas 


St. Peter's - old cem. 

St. Peter's - new cem. 

St. Patrick's 

St. Paul's - old cem. 

St. Paul's - new cem. 

St. Peter's 

St. Joseph 

St. Joseph - old cem. 

St. Joseph - new cem. 

Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption - old cem. 
Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption - new cem. 
Immaculee Conception 
Saint-Hyacinthe - old cem. 
Saint-Hyacinthe - new cem. 
Saint-Joseph - old cem. 
Saint-Joseph (Etoile de la mer) - new cem. 
Saint-Louis - old cemetery 
Saint-Louis - new cemetery 
Saints Anges Gardiens - old cem. 
Saints Anges Gardiens - new cem. 

Saint-Michel - old cem. 
Saint-Michel - new cem. 
Saint-Pierre - oldest cem. 
Saint-Pierre - old cem. 
Saint-Pierre - new cemetery 


The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

Sign near the entrance to the Kenton Cemetery. 


The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

June Hadden Hobbs 

Boise City, Oklahoma, claims the dubious distinction of being the 
only town in the continental United States to be bombed during World 
War II — and by our own forces. Just after midnight on July 5, 1943, a 
B-17 from Dalhart Army Air Base in Texas dropped six bombs on this 
little town that had served as the county seat of Cimarron County in 
the Oklahoma panhandle since 1908. Fortunately, the bombs contained 
mostly sand mixed with a small amount of powder and did little 
damage other than tearing up the sidewalk near the county courthouse 
and scaring folks to death. The townspeople soon realized that their 
four street lights apparently looked like a practice site to the pilots and 
turned off the electricity. Meanwhile, the sheriff and a visiting soldier 
had the presence of mind to call Dalhart with the message that Boise City 
(pronounced "Boys City") surrendered and would they please stop the 
bombings. The next day, army officials visited the city and apologized, 
saying that the bombers had gotten about 30 miles off course. A historical 
marker at the county courthouse memorializes the event, as does the 
town motto: "Remember the Alamo, remember Pearl Harbor, and for 
God's sake — remember Boise City!"^ 

The Boise City motto is typical of humor in the panhandle of 
Oklahoma (Fig. 1), where Cimarron County is the farthest point away 
from civilization, represented by the sprawling capital city of Oklahoma 
City in the center of the state and the more self-consciously cultured 
Tulsa in the northeastern section known as "Green Country." In laconic 
cowboy fashion, the admonition to remember Boise City indicates the 
area's worldview, characterized by the inhabitants' feelings of isolation, 
rugged pride, and antagonism toward governmental powers that forget 
their existence.- These feelings intensify as one travels 36 miles west 
across the old Santa Fe Trail toward the three corners area — where New 
Mexico and Colorado touch Oklahoma — into Kenton, now virtually a 
ghost town of crumbling buildings in the former "No Man's Land" of the 
Oklahoma panhandle. North of town, the Black Mesa, around 45 miles 
long and wide enough for cattle to graze on top, gently winds through 
the valley of the Dry Cimarron into New Mexico.^ Southwest of town 


The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

New Mexico 

Fig. 1. The Oklahoma Panhandle, adapted from 
a map drawn by Robert G. Hadden. 

on a hill overlooking the remaining general store (Fig. 2), the Kenton 
Cemetery (Frontispiece, Fig. 3) records the changing cultural values of an 
area in which European-style civilization has always had a tenuous hold 
(Fig. 4). 

Among the oldest Kenton graves are those of the original "squatters," 
ranchers who raised cattle on land they could claim only informally 
before 1890, when the establishment of Oklahoma Territory made it 
possible for them to acquire legal titles to their homesteads. Settlement 
of the Kenton area began after the Civil War, when Texas ranchers found 
they had a good market for beef in the East that required driving the 
cattle across the panhandle of Oklahoma to the railroads in Kansas. 
Eventually, drovers realized they could save money by raising cows 
for the market in what is now Oklahoma. "* Since neither Texas, Kansas, 
nor Colorado would claim the panhandle, it became a haven both for 
enterprising ranchers in need of "free" land for grazing cattle and for 
outlaws such as the notorious Coe gang, who took up residence in 
Robber's Roost just north of Kenton. Coe and his men had a fine time 
stealing livestock and robbing freight caravans until 1867, when local 
stories say that soldiers from Fort Lyon in Los Animas, Colorado, 

June Hadden Hobbs 


attacked the gang's stronghold, killing or capturing all of the outlaws.^ 
Cattle ranchers quarreled with sheepherders, many of whom were 
Mexican, and the outcome was determined by rough frontier justice. 
There was no formal way to settle disputes, establish deeds, or even 
legalize marriages.'' 

Ironically, tombstones on the graves of many of the Kenton pio- 
neers encode the "civilized" values of nineteenth-century Protestant 
Americans in hymn texts, depictions of heaven, fraternal symbols, and 
other conventional iniages and phrases common to the time." In contrast, 
many tombstones of the later homesteading families who arrived in 
the area after it became Oklahoma Territory in 1890, and then the state 
of Oklahoma in 1907, celebrate the lifestyle of the uncivilized "mythic 
West" created in part by popular literature during Kenton's prosperous 
years between the two world wars. Common icons on these more recent 
tombstones, which begin appearing in the 1970s, include ranching scenes, 
cowboy paraphernalia, and cattle brands. Some handmade tombstones 
and other grave markers made of natural materials, such as the petrified 
wood common to the valley, indicate identification with a more subtle 

Fig. 2. "The Merc," the only remaining Kenton store, in business 
as a general store since the early twentieth century. 


The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

Fig. 3. Entrance to the Kenton Cemetery with cattle guard 
(grating) in the center foreground. 

symbol of the Old West: the land itself. Both men's and women's stones 
bear these marks in a cemetery that is maintained by the 29 or 30 people 
left in the valley who now struggle for a living as the day of the small 
independent rancher vanishes. 

Kenton was once a thriving town. In 1907 when Oklahoma became a 
state, it was named the original county seat of Cimarron County. A Kenton 
newspaper reports that on the arrival of a telegram announcing Kenton's 
good fortune, "business was suspended for a time while everybody went 
to the streets to yell. A bon fire and general celebration will come off 
tonight." The newspaper writer went on to boast of Kenton's advantages: 

While Kenton is away from the geographical center of 
the county it is not so far from the commercial center. With 
her six stores, 2 hotels, blacksmith and barber shops, good 
schools and churches, and situated in a beautiful valley 
surrounded by the mountains rich in building stone and 
minerals, it is an ideal place for a county seat. 

It is the only town in the county at the present time of 
any importance. Now is the time to make a strong pull for 

June Hadden Hobbs 


Fig. 4, A gate leading nowhere is all that 
remains of a family home in once-prosperous Kenton. 

40 The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

a good town. We have telephone connections up and down 
the river and with Clayton [some 40 miles away in New 
Mexico] and before many months will have a railroad.^ 

As this optimistic boosterism shows, at the turn of the twentieth 
century just before my grandparents homesteaded there, Kenton saw 
itself as an up-and-coming community — one that prided itself on 
progress and "culture." A newspaper in 1899, for example, advertised 
the visit of the Mozart Concert Company, which was planning a musical 
evening featuring "Professor A. Carlyle Blackmore, an elocutionist 
[who] will give character sketches and impersonations." The Modern 
Woodmen of the World established a lodge and treated the community 
to ice cream socials. Citizens were invited to the schoolhouse in 1902 
to tour "the world in 80 minutes" via "a panoramic view under a 
powerful condensed light." The Edison Phonograph Company gave a 
demonstration in 1905 and sold phonographs and records. 

The town added banks, raised money for a town hall, and organized 
sports teams. In 1916, the Kenton football team "took Guymon 
[Oklahoma] to a cleaning proper." The reporter observed that "Guymon 
is an awful poor loser" and speculated that "those Cimarron County 
cow ranchers are just too much for any of the effete city lads." At that 
point, Kenton residents still probably nursed raw memories of how the 
Boise City "pumpkin rollers" (a derogatory term for "farmboys-turned- 
cowpokes who don't yet know one end of a steer from the other") voted 
in 1908 to change the location of the county seat and then stole the 
county records from Kenton. Even if Kenton was not to be the permanent 
county seat, it could still glory in being set among the foothills of the 
Rocky Mountains rather than on the flatlands that characterize the rest 
of Cimarron County. Kenton is, in fact, the only town in Oklahoma on 
Mountain Standard Time. On May 7, 1926, the Cijunrron Nezvs ran an 
advertisement inviting tourists to Kenton, "the Alps of the Panhandle."'' 

The Kenton Cemetery itself became yet another civilizing element 
in a rough land. Located on what was once the homestead of Fairchild 
Barnum Drew, a nephew of P.T. Barnum who is credited with laying out 
the Kenton town site in 1892, the graveyard became a well-maintained 
community feature some time around the turn of the twentieth century. 
In 1905, a local newspaper publicly thanked "the Wednesday Club" for 

June Hadden Hobbs 41 

enlisting "Uncle Dave Collins" to repair the fence and build a gate at 
the cemetery. After Drew's death in 1926, his wife signed a quit-claim 
deed giving the land to the "town board" with the understanding that it 
would be maintained by the local Methodist church, since Kenton was 
not officially incorporated. Later that year, some citizens had apparently 
formed the Kenton Cemetery Association, whose president wrote to the 
"U.S. Land Office . . . recommending that title to the Kenton Cemetery 
be vested in the Kenton Township Board." By the 1930s, the graveyard 
was the scene of an annual Memorial Day observance. In 1932, some 200 
people showed up to watch "about 50 ex-service men" file in to a march 
played by the Cimarron Valley Band, whose numbers were swelled by 
the addition of a second band brought in from Boise City. Residents deco- 
rated graves of Spanish American War, Civil War, and "World War" vet- 
erans and afterwards listened to a Depression-era speech about "grifters, 
grafters, and racketeers of the country" that admonished Kentonites "to 
think more of their Creator and less of their worldly needs. "^'^ 

The gravestones for those who died during this era of relative 
prosperity between the two world wars are little different from stones 
one might find in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston, or anywhere else in 
America. They feature conventional icons such as the Oriental vision of 
the holy city on the Harry McCool stone (Fig. 5). Most are made of blue 
or white marble. These tonibstones were probably shipped from other 
states and "freighted" to Kenton from a train depot in, say, Clayton, 
New Mexico, or Trinidad, Colorado. S. D. Crawford, an early settler, 
explains that all of the goods that could not be produced in the area were 
"freighted into Cimarron County" from train stops on wagons pulled 
by teams of horses or mules." No railroad line ever came to Kenton, but 
that did not stop salesmen from plying their trade in the community. 
According to a newspaper report, in 1902 "a gentleman representing 
a tombstone factory at Hutchinson, Kansas," erected tombstones at 
the Kenton Cemetery to fulfill orders by seven Kenton families.^- In 
addition to stones purchased fron"i traveling salesmen, sonie probably 
were ordered from mail-order catalogs. Bud Freeman, a Kenton barber 
in the early days, also sold saddles and leather goods and "ordered 
clothes from catalogs for the ranchers and cowboys"; he could have 
ordered gravestones as well. In any case, niost homes had their own 
Sears catalogs. Children used the black-and-white pages for coloring 


The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

Fig. 5. Rubbing of the marble gravestone for Harry C. McCool 

(1875-1905) showing an Oriental vision of heaven on a badly 

weathered stone. According to a newspaper article transcribed 

by Alma Jean Bulls Cryer, McCool died of typhoid fever, and the 

Modern Woodmen of the World had charge of his funeral. 

June Hadden Hobbs 43 

books and paper dolls. Some early Cimarron County families remember 
ordering shoes front Sears by tracing their feet on a piece of paper to send 
to the company. Nearly everyone used old catalog pages for toilet paper 
in the outhouses." Goods could have been freighted in from Texhoma, 
Oklahoma, where the Rock Island Railroad brought merchandise 
straight from Chicago, home of Sears, Roebuck, and Company. 

Besides making gravestones accessible to people across the nation. 
Sears almost certainly influenced what the Kenton pioneers — and 
other Americans in rural areas — thought a proper tombstone should 
look like. By the turn of the twentieth century. Sears was advertising 
memorial markers in the regular "big book" and in special tombstone 
and monument catalogs. The 1902 special catalog included designs such 
as the opening gates of heaven pictured on the blue marble Margaret 
Lynch stone (Fig. 6). Sears advertised that its gravestones were carved 
of "the celebrated White Acme Rutland Italian marble or the Acme Blue 
dark marble," both of which were quarried in Vermont. Although the 
Lynch stone was purchased later, a similar design sold for $20.70 in the 
1902 catalog and could be shipped "west of the Mississippi and east of 
the Rocky Mountains" for around 25 to 75 cents per 100 pounds. A list 
of suitable "verse inscriptions" at the end of the book includes many of 
the epitaphs on the tombstones of Kenton pioneers: "budded on earth to 
bloom in heaven," "gone but not forgotten," "come ye blessed," "asleep 
in Jesus. "^^ 

Finding such memorials amid the cactus and sandstone of the 
Oklahoma panhandle shows the importance of the Northeast and the 
Midwest as arbiters of cultural significance." More importantly, it shows 
the devotion of the Kenton pioneers to progress. The noted historian 
Daniel J. Boorstin, speaking of the transformation of American culture 
after the Civil War, observes that "in the older world almost everything 
a man owned was one-of-a-kind," but in the newer world unique 
possessions, with some exceptions, were simply odd and "suspect." 
In fact, having what others have — keeping up with the Joneses, as we 
say — was a sign that one had made it. Boorstin puts it like this: "If an 
object of the same design and brand was widely used by many others, 
this seemed an assurance of its value. "^^ The fact that railroads and 
mail-order catalogs made consumer goods available to the Oklahoma 
panhandle was something to celebrate. If the Kenton football team 


The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 



Fig. 6. Margaret Lynch gravestone showing the opening gates of 
heaven, a common late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century motif. 

June Hadden Hobbs 45 

could defeat the "effete city lads" from Guymon, how much more could 
the valley's residents show their superiority to outsiders by wresting 
civilization out of No Man's Land and having tombstones just as good as 
those to be found in New York or Chicago? 

Sometimes the contrast between the Kenton pioneers' understanding 
of their appearance to outsiders and the record of their tombstones 
shows the effort to appear civilized and respectable quite clearly. The 
memorial for Edward M. Marselus (1857-1916), a leading citizen, is a 
case in point. Marselus' s impressive marble stone, embellished with 
decorative plumes, identifies him as a member of the International 
Order of Oddfellows and quotes from "Asleep in Jesus," a sentimental 
nineteenth-century hymn (Fig. 7). In other words, Marselus' s tombstone 
identifies him as a member of two groups that ensure his respectability: 
a fraternal organization and a Protestant church. Almost half of the 
American people "belonged to at least one secret order or fraternal 
benefit society by 1920," according to Laurel Gabel, and fraternal 
symbols on their graves "proclaim an affiliation that defined them in 
life, as in death. "^'^ But Marselus and his friends were well aware that 
outsiders saw them differently. The Kansas City Star in 1905 published 
the following tongue-in-cheek description of Marselus written by three 
of the Kenton "old-timers," who named him honorary "Governor of No 
Man's Land" in a mock election that same year: 

A westerner of the range of 30 years ago, with a make up 
seen seldom except in melodramas was at the stock yards 
this morning. He attracted much attention for he wore a 
shirt of flaming red, a great Sombrero and high heeled boots 
with jangling spurs. His walk told that most of his days had 
been spent riding. He was tall with a slight stoop and his 
skin had been scorched brown by the western sun. 

The man's name was Edward Marselus and he bears the 
distinction of being the first white child born in No Man's 
Land, he is a ranch owner and cattle raiser. Cattle have been 
shipped by him to the Kansas City market often before, but 
today was the first time he had accompanied them since 


The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

Fig. 7. Gravestone for Edward M. Marselus, prominent citizen who 
was humorously elected "Governor of No Man's Land." 

June Hadden Hobbs 47 

Marselus was born in 1852 [sic] in an emigrant wagon 
which was traveling on the Santa Fe trail. He states that up 
to the age of 12 years he had never worn clothes. His only 
covering was a breechcloth such as his fellow playmates, 
the Indians, wore. Men who have visited his ranch say that 
he is a bold and fearless man at home. But since his arrival 
in this city he has become meek and hesitates to answer a 

"I'm goin' back home . . . goin' before there's another sun." 
That was the extent of his conversation to strangers this 

The readers of the Kansas City Star, who may not have caught the humor 
in this description, probably viewed Marselus simply as a 100% true 
cowboy, a colorful representative of the Wild West. 

Portraying Marselus humorously as a taciturn, barely civilized cow- 
boy employs some strategic superiority found in what Oklahomans 
today call "Aggie" jokes. (Question: How did the Aggie lose his 
best hound dog? Answer: His pick-up slid off into the river, and he 
couldn't get the tailgate down in time to save him.) Aggie jokes ridicule 
the cowpunchers from Oklahoma State University, the former state 
agricultural and mechanical college, and thereby marginalize what 
Okies want to reject about themselves — their image as poor, ignorant 
yokels or hapless victims of the Dust Bowl.^'^ This image was still alive 
and well in the 1950s when my third-grade class in the central Oklahoma 
town of Wynnewood (pronounced "Winnie Wood") became pen pals 
with young students in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, for which the 
Oklahoma town had been named. Our new friends astonished us by 
asking whether cowboys and Indians chased us home from school every 
day and whether we wore shoes. My pen pal sent a picture of herself by 
a refrigerator and wanted to know if I had ever seen one. 

Some fifty years earlier, Edward Marselus's cronies understood 
very well how outsiders — particularly those who lived northeast of 
Oklahoma — stereotyped them. Marselus's tombstone identifies his con- 
nections to civilization at a time when others viewed the panhandle as 
beyond the pale. The truth is that the Old West was not very far past 
when Marselus died in 1916, and the roots of European-style civilization 
were not very deep. A newspaper writer just four years earlier invited 

48 The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

outsiders to an Independence Day celebration in Kenton with these 
words: "Kenton comes nearer representing the Old West than any other 
town we know of. . . . The Old West is fast disappearing before the 
advances of the settlers with the plow and it may be a good while before 
we have another chance to see just the kind of fourth they will have 
up there. "-° Although some Kenton residents managed to raise good 
crops of alfalfa over the years, the area did not " [disappear] before the 
advances of the settlers with the plow" because the semi-arid land was 
really suited only to ranching. 

The modern gravestones in the Kenton Cemetery provide many 
poignant reminders of the ranching way of life, a now idealized existence 
that is vanishing in the valley. After World War 11, most independent 
ranchers found it more and more difficult to compete with the big 
landowners and corporations in a county where it takes 40-50 acres 
to raise just one cow.^^ Today, the remaining ranchers like my cousins 
Monty Joe and Vicki Roberts struggle to maintain a way of life they love 
by supplementing their income in a variety of ways. In years past, Monty 
Joe worked on windmills and the county roads and Vicki still drives 
a mail route into New Mexico every day. Monty Joe and Vicki even 
remodeled their 1910 native rock ranch house to accommodate paying 
guests; today it is called the Black Mesa Bed and Breakfast. Their place is 
still a working ranch as well. Monty Joe, his son, and his grandsons wear 
the cowboy uniform of boots and spurs, chaps, and cowboy hats because 
these are the only sensible clothing for their ranch work, much of which 
is still done on horseback. 

Recent gravestones boasting images of cowboy paraphernalia test- 
ify to the cultural significance of the lifestyle my cousins are trying to 
preserve. The memorial for Harold M. McClain (1923-96) shows the 
silhouette of a man in a cowboy hat and memorializes him as "one of the 
best" (Fig. 8). The gravestone of Lloyd George (Beerly) French (d. 1999), 
known as "Grandpa Lloyd," shows a saddle on a fence, where it might 
be placed at the end of a day's work (Fig. 9). This use of an occupational 
tool laid aside is a conventional symbol for death. As Richard E. Meyer 
observes, an image such as this is a "complex visual metaphor" that 
signals an absence because the object alone is useless without the user.^^ 
In contrast, the gravestone of Edgar Giles (1898-1974), a distant cousin, 
pictures a cowboy herding a stray (Fig. 10). The image evokes the biblical 

June Hadden Hobbs 


Fig. 8. Gravestone for a modern cowboy, 
Harold M. McLain (1923-1996). 

Fig. 9. Gravestone for Lloyd George (Beerly) French (1912-1999) 
showing a saddle slung over a fence at the end of the day. 


The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

Fig. 10. Edgar J. Giles' gravestone picturing a 
cowboy driving liome a stray calf. 

parable of the good shepherd who cannot be content with ninety-nine 
animals if one is missing (Matt. 18:12). A descendant remembers that 
Giles "worked for the largest ranch in Union County [a few miles away 
in New Mexico]," whose owner claimed "Edgar knew cattle better than 
any man."-^ Perhaps the most poignant gravemarker is the handmade 
memorial for Kevin J. Rossen (1960-1987). It consists of a metal pot 
containing a piece of driftwood adorned by miniature chaps attached to 
a cowboy belt (Fig. 11). A child's cowboy boot, an artificial cactus, and a 
horseshoe complete the memorial. 

Women are also memorialized with symbols of cowboy parapher- 
nalia. A notable example is the granite gravestone of La Verne Hanners, 
which reproduces the cover of her 1994 memoir. Girl on a Pony (Fig. 
12). After growing up near Kenton and rearing her family there for 
a number of years, Hanners left the valley to earn a Ph.D. degree 
in English and teach at the University of Arkansas. She returned to 
the Kenton area shortly before her death to find "the ruins of the 
brief civilization that flourished in the valley between the two world 
wars." Hanners identifies the source of all these cowboy images as 

June Hadden Hobbs 


Fig. 11. Handmade cowboy gravemarker for Kevin J. Rossen 

(1960-1987) featuring a cowboy belt and miniature 

chaps on a piece of driftwood. 


The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

Fig. 12. Gravestone for English professor LaVerne Hanners with a 

reproduction of the dust jacket from her 1994 memoir. Girl on a Pony. 

The picture shows Hanners at nineteen on her horse Buttons. 

June Hadden Hobbs 53 

the Western literature of writers such as Zane Grey. "It must have 
been shortly after World War 1, that the cowboy became enamored 
of his own myth and began to try to live up to it," she writes. 

We moved to New Mexico [a few miles from Kenton] from 
Colorado in 1925. The myth of the spur-jingling cowboy was 
full-blown by then, and the image did not change, at least in 
that remote corner of New Mexico, until 1941. 

No one ever thinks of the cowboy as a reader, but he was. 
What else was he going to do those long winter nights in the 
bunkhouse? ... 1 feel sure that stories and the books of Zane 
Grey shaped the images the cowboys had of themselves.^^ 

Hanners points out that photographic records from the 1890s do not 
picture cowboys in the "high-heeled boots," or the "chaps [and] the tight 
Levis," nor do they show them with "the fancy saddles and bridles" we 
see in cowboy movies. Those became popular during the 1920s and 30s 
when cowboys had access to books by Zane Grey and Owen Wister as 
well as popular Old West magazines. Early Western movies brought to 
Kenton by traveling shows were another influence. By 1928, for example, 
Wilson's Wild West Shows was bringing "reel after reel of real blood and 
thunder pictures to town."-"^ 

Hanners remembers sneaking Old West magazines such as the Wild 
West Weekly out of the bunkhouse with her brother when she was only 
five.^^ What I remember from my childhood is lying on my grandparents' 
or my Aunt Evelyn's bed reading sentimental Gene Stratton Porter 
novels about True Women that I took from the bookcase where Aunt 
Evelyn kept a complete collection of Zane Grey. 1 was a nasty-nice town 
girl, and I wanted to be a lady, unlike my cousins who wore jeans and 
boots all the time. But we were all readers. The enclosure of the valley 
by the Black Mesa and other hills meant that no television signal could 
reach Kenton homes until the advent of satellite dishes. Even today 
reading cowboy literature remains popular. When I visited the valley 
in the summer of 2001, the dinner table conversation was a debate over 
the relative merits of the latest cowboy novel by Louis L' Amour, the 
successor to Zane Grey. 

It's not that the people of the Kenton area are stuck in the past. Today, 
most Kenton families have DVD players and satellite dishes. They drive 

54 The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

to Amarillo, Texas, or Guymon, Oklahoma, to see the latest movies and 
get their hair styled. At the same time, however, they idealize an earlier 
way of life, one that faced death in a way most modern Americans do 
not. Philippe Aries calls the current cultural climate an era of "forbidden 
death. "-^ Insulated from our own mortality by the impersonality of 
hospital intensive care units, physicians who see death as professional 
defeat, and the cosmetic sleight of hand practiced by morticians, we also 
have lost the intensity of living with the daily struggle to survive that the 
cowboy life both preserves and symbolizes. As Jane Tompkins points 
out in West of Everything, the West of our imaginations is the place that is 
always connected with death for Americans. A euphemism for death in 
Westerns is "going west" or riding into the sunset. The Old West towns 
of cultural memory have names like Tombstone and Deadwood. By 
romanticizing and ritualizing death. Western literature and movies have 
invested the spurs, saddles, and other paraphernalia of a cowboy's daily 
life with a glamour that the dangerous but ordinary routines of cowboy 
life lack.-^ Images of these objects on gravestones instantly evoke what a 
character in Zane Grey's Riders of the Purple Sage calls "wild passions of 
wild men in a wild country. "^^ 

The gravestones of the recent dead in Kenton's cowboy cemetery 
celebrate the passing of that rugged way of life. The sacred symbols 
are the cattle brands, moveable titles to property earned by hard and 
dangerous work, not through inheritance. The gravestones in the cowboy 
graveyard sometimes combine brands with references to the civilization 
that doomed the cowboys. The gravestone for Chester and Jane Like, 
for example, uses their brand, the O-Bar-O-Bar, on the flower vases that 
flank the central granite tablet (Fig. 13). These vases are usually filled 
with artificial versions of cut flowers, potent representations of both 
civilization — where one has the luxury of raising flowers for pleasure — 
and mortality. The Carl and Canzetta Schaffer stone uses the Triangle 
Z brand between their names and stylized flowers in the corners of the 
stone (Fig. 14). Junior Judson Heppard's gravestone, which also includes 
the birth — but not yet the death— date for his wife, Bonnie Belle, places 
the stylized JH that marks his cattle just above the entwined wedding 
rings and a banner with the date (May 4, 1948) that marks the beginning 
of their domestic life (Fig. 15). (The domestic is, of course, the antithesis 
of the mythic cowboy life.) Sometimes the brands are used as part of 

June Hadden Hobbs 


Fig, 13. Chester and Jane Like gravestone with their brand, 
the O-Bar-O-Bar, on decorative urns. 

Fig. 14. Carl and Canzetta Schaffer gravestone 
bearing their Triangle Z brand. 


The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

Fig. 15. The "JH" on Junior and Bonnie Heppard's gravestone 
is both Mr. Heppard's initials and his cattle brand. 

Fig. 16. John Everett Layton's gravestone with his brand, 
the Cane Slash J, on the watering trough. 

June Hadden Hobbs 


scenes that suggest the end of the ride or the end of the day for a cowboy. 
The John Everett Layton gravestone places his brand, the Cane Slash J, 
on a watering trough beside a windmill, where cows would gather for 
rest and refreshment (Fig. 16). In James Albert "Jim" Wiggins's case, the 
iconography of his brand, the Big E Lazy E, is paired with a cross, the 
most holy Christian symbol and a mnemonic device for the passion and 
death of Christ (Fig. 17). The simplified lines of the cross suggest that 
it too is a sort of brand. That the two symbols are about the same size 
suggests the degree to which cowboy symbols have become sacralized 
in the worldview of Wiggins's family and that of other inhabitants of the 
Dry Cimarron Valley. 

Daniel J. Boorstin argues that the cultural "lore of cattle brands 
showed the technicality and subtlety that every society gives to its 
most sacred symbols. It was the cowboy's iconography." It was also the 
equivalent, Boorstin says, of a "coat of arms," establishing not merely 
the ownership of the animal but also the identity of the rancher. By 
the late-nineteenth century, brands recorded in "official brand books" 
created an aristocracy of sorts for the large-scale ranchers. As Boorstin 
explains, "A skilled cowboy with the aid of brand books could know 

Fig. 17. James (Jim) and Glenda Wiggins's gravestone pairs a cross 
with their cattle brand, the Big E Lazy E. 

58 The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

a lot about a cow without having to ask anybody any questions. . . . 
It became a favorite Western witticism that 'The critter didn't amount 
to much, but sure carried a lot of reading matter.'"''" Certainly cattle 
brands became associated so closely with cowboys that it is no wonder 
brands often appear on their gravemarkers. My uncle, William Maurice 
"Monty" Roberts, died July 8, 2000, and my cousins took their time 
deciding how to inscribe his marker. I remember a family conversation 
in which everyone was weighing the options. Uncle Monty was a devout 
Christian who often played the apostle Peter in the annual Easter Pageant 
produced by volunteers from the tri-state area and staged in a natural 
amphitheater only a few miles from his ranch house. An appropriate 
scripture would have been a good bet as a way to memorialize him. An 
equally good candidate was his brand, the Flying V, which my brothers 
and I strained to see on his barn as we drove over the cattle guard and 
down the long dirt path from the main road toward his home to begin 
some memorable family vacations. 

By then, the 1950s and 60s, the days of the Wild West were long 
over although my cowboy relatives still did their work on horseback, 
still rounded up calves every spring for vaccinations and brandings, 
still went hunting for deer every fall. When we visited at Thanksgiving, 
my thicker-skinned cousins loved to tease me about going out to see the 
skinned deer hanging in the barn to cool and drain. Owen Wister, author 
of The Virginian, concluded that the Old West was effectively over by 
1902, the year he wrote in a new introduction to the novel that the real 
Old West began to disappear about the time we granted it mythic status: 
"What is become of the horseman, the cowpuncher, the last romantic 
figure upon our soils? For he was a romantic. Whatever he did, he did 
with his might. . . . Well, he will be here among us always, invisible, 
waiting his chance to live and play as he would like."^^ Like the once 
and future king, the cowboy of myth lives in memory and also in hope. 
And he lives on in the memory of the land. Ernest Sandeen argues that 
one version of the American golden age has been a matter of space 
rather than of time.^^ If we can get to the right location, the magic will 
happen. The myth of the West was one form of this niillenarian hope; the 
conquest of outer space is another. In Kenton, Oklahoma, the issue for 
those who live there in the early twenty-first century is making sure that 
the land is not civilized. Where would the once and future cowboy go if 

June Hadden Hobbs 


the land of cactus and mesas, of roads accessible only on horseback, of 
separation from the world of cell phones and cable TV, is destroyed? 

The love for the Dry Cimarron Valley's rugged landscape is also a 
prominent message of Kenton's cowboy cemetery. Many gravestones 
include pictures of the land itself, with several featuring the Black Mesa. 
It appears, for example, on the Louise Walker gravestone as part of an 
aerial view of the Walker family ranch (Fig. 18). Sadly, the ranch — except 
for the small area of the family homestead — has now been sold. The Black 
Mesa, however, remains. "The Mesa," as the locals call it, is the highest 
point in Oklahoma at 4,973 feet above sea level and central to much of 
the area's history. My grandfather J. W. Hadden and his brother Robert 
staked claims on it in 1917, then built a home together and raised cattle 
there. "Proving up" the claim required continuous residence, so the men 
left their wives and families on top during the week while they went 
down into the valley to work at jobs such as running the general store. 

Fig. 18. Gravestone for Louise Walker (1929-1993) with an 

aerial view showing the Walker ranch in the foreground 

and the Black Mesa in the distance. 

60 The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

Like many settlers, J. W. Hadden, a largely self-educated man, found the 
mesa fascinating. In an article published in the Boise City News in 1968, 
he described the mesa itself as "a history 'book' with a lid some 50 to 60 
feet thick, about 50 miles long, and from one-fourth to several miles in 
width." That "lid" is a lava and basalt cap built up during the Pliocene 
Age that gives the mesa its characteristic black color. Erosion eventually 
carved out a valley, leaving the mesa — once the depression into which 
the lava flowed — as its highest point.-'^ 

The history of the time between the eruption in nearby Colorado of 
a now-extinct volcano, which deposited lava on what became the Black 
Mesa, and the creation of the valley of the Dry Cimarron has left an 
impressive record in stone. In the 1930s and 40s, the paleontologist J. 
Willis Stovall of the University of Oklahoma excavated the fossilized 
bones of a giant dinosaur near Kenton with the help of a WPA crew, and 
the petrified remains of dinosaur footprints near the Black Mesa remind 
visitors that the land itself recorded history long before there were 
human beings.'*'* More portable fossils, centuries old, have become ways 
in recent years to mark graves in the Kenton Cemetery. Large hunks of 
petrified wood sometimes serve as gravestones themselves. My cousins, 
for example, finally chose a handsome piece of petrified wood once 
used to mark a circular drive in front of his ranch house to mark Uncle 
Monty's grave. Similarly, the Ray H. Dunlap gravestone is a portion of 
a fossilized tree mounted on a base (Fig. 19). A small enamel portrait 
affixed to the stone shows Mr. Dunlap in cowboy attire and mounted on 
a horse. Smaller pieces of petrified wood are sometimes used to create 
coping around family plots and individual graves (Fig. 20). Another 
striking use of native materials is the Billy and Thelma Richardson 
sandstone marker, which their neighbors have affectionately labeled 
"the shark" (Fig. 21). Proclaiming pride in the land and its separation 
from "civilization," these gravemarkers of indigenous materials stand 
in stark contrast to the marble and granite stones imported from other 
parts of the country during the days of Oklahoma Territory and early 

Some gravestones in the Kenton Cemetery visualize the workaday 
world of the twentieth-century cowboy in this rough and beautiful land. 
The Dannie W. Wright gravestone, for example, features a sunset scene 
with a horse drinking from a trough at the base of a windmill, a roll of 

June Hadden Hobbs 


Fig. 19. Ray H. Dunlap gravestone of petrified wood. 


The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

Fig. 20. Pieces of petrified wood used as coping 
around family graves. 

barbed (pronounced "bobbed") wire, and the ubiquitous yucca plants 
(Fig. 22). Adolph Stevens's gravestone pictures cows in a similar scene 
(Fig. 23). In an area that averages around 16 inches of rain per year along 
with about the same amount of snow, water is a precious commodity.^^ 
Watering scenes may seem mundane to the outsider, but they represent 
a crucial reality of modern cowboy life. Some of the watering scenes add 
an energetic cowboy herding the cows in at the end of the day. Notably, 
these men are idealized as the rough and ready cowboys of Western 
dreams. Other gravemarkers focus on the eternal cowboy ideal (Fig. 24). 
Most of these scenes feature a setting sun, but, reoriented, it could also be 
a rising sun that transforms the land into a memory unbounded by time, 
drought, or physical pain. It is the time and place just out of reach — like 
Owen Wister's cowboy, who is "among us always, invisible, waiting his 
chance to live and play as he would like." In truth, most of the remaining 
residents in Kenton are evangelical Christians for whom the graveyard 
is only a way station to heaven, the place where the ravages of time 
are annulled. 

The Kenton Cemetery belongs to this community rather than to a 

June Hadden Hobbs 


Fig. 21. Native sandstone gravestone known as "Ttie Shark/ 

marking the graves of Billy and Thelma Richardson. 

Mr. Richardson died in 1993. 


The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

Fig. 22. Dannie W. Wright gravestone featuring 
a sunset scene by a windmill. 

Fig. 23. Gravestone for Adolph Stevens (1912-1991) 
picturing cows around a watering trough. 

June Hadden Hobbs 


Fig. 24. Back of Chester and Jane Like gravestone with an energetic 
cowboy driving his herd to water at the end of the day. 

huge company like SCI (Service Corporation International). Families 
seeking burial space need not even purchase plots, although donations 
for maintenance are welcome. The profit in caring for the cemetery 
comes from the wealth of memories it preserves and the hope of heaven 
it cherishes. The nature, not the existence, of that heaven is the only 
question. A con"imon American funerary cliche says that heaven is the 
place to recover what has been lost: loved ones, health, places lost to 
civilization, times gone by. In the cowboy cemetery, that loss is not the 
time when Kenton was an up-and-coming town aspiring to conipete 
with the eastern United States. Instead, the memorials on grave markers 
in the Kenton Cemetery suggest that heaven for these ranching families 
might be the place to recover a way of life that is almost gone in a land 
so alluring in its rugged beauty that conventional nineteenth-century 
visions of heaven pale in contrast. 

66 The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 


All photographs were taken by the author. 

This essay is dedicated to the memories of Joseph W. and Amma Pridmore 
Hadden and William Maurice and Evelyn Hadden Roberts. Many thanks to 
my father, Robert G. Hadden, for guiding me tlirough the Kenton Cenietery, 
holding the mirror when I took pictures, buying books I couldn't afford, and 
sharing family stories and Kenton memories. I am also grateful to my cowboy 
cousiris in Kenton, who keep the family heritage alive, and especially to Monty 
Joe Roberts, who taught me how to read cattle brands. Finally, I am indebted to 
Richard E. Meyer, who read an early draft of this manuscript and suggested the 
development of my ideas with respect to folklore principles and the nuances 
of occupational symbols, and to the editor and an anonymous reader for their 
excellent editorial suggestions. 

^ Norma Gene Butterbaugh Young, "Boise City Bombed," in The Tracks We 
Followed (Amarillo, TX: Southwestern Publications, 1991), 86-88. The story of the 
Boise City bombing bears some earmarks of what Barre Toelken calls "folk lies" 
in its insistence on the singularity and importance of the event. See "Folklore 
and Reality in the American West" in Sense of Place: American Regional Cultures, 
ed. Barbara Allen and Thomas J. Schlereth (Lexington, KY: The University Press 
of Kentucky, 1990), 25-27. Richard E. Meyer pointed out to me that the Oregon 
coast was hit near the end of World War II by Japanese balloon bombings that 
killed several people; however, the Boise City story emphasizes the uniqueness 
of its experience as a way to indicate the Panhandle worldview, in which 
isolation from "civilization" makes that civilization seem like a hostile foreign 

^ Barre Toelken defines "worldview" as "the manner in which a culture 
sees and expresses its relation to the world around it." He observes that 
"while earlier students of culture were certain that similar conditions would 
impress any human eye and soul in similar ways even in widely separated 
circumstances, there is now evidence to the contrary; that is, objective reality 
(as we like to call it) actually varies widely accorciing to the viewers' means of 
perceiving it." See Toelken, The Dynamics of Folklore, rev. ed. (Logan, UT: Utah 
State University Press, 1996), 263. Polly Steward, Steve Siporin, C. W. Sullivan 
III, and Suzi Jones observe in their introduction to Worldviews and the American 
West: The Life of the Place Itself, that employing the concept of worldview helps 
scholars "move away from ethnocentrism" (Logan, UT: Utah State University 
Press), 2. 

^ La Verne Hanners explains that residents of the valley began calling their 
river the Dry Cimarron to distinguish it from another Cimarron River in New 
Mexico. She speculates that "the first explorers thought they were the same, the 
two rivers that they named Cimarron, to the confusion of everyone thereafter." 
The Dry Cimarron "parallels the Black Mesa in New Mexico and in Oklahoma, 
flowing on past Kenton into the last few breaks before it heads on down the 

June Hadden Hobbs 67 

Panhandle." See La Verne Manners, Girl on a Pony, Western Frontier Library 
Series #61 (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994), 15. 

''Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, "The Cowboys," Oklahoma's 
History, .osfdocs/ stii\fo2.html (26 July 2001). 

^ Norma Gene Butterbaugh Young, "Robbers Roost," 12 June 2001, http:// (05 March 2002). 

^^"No Man's Land," OKGenWeh Special Project Page, 28 Feb. 2001, http://www. (24 July 2001). 

^ Some of these pioneers' graves were obviously marked at a later time with 
replacement memorials that reflect the taste of the late-twentieth century. 

^"The County Seat of Oklahoma," in Alma Jean Bulls Cryer, ed.. Old Trails of 
Kenton 1890-[19]49 (n.p., n.p., n.d.), 157-48. Cryer's anthology is a transcription 
of newspaper articles from various local papers. I have silently corrected a few 
obvious transcription errors. Because most of these articles are untitled and 
none have bylines, citations to follow will use page numbers only. 

''Cryer, Old Trails of Kenton, 10, 86-87, 139, 168, 205, 233, 235-36. The definition 
of "pumpkin rollers," the term used in newspaper accounts of the 1908 
Cimarron County records removal, is from an anonymous review of Elmer 
Kelton's Western novel The Pumpkin Rollers {Publisher's Weekly, 5 Feb. 1996, 
p. 78). 

1° Cryer, Old Trails of Kenton, 136, 233, 357-58, 375. 

^^S. D. Crawford, ["Crawford Family History"], in Footsteps: Family Histories of 
Cimarron County, Oklahoma, ed. Norma Gene Butterbaugh Young (Amarillo, TX: 
Southwestern Publications, 1989), 77-78. Many pioneer families whose stories 
are recorded in Young's anthology report that "freighting" was a routine way 
to earn or supplement one's income in the early days of Cimarron County. 

^^ Cryer, Old Trails of Kenton, 93. 

^■'LeRena Freeman Hannon, "The Bud Freeman Family"; Jean Leap Fladden, 
"Joe and Amma Hadden"; and Era Kohler Gegen, "Julius Kohler Family," in 
Young, Footsteps: Family Histories, 130, 155, 207. Many thanks to my parents, 
Robert G. and Mary L. Hadden, for stories about making paper dolls of catalog 
pages and using them for "privy paper." 

^'^ Tombstones and Monuments (Chicago, IL: Sears, Roebuck, and Company, 
1902), 1, 4, 17, 60-61. For an interesting account of the Sears, Roebuck, and 
Company's business in tombstones, see David L. Cohn, The Good Old Days: 
A History of American Morals and Manners as Seen Virough the Sears Roebuck 
Catalogs, reprint ed. (New York, NY: Arno Press, 1976), 232-37. Cohn traces the 
development and influence of Sears on tombstone designs from 1905 through 
1935. He erroneously assumes that the first Sears catalog devoted only to 
memorial markers was published in 1905. 

The Cowboy Cemetery of Kenton, Oklahoma 

^^ Many Oklahonians, and particularly residents of the Panhandle in the 
early twentieth century, would refer to New York City, Boston, Chicago, and 
Philadelphia as "the East," geographically as well as culturally. 

^^ Daniel J. Boorstin, The Americans: TJie Democratic Experience (New York, NY: 
Random House, 1973), 90. 

^^ Laurel K. Gabel, "Ritual, Regalia and Remembrance: Fraternal Symbolism 
and Gravestones," Markers XI (1994): 1, 25. 

^^Cryer, Old Trails of Kenton, 138-139. 

^^ Texans also tell Aggie jokes with similar motives. The Texas Aggie is a 
student at Texas A & M University. 

2°Cryer, Old Trails of Kenton, 198. 

^^ Kenton rancher Monty Joe Roberts and my father, Robert G. Hadden, who 
grew up in Kenton, supplied this data. To give the reader a point of contrast, 
Thomas H. Jones, professor of biology at Gardner- Webb University, speculates 
that raising a cow in lush central North Carolina would require four to five 
acres. My father adds that ranchers' expectations of what constitutes a "good 
living" have also risen since the days when Kenton was a thriving community. 
Ranchers feel they must now diversify their sources of income if they don't 
have enough land to raise a very large number of cattle. 

"Richard E. Meyer, "Images of Logging on Pacific Northwest Gravemarkers," 
in Cemeteries and Gravemarkers: Voices of American Culture, ed. Meyer (Logan, UT: 
Utah State University Press, 1992), 65. The endnotes to Meyer's excellent study 
of occupational symbols on tombstones in Oregon and Washington provide 
many additional references to the literature of occupational symbolism. 

■^■^ Bonnie Sayre Giles, "Edgar Giles Story," in Chronicle of Union County: A 
History of Union County 1803-1980, ed. Union County Historical Society (Dallas, 
TX: Taylor Publishing Company, 1980), 128. 

^^ Hanners, Girl on a Pony, 65-66, 71-72, and 206. 

^^Cryer, Old Trails of Kenton, 296. 

'^^ Hanners, Girl on a Pony, 72. 

^^ Philippe Aries, Western Attitudes Toioard Death: From tlie Middle Ages to the 
Present, trans. Patricia M. Ranum (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University 
Press, 1974), 85-107. 

•^^^ Jane Tompkins, West ofEverytlnng: Tlie Inner Life of Westerns (New York, NY: 
Oxford University Press, 1992),^ 23-25. 

^^Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage (1912; reprint. New York, NY: Penguin, 
1990), 200. 

June Hadden Hobbs 69 

''^Boorstin, The Americans: Vie Democratic Experience, 22-24. 

^^ Owen Wister, "Introduction" to The Virginian (New York, NY: Tom Doherty 
Associates, 1998), viii. 

^•^ Ernest R. Sandeen, Tire Roots of FiindamentaUsm: British and American 
Millenarianism 1880-1930 (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1970), 48. 

■'^J. W. Hadden, "Black Mesa," 12 June 2001, 
museum/ blkmesa.html (25 July 2001). 

^"^ Norma Gene Butterbaugh Young, "Black Mesa" and "Dinosaurs, A 
Mummy, Artifacts and Buffalo," in Not a StopUglit in the County, 47, 51-52. 

^^ Panhandle Telephone Cooperative, Inc., "Cimarron County," http:// (18 December 2001). 


Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

[Frontispiece] Gravemarker for Mack (d. 1911), 
'The Noble Horse of the Rescue Fire Co,/' York, Pennsylvania. 


Remembering Man's Other Best Friend: 

U.S. Horse Graves and Memorials 

IN Historical Perspective 

Gary Collison 

"They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" asked the title of the gritty 1969 
Jane Fonda film that told the story of two desperate Depression-era dance 
marathoners. The answer to the title's metaphorical question is that they 
still shoot horses even today, although nowadays horses are more likely 
to be injected with an overdose of barbiturates. Like other animals that 
are companions to humans, horses are sometimes buried. Primarily for 
reasons of cost (burial can run $1,000 and up; cremation $1200 and up), 
however, most horse corpses are hauled off to a rendering plant — the 
proverbial "glue factory" — at a cost of $200 or less.' Recycled remains of 
horses and other animals reappear as soap, lubricants, fertilizer, animal 
feed, and other products — but no longer as glue, synthetic products 
having made most natural glues obsolete. A great many horses have a 
far different and more controversial fate, however. Every year, upwards 
of 100,000 American horses, mostly purchased at auction, are taken to 
slaughterhouses and end up on dinner plates around the world.- Still, 
a small percentage of horses do get buried, sometimes accompanied 
by burial ritual, in both marked and unmarked graves. In the United 
States, the practice of burying horses and marking their graves has been 
growing for over a century and, for a variety of cultural reasons, is likely 
to become even more common in the future. U.S. horse graves tell a story 
of the relationship of horse to man as champions, comrades-at-arms, 
trusted co-workers, and beloved friends and companions. They also tell 
a story of changing attitudes toward animals in the modern era. 

Horse burial has a long history. The ancients buried horses with the 
bodies of kings, nobles, and warriors, who tried to take their horses (and 
sometimes other animals, servants, and even wives) with then"i into the 
next world. In cultures in which horses were as valuable as they were 
necessary, sacrificing horses was the ultimate gesture of conspicuous 

72 Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

consumption. Horses have been sacrificed and buried in ancient Russia, 
Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Scandinavia, and elsewhere.^ Buried 
horses wearing reindeer masks have been found in the frozen tombs 
of the Scythians of the Russian steppes dating back more than 2500 
years. Some elite Scythian burial mounds contain the remains of a dozen 
or more richly appointed horses carefully laid out around, or above, 
the human remains.^ Aristocratic tombs in ancient China frequently 
included chariots and their sacrificed riders and horses, a practice that 
began in the Shang Dynasty (c. 1300 B.C.E.) and lasted for more than 
1,000 years. "^ In 1993, archaeologists discovered the frozen Siberian tomb 
of an elaborately tattooed 25-year-old woman dating to 450 B.C.E. that 
included the decorated bodies of six sacrificed horses.^' Greeks buried 
horses with kings, warrior chieftains, and military leaders in the Late 
Bronze Age. According to scholars, by the 7"' century B.C.E., when 
the city-state had come into being, group (phalanx) combat replaced 
individual aristocratic combat, resulting in a corresponding decline in 
horse burials.^ 

In ancient burials, horses accompanied high-status human corpses 
as an extravagant type of grave goods. As archaeologist Joseph Carter 
notes, it was not until animals "achiev[ed] a sort of human status" that 
they were "accorded the privilege of an individual place of burial."^ 
Archaeozoologist Sandor Bokonyi notes that horses achieved this 
elevated status in Greek society around the 4* century B.C.E. with the 
introduction of larger breeds and true cavalry fighting. This change 
transformed the horse from a beast of burden into a "comrade-at-arms, a 
rank no other domestic animal has ever attained," at least on a large scale.^ 
The best-known equine comrade from the classical period is Bucephalas, 
the fabled warhorse of Alexander the Great. Fatally wounded in India 
in 326 B.C.E. during Alexander's last great campaign, the beloved horse 
received a state funeral. In Greece itself, the most renowned equine 
burial may be that of the horses of the Athenian general and statesman 
Kimon. Kimon's champion chariot team reportedly was buried "against 
his grave."'" 

Horse-and-human burials in post-classical times have been dis- 
covered among various groups including the Vikings, Turks, and 
Ethiopians. ' ' Archeologists note that among equestrian peoples in Europe 
before the Christian era, the horse "was more important than all species 

Gary Collison 73 

of wild and domestic animals" as evidenced by its preeminent sacrificial 
role in burial customs.'- In central Europe, it was "very common" for a 
warrior's horse to be placed in his grave. Horses and chariots are known 
to have been buried with men (presumably warriors) in Western Europe 
during the Early Bronze Age and the Iron Age.'^ In Scandinavia, horse 
burial appeared among the Vikings "during the Late Roman Iron Age," 
with horses being the "most numerous among the [sacrificed] animals 
found in ship burials."'^ In 1997, English archaeologists uncovered the 
remains of a sixth-century warrior buried with his bridled and saddled 
horse at the famous Sutton Hoo site in East Anglia, where more than 
three-quarters of a century ago the burial ship of an Anglo-Saxon king 
was discovered. The horse, which apparently had been sacrificed at the 
gravesite and laid atop the warrior, provides important new insights 
into the age of the great Anglo-Saxon epic, Beowulf. ^^ 

With the rise of Christianity and its anthropocentric theology in 
Europe during the Middle Ages, the practice of ritual burial of horses 
and other animals rapidly disappeared. (The spread of Buddhism 
in western Asia had a similar effect, but for different reasons.)'*' 
Thoroughly anthropocentric in orientation. Christian theology drew an 
iron distinction between soulful man and soul-less animals, effectively 
banning the ritual treatment of animal corpses. But despite the influence 
of the church, countervailing strains of belief and feeling toward animals 
persisted and strengthened. In Man mid the Natural World: A Histoiy 
of Modern Sensihility, historian Keith Thomas says that by "the early 
modern period, there was an increasing tendency to credit animals with 
reason, intelligence, language and almost every other human quality."'^ 
By the nineteenth century, these new ideas and feelings had flowered 
into Romantic-era sentiments and belief systems that redefined the 
relationship of man and nature. Henry Thoreau's Walden (1854), in which 
he renounces the killing of animals — the accepted method of scientific 
study of the time — in favor of close observation of animals in their 
natural habitats, is perhaps the best-known nineteenth-century work 
that defines this new sensibility. An important related development was 
the obsessive pet ownership among the middle classes by the nineteenth 
century.'- Horses, too, enjoyed the fruits of the strengthening emotional 
attachments to domesticated creatures privileged by the close association 
with hunians — even while sonie portions of society continued to see 

74 Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

working horses as mere commodities which could be abused with 
impunity. In 1822, two years before the Society (later Royal Society) for 
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was formed in England, horses and 
cattle became the first beneficiaries of a series of humane-treatment laws 
passed by the British Parliament.''' 

Royalty and members of the nobility began to exemplify the new 
attitudes toward animals in burial practices. The remains of Ami, Cob, 
and Flora, three favorite horses along with more than 100 others owned 
by Russian Czars front Alexander I to Nicholas, lie at rest in a cemetery 
behind the so-called Pensioners's Stable, or stable for retired favorites, 
at the luxurious summer residence Tsarskoe Selo (Royal Village), each 
horse beneath its own inscribed ledger stone.-" Perhaps the oldest 
English marked burial may be the slab gravestone at Wandlebury in 
Cambridgeshire, England, marking the resting place of the legendary 
stallion Godolphin Arabian (c. 1724-1753), one of the three founding sires 
of the thoroughbred line.-' The fashion-setter of the nineteenth-century 
English-speaking world undoubtedly was animal-loving Queen Victoria. 
First as princess and then as queen, she turned the grounds of Windsor 
Castle into "the final resting place for several beloved horses, one tiny 
finch, and many dogs."-- But Queen Victoria was only one of many 
English nobles and aristocrats who buried favorite animals. One of the 
most famous horse graves from the early nineteenth century is the grave 
of the Duke of Wellington's charger Copenhagen, veteran of Waterloo, 
who was buried in 1836. A rhymed couplet on Copenhagen's gravestone 
openly challenged Christian anthropocentrism in proclaiming that 

God's humbler instrument, though meaner clay. 
Should share the glory of that glorious day.-^ 

In the United States, the practice of burying champion thoroughbred 
horses in marked graves reaches back more than 125 years and un- 
doubtedly draws its inspiration from the older traditions of the English 
aristocracy and the great English racing and breeding stables. -'* As many 
as 1,000 or more champion U.S. racehorses are buried throughout the 
country, primarily in the horse-breeding or racing states of Kentucky, 
California, and Florida.-"^ The greatest thoroughbreds live the life of 

Gary Collison 75 

pampered aristocrats and die with the fanfare accorded to human 
celebrities. Their passing is noted in newspaper and horse-magazine 
obituary columns, their funerals draw hundreds and even thousands of 
mourners, and their graves become sites of pilgrimage. Most are buried 
on private farms, but a few are buried at racetracks, including Ruffian, 
who was buried in the infield just beyond the finish line at Belmont Park, 
New York, after breaking a leg in a race and being destroyed by racetrack 
officials.-*" At burial sites in the United States and around the world, 
riders and owners are rarely mentioned." Racehorses that have won any 
of the top stakes races — the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes, and the 
Preakness, the three legs of the Triple Crown, the most prestigious and 
elusive horseracing title in the United States — are the most likely to have 
been buried. Kentucky Derby winners are the most likely of all. Racing 
trophies offer no guarantee of a respectful burial, even for Kentucky 
Derby winners, however. A recent New York Times article reported that 
Ferdinand, the 1986 Derby wimier, had been slaughtered in Japan and 
his carcass "probably" used for pet food.-^ 

By far the greatest number of graves of U.S. racehorses are found in 
the lush horse-breeding country around Lexington, Kentucky, primarily 
in the counties of Fayette, Bourbon, and Woodford.-'* One of the earliest 
thoroughbred burials, that of area-namesake Lexington (1850-1875), 
was said to have been originally marked by an obelisk. Exhumed in 
1878, Lexington's bones were donated to the Smithsonian Museum in 
Washington, D.C., where his articulated skeleton remains on display 
to this day.^'' The earliest undisturbed marked burial in Kentucky may 
be that of Nantura Farm's Ten Broeck (d. 1887). Other early Kentucky 
thoroughbred burials can be found at Mt. Brilliant Farm, Hartland Stud, 
and Hamburg Place. Thoroughbred burial sites in Kentucky are mostly 
modest affairs, with graves placed out of the way at the edge of pastures. 
Most gravemarkers are small and unimpressive granite blocks buried 
flush with the ground or small, low, block-style markers. Many have a 
bare minimum of inscription, typically just the name plus the birth and 
death years. Some of the graves, it should be noted, contain only those 
parts representing the so-called "spirit" of the horse — usually meaning 
the head, heart, and forelegs or hooves."" 

Although the graves of even the greatest racing superstars can be 
quite simple, like the ones for Secretariat (a low block marker) and 


Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

Seabiscuit (unmarked), thoroughbred gravesites can be impressive. The 
graveyards at Spendthrift Farm, Claiborne Farm, and Normandy Farm, 
with its bronze statue of Fair Play, are among the most imposing.^- The 
new graveyard at Darby Dan Farm is a good example of a burial ground 
that aspires to be a showpiece. It is purposely placed at a high point along 
the main farm road for maximum visibility and impact. A reduced-size 
bronze statue of Black Toney, the foundation sire of the farm, presides 
over the graves of Ribot, Graustark, His Majesty (sire of 57 stakes 
winners), and several other champion racers and sires (Fig 1). Nearby 
Hill "n" Dale Farm, the final home of the beloved Seattle Slew, the only 
undefeated Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown winner in history, is the 
equine equivalent of Elvis Presley's Graceland.""* At the elaborate stone 
barn surrounding the tree-shaded fountain courtyard, visitors to the 
farm can glimpse Seattle Slew's stall, marked by a memorial brass plate 
bearing simply his name (Fig. 2). In front of the stone steps leading to the 
barn lies the fresh grave (as of the summer of 2002) of the beloved Slew, 
called the "people's horse" and affectionately nicknamed "Baby Huey" 
after the awkward cartoon character for his early ungainliness (Fig. 3).^^ 
A full-size bronze statue of Slew added before the end of 2002 completes 
this latest shrine to American thoroughbred royalty. 

Fig. 1. Statue of Black Toney, 
Darby Dan Farm, Lexington, Kentucky. 

Gary Collison 


Fig. 2. Stall of Seattle Slew (June 2002) , Hill "n" Dale Farm. 

Fig. 3. Seattle Slew's fresh grave covered in black plastic at 

Hill "n" Dale Farm, June 2002. A statue and plantings 

were added by the end of 2002. 


Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

Probably the finest horse cemetery in the Lexington area belongs to 
the legendary Calumet Farm, breeder of nine Kentucky Derby winners. 
From a distance, the refined cemetery could easily be mistaken for an 
elite human burial ground. The carefully groomed plot consists of a 
large, semi-circular area bordered by white fencing and landscaped 
with trees and shrubbery (Figs. 4-5). As of the summer of 2002, fifty- 
nine carefully spaced headstones (some of them mere cenotaphs 
memorializing Calumet-bred horses that died elsewhere) lined the 
curving walkways. In the center at the front, shaded by trees, stands 
the Kentucky Derby monument surmounted by a replica of the Derby 
cup listing the seven Calumet-owned Derby winners: Whirlaway (1941), 
Pensive (1944), Citation (1948), Ponder (1949), Hill Gail (1952), Iron 
Liege (1957), and Tim Tarn (1958) (Fig. 6). The path directly behind the 
Derby monument leads to the statue of Bull Lea, sire of fifty-seven stakes 
winners (Fig. 7). The semi-circle in front of Bull Lea's bronze likeness 
includes markers for Calumet's two legendary Eddie-Arcaro-ridden 
Triple Crown winners: Whirlaway (1941), who died at stud in France in 
1953, and Bull Lea offspring Citation (1948). 

Fig. 4. View of a portion of 
Calumet Farm graveyard, Lexington, Kentucky. 

Gary Collison 


Fig. 5. Front view of Calumet Farm graveyard 
with Kentucky Derby monument in center. 

If the grave of Bull Lea represents the beginnmg of Calumet's for- 
tunes, the grave of Alydar (Fig. 8) to the right of the Kentucky Derby 
monument represents the end of the great Calumet era and an object 
lesson about the sinister side of the modern thoroughbred industry. 
Calumet Farm's glossy brochure notes merely that he "was one of the 
great stallions of his era before his death in 1990." Born in 1975, Alydar 
battled Affirmed in legendary races in the three legs of the 1978 Triple 
Crown. Affirmed edged out the valiant Alydar in all three. What neither 
the Calumet brochure nor the headstone says is that Alydar's death had 
the ingredients of a Dick Francis mystery novel. When Alydar, the most 
heavily insured racehorse in history, injured a leg in his stall and had to 
be put down in November 1990, the insurance payment was a whopping 
$36.5 million. Afterwards, however, it was revealed that the farm had 
fallen more than $120 million into debt, that banks had threatened 
foreclosure, and that the insurance company had threatened to drop 
insurance on Alydar for non-payment of premiums. In later court 
hearings it came out that on the night of Alydar's injury, the regular 
night watchman had been told not to report. His replacement was a man 


Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

Fig. 6. Kentucky Derby monument 
listing seven Calumet Farm winners. 

Gary Collison 

Fig. 7. Statue of Bull Lea, foundation sire of Calumet Farm. 


Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

Fig. 8. Grave of Alydar, three times a close second to Affirmed in the 

legendary 1978 Triple Crown races. Note the lengthy biographical 

inscription, perhaps the longest epitaph for a horse ever. 

Gary Collison 83 

notoriously linked to several irregularities. Although no convictions 
resulted from the insurance claim, both the owner and Calumet's 
financial officer were eventually convicted of a bribery schenie to obtain 
a $50 million loan to prop up the farm.^^ 

The immaculately groonied Calumet graveyard, with its hints of 
tragedy and intrigue amidst a sea of greatness, tells a story of the inter- 
twining of business, passion, and ambition that epitomizes the world of 
modern horse racing. Another expression of the modern sports industry 
is the Kentucky Horse Park, a horse-loving tourist mecca that opened 
in 1978 to celebrate and promote the bluegrass state's thoroughbred 
traditions. At the Hall of Champions, visitors can see living legends 
in retirement such as Seattle Slew offspring Cigar, a 1990s racing great 
and all-time North American money champion (just short of ten million 
dollars), who though a success on the track proved a failure at stud. 
On the other side of the barn along the walkway just beyond the tiny 
show ring, visitors can pay homage to departed greatness at the graves 
or cenotaphs of nearly a dozen deceased champions including War 
Admiral, the 1937 Triple Crown winner, and Bold Forbes, winner of the 
1976 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes and retired resident of the 
park from 1991 until his death in 2000. 

Top billing at the Kentucky Horse Park is reserved for the horse 
many consider the greatest U.S. thoroughbred of all time, Man o' War 
(1917-1947). Winner of 20 of his 21 races in his two-year racing career, he 
was originally buried beneath an imposing greater-than-life-size statue 
of himself at Faraway Farm near Lexington, where he stood his career 
at stud. In 1977, his remains and statue were removed to the Kentucky 
Horse Park to become the star attraction when the park opened a year 
later.^*' Just inside the entrance to the park, a broad path shaded by rows 
of trees directs visitors toward the elaborate gravesite of "Big Red," as he 
was familiarly known in his lifetime. Mounted on a pedestal in the center 
of a large elevated circular planting at the end of the long walkway, Man 
o' War 's over-sized statue (Fig. 9) towers over visitors with the imperial 
look of the great equestrian statues of generals — except that here the 
horse alone is the conquering hero, and the rider or riders forgotten. At 
the front of the memorial, a poetic and lavish tribute to "The Mostest 
Hoss" — as he was called by his African American groom — underlines 
Man o' War's regal status, as does the fact that before burial "he was 
embalmed and lay in state for three days."" 

Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

Fig. 9. Statue of Man o' War (1917-1947), 
Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Kentucky. 

Gary Collison 


In both their forms and inscriptions, gravemarkers for horses bear 
remarkable similarities to human gravemarkers. Just as on most human 
gravemarkers, horses' birth and death years are almost always given. 
Tributes to horse personalities and behavior are an even more arresting 
similarity. At the Kentucky Horse Park, champion trotter Rodney 
is remembered as "a wise and gentle stallion" (Fig. 10). Imperator 
is called "the horse that everyone loved," and Rambling Willie, a 
champion standardbred pacer, is called "the horse that God loved." 
Hilda is remembered as "the devoted," an unusual designation echoing 
tributes to ideal womanhood found on human gravemarkers, especially 
in earlier eras. At the Mt. Brilliant Farm just north of Lexington, the 
impressive gravemarker of the great Domino (d. 1897) praises him 
as "one of the gamest and most generous of horses." Such tributes to 
character traits, frequently seen on the gravemarkers of dogs and cats in 
pet cemeteries, denote that horses have increasingly attained a human- 
like status. This trend to hunianize horses is especially visible when they 

Fig. 10. Gravemarker of Rodney, Walnut Hill Stud Farm 
(now Kentucky Horse Park), Lexington, Kentucky. 

Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

are remembered as "wise," "devoted," and "generous," terms that are 
normally reserved for describing human behavior. Another sign of the 
increasing humanization of horses is the use of human names (such as 
Hilda and Rodney) for horses. 

Family relationships are important parts of many epitaphs both 
human and equine. On human gravemarkers, the title "Husband," 
"Wife," "Mother," and "Father" are the most common indications of 
family relationships, but some human gravemarkers also mention other 
biological relationships and some provide numbers of children and even 
grandchildren. In horsebreeding country, it is very common to see the 
father (sire) and mother (dam) named on gravemarkers. Gravestones, 
after all, put on display a champion's bloodline and echo the more 
complex genealogies from which horsebreeders earn their livelihoods. 
Owning a champion stallion that has sired numerous stakes race 
winners, or a filly that has birthed champions, can be far more financially 
beneficial than merely owning a winning racehorse. A few victories by 
offspring can make a stallion's price for what is known in the business 
as a "live cover" (artificial insemination is forbidden by the Jockey Club 
thoroughbred association rules) skyrocket, even if the stallion was not 
very productive on the track himself. The record-holder as of 2002 was 
Storm Cat, who was bringing in an astonishing half million dollars per 
successful liaison. Even a "conservative estimate of fifty guaranteed- 
live-foal contracts" a year means that "the Cat" out-earns all but the 
most elite human athletes. ^^ 

With lineage that can be banked, it is hardly surprising that 
grandparents and offspring are also sometimes named on racehorse 
gravemarkers. The marker at Roberto's grave at Darby Dan Farm 
names not only Roberto's sire. Hail to Reason, and his dam, Bramalea, 
but also Bramalea's sire — that is, Roberto's grandfather on his mother's 
side — Nashua, the 1955 Horse of the Year and the first horse to be sold 
for more than a million dollars.^*^ On the graves of champion horses, 
total numbers of offspring are never mentioned. They run into the 
hundreds — Storm Cat had already sired more than 700 foals by 2002, for 
example. But numbers of successful offspring are frequently mentioned 
and very successful offspring are frequently even named. At Calumet, 
for example, we learn from Katonka's gravemarker that the bay mare 
gave birth to three stakes winners. Give Me Strength, Talakeno, and Inca 
Chief (Fig. 11). 

Gary Collison 


Fig. 11. Gravemarker for bay mare 

Katonka, Calumet Farm, Lexington, Kentucky, 

giving earnings of three stakes-winning offspring. 

Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

As on some human gravemarkers, horse gravemarkers sometimes 
give an extensive resume of accompHshments, especially those of 
thoroughbred champions. The large granite tablets at Three Chimneys 
Farm, a breeding business established in the early 1970s, list honors and 
awards. Engraved on the stone of Chief's Crown, who had 12 wins in 
21 starts, is a list of nine victories or awards, including "Champion 2 
Year Old 1984" (Fig. 12). Nodouble's gravestone boasts of four awards: 
"Champion Older Horse 1969," "Champion Older Horse 1970," 
"Leading Sire Money Won 1981," and "Leading Sire of Stakes Winners 
1981." At Calumet, the graves of Citation and Alydar are each marked 
by not one but two gravestones, an upright tablet and a flat slab, in order 
to accommodate all their major accomplishments and honors. Citation's 
inscription includes more than thirty lines of text, ending with "Charter 
Member Racing's Hall of Fame" and, somewhat anticlimactically, 
"Winner of Computer Race of the Century April 1968" (Fig. 13). Alydar's 
gravemarker (Fig. 9) gives an even more extensive resume. 

Some gravemarkers of champions also mention dollar amounts, 
a significant departure from human gravemarker etiquette. Many 
human gravemarkers and tombs reek of money, of course, but so far, 
apparently no dollar figures have ever been engraved on a human 
gravestone to acknowledge accumulated wealth or winnings."" It would 
be too crass; it would cross an uncrossable line. Some thoroughbred 
owners are not shy, however, about occasionally flaunting dollar figures 
which, as in some human sports such as golf, serve as a numerical 
shorthand for achievements. The first line of Citation's epitaph at 
Calumet Farm announces proudly, "First Thoroughbred Millionaire." 
Bull Lea's gravemarker lists winnings of his three principal offspring: 
Citation, Bewitch, and Armed (Fig. 14). The gravemarker of Fair Play at 
Elmendorf Farm notes that his offspring "won in excess of $2,700,000." 
And the gravemarker of the bay horse Nashua (d. 1982) not only 
notes that he was the "former leading money winner" with twenty- 
two wins and earnings of $1,288,565, but that he sired seventy-seven 
stakes winners who earned "more than $17,000,000." Apparently no 
gravemarker announces earnings at stud — yet. By marking the graves 
of their thoroughbred champions, owners help prolong the recognition 
and prestige of their farms and help provide a continuing source of 
both personal and corporate identity. In a sense, most of the horses 

Gary Collison 



1982 - 1997 


CHflmPlOn 2 VEflR OLD .-.. 1984 

HOPEFUL S.G1 1984 

CGliJDin S. Gl 5984 

nORFOLK S-. Gl 1984 


"FLRfHinGO S. Gl 1985 

BLUE GRRSS S. Gl 1985 

TRRVJERS S. Gl 1985 

■ n}RRLBORn GUP H.G1 1985 

Fig. 12. Gravemarker for Chief's Crown with list of 
victories and honors. Three Chimneys Farm, Lexington, Kentucky. 


Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

Fig. 13. Gravemarkers for Citation with extensive 
list of honors and accomplishments, Calumet Farm. 

Gary CoUison 


Fig. 14. Ledger stone in front of Bull Lea's statue, Calumet Farm. 

92 Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

represented by gravemarkers are not dead at all but alive, genetically 
speaking. They have the immortality of the Old Testament, literally 
living on in the generations carrying their unique genetic inheritance. 
Marked graves are also, of course, expressions of emotional attachment 
to beloved animals. As with human gravemarkers, horse gravemarkers 
keep memories alive. 

Elite thoroughbreds are not the only types of champion horses 
buried in marked graves. Other examples include Strolling Jim, the first 
world champion Tennessee Walking Horse (in Wartrace, Tennessee); 
Greyhound, champion standardbred (or trotter); and both Midnight and 
Five Minutes to Midnight, renowned bucking broncos of rodeo fame. 
Originally buried on a farm. Midnight was reburied in 1966 beneath a 
monument at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, 
Oklahoma, following a full-scale funeral. Celebrity horses have also 
been buried, although perhaps the most famous celebrity horse, Roy 
Rogers' Trigger, has been mounted by a taxidermist and is on display 
at the Roy Rogers museum, recently moved from California to Branson, 

American soil also holds the remains of a number of notable horses 
buried in the "comrade-at-arms" military tradition that reaches back in 
history at least to Alexander the Great. The gravemarker of Black Nell 
(d. 1870), who was James Butler ("Wild Bill") Hickok's favorite horse, 
bears an inscription that identifies the mare as "the most gallant heroine 
of the Civil War and the Great Plains.""*- Buckskin Joe, Buffalo Bill Cody's 
reliable mount on many army scouting missions as well as hunting 
expeditions, was buried in 1882 on Cody's ranch after many years in 
retirement.^- The pet cemetery at Theodore Roosevelt's home in Oyster 
Bay, New York, includes the marked grave of Little Texas, Roosevelt's 
mount at the Battle of San Juan Hill.^^ General George Patton's favorite 
horses, Jeff and Kidron, are buried in the Front Royal, Virginia, horse 
cemetery adjacent to the old racetrack.^'' A recent example is the grave of 
Chief (d. 1968), the last horse to have been an official U.S. Army cavalry 
mount. Chief was buried, standing up, with full military honors close 
to the Fort Riley Cavalry Museum in a grave marked by an equestrian 
statue of a cavalryman.^'' One of the few horses buried in a public human 
cemetery is Don, the Civil War horse of William R. Marshall, fifth 

Gary Collison 93 

governor of Minnesota. Don died in 1886 and is buried some distance 
from other graves in the northwest corner of Roselawn Cenietery in 
Roseville, Mimiesota."*^ 

In Lexington, Virginia, two of America's most legendary military 
horses lie buried within a mile of each other. Initially, neither horse 
received the respectful treatment that we accord the remains of human 
heroes. Robert E. Lee's horse Traveller was buried in 1872 but later 
disinterred and his skeleton placed on display for over 60 years at the 
beautiful Washington and Lee University campus. By 1971, however, 
tastes had changed, and Traveller's remains were reinterred beside 
the Lee Chapel in sight of the bronze gaze of Robert E. Lee's statue and 
near the General's own tomb inside the chapel (Fig. 15).^* A plaque at 
the site explains that the grave beside the Lee Chapel has been recently 
renovated by the Washington and Lee Alumni Board with help from the 
Virginia Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Traveller 
is also memorialized on the campus at the Lee house, where visitors are 
told that the doors of the garage, once Traveller's stable, are kept open as 
a sign of respect. Traveller's grave and the garage story help to humanize 
an otherwise remote and aloof general and make him more accessible to 
modern visitors, especially children. 


HORSE OF (^.% 


® PL'AeED^BY ! 


Y a 1971 ■''*^ 


Fig. 15. Recently placed flush granite block marking 

the remains of Traveller, General Robert E. Lee's favorite mount, 

Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia. 

94 Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

On the adjacent campus of the Virginia Military Institute just down 
the road lie the remains of another horse of nearly equal fame though of 
even more recent interment. In front of the statue of General Thomas J. 
("Stonewall") Jackson, as if in permanent attendance on the general, lie 
the remains — or, more accurately, some of the remains — of his beloved 
mount. Little Sorrel (Fig. 16). Little Sorrel lacked nobility (Jackson 
originally purchased him for his wife, and a Wall Street Journal reporter 
called him "small and dumpy") — and in death he did not always receive 
a hero's treatment. His bones were given to the biology department 
and a local taxidermist mounted his hide, which has been on display 
at VMI ever since. Stealing a hair of Little Sorrel's mane became an 
entrenched tradition among VMI cadets hoping for divine intervention 
during examinations. Despite this undignified treatment, historian Drew 
Gilpin Faust notes that Little Sorrel's remains had become part of "the 
'true-cross' kind of thing — a relic of the Lost Cause.""*"* In 1997, Little 
Sorrel finally received the dignified treatment befitting a hero when the 
Virginia Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy had his 
bones removed from storage and buried on the parade grounds in front 
of Jackson's statue. The plan was to bury Little Sorrel without fanfare, 
but when news of the impending interment spread, the event swelled into 
a full-scale funeral with military honors. Newswire stories reported that 
500 people attended the burial service. Guests showered Little Sorrel's 
grave with dirt from the fourteen battlefields on which he had served, 
and "some mourners also tossed in carrots, oats, and horseshoes." 

Despite the often high cost of burial, the privilege of being accorded 
an individual marked grave is not limited to racing and show champions, 
movie and TV stars, or the warhorses of high-ranking military 
commanders. Many ordinary work and pleasure horses have also been 
buried on countless farms, ranches, and, in recent years, animal cemetery 
plots. Some workhorses have been buried for exceptional service to an 
organization such as a fire company or police department, a "faithful 
servant" tradition paralleling the "comrade-in-arms" tradition of the 
military. One such example is the grave of Mack, "The Noble Horse of the 
Rescue Fire Company" of York, Pennsylvania (frontispiece). The striking 
bas relief portrait marker notes his death date, December 3, 1911, and his 
age, thirty-two. Originally buried in the woods near the York Campus of 
the Pennsylvania State University, Mack's grave has since been moved 
to the lawn in front of the York Fire Museum. Another example is the 

Gary Collison 


Fig, 16. Statue of General Thomas J. ("Stonewall") Jackson, 

parade grounds, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, with 

Little Sorrel's marker (lower front and inset). 


Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

grave of Dolly, the cart horse of African American produce vendor 
Rufus Malbone. In 1884 they were buried together beneath a tall obelisk 
in a pasture along Route 44 in Putnam, Connecticut.-" In the countryside 
near Chelsea, Vermont, stands a modern marker for Justin Morgan, 
a.k.a. Figure (d. 1821), the founding sire of all Morgan horses, a breed 
legendary for endurance that is now Vermont's official state animal. The 
precise burial site is unknown, the Morgan Horse Club marker stating 
merely that "on this farm lies the body of Justin Morgan." 

The increasing use of power digging equipment after WWII has 
undoubtedly contributed to the growing number of burials of working 
and pleasure horses both on private land and in pet cemeteries. At Twin 
Oaks Pet Cemetery and Crematorium in Okeechobee, Florida, a separate 
area called the "Florse Memorial Park" has been set aside for horses 
such as Flint, remembered as "Jimmy and Adam's Horse," who died in 
1998 (Fig. 17). The All Pets Memorial Garden at Twin Oaks also accepts 
horses. Some crematories provide specifically for horses. Saint Francis 
Pet Crematory near Chicago, Illinois, for example, offers cremation for 

Fig. 17. Gravemarker for Flint, "Jinimy and Adam's horse/' 1998, 

Twin Oaks Pet Cemetery and Crematorium, Okeechobee, Florida. 

Photo by Dan Pezzoni. 

Gary Collison 97 

all or parts of horses at 70 cents per pound ("original" bronze horsehead 
urns to hold the 45-50 pounds of "cremains" are priced at $5,000).^' Pets 
Rest Cenietery and Crematory for Pet Animals in Colma, California, 
known as the "city of the dead" for its cemeteries, charges a flat fee of 
$1,000 for cren"iation.^- Although sonie commercial cemeteries offer both 
human and pet burials in separate areas, apparently no U.S. cemetery 
promises dual human/ pet burial of bodies. Don, mentioned above, may 
be the only horse to have been buried in a public human cemetery in the 
United States; his grave, however, is placed 100 yards away from any 
other burial.''' 

A number of niemorials that have been erected to the collective 
memory of special groups of horses also signal important changes in 
attitude toward animals in the modern era. Four monuments, three of 
them recent and one three-quarters of a century old, commemorate the 
death of many anonymous horses. The early example is a monument to 
the horses and mules that lost their lives packing supplies, equipment, 
and men over the Chilkoot Pass during the Alaska Gold Rush of 1897- 
1898 (Fig. 18). Erected in 1929 at "Inspiration Point" on the White Pass 
and Yukon Route railroad by the "Ladies of the Golden North and 
Alaska Yukon Pioneers," it memorializes three thousand dead pack 
horses and mules in words intended primarily to congratulate the ladies 
on their sensitive feelings.'^"' In the inscription, the animals who "laid 
our bones on these awful hills" are made to offer their thanks to "those 
listening souls that heard our groans across the stretch of years"— i.e., 
the "Ladies of the Golden North."- ^ Despite this self -congratulatory 
message, the brass plate on the monument movingly depicts two 
animals in bas-relief straining uphill under enormous loads. A recent 
monument is the bronze statue of an emaciated, exhausted riderless 
Civil War mount commissioned by philanthropist Paul Mellon to 
commemorate upwards of 1.5 million horses and mules that perished 
in the war. Two three-quarter-size bronzes were originally created, one 
for the U.S. Cavalry Museum at Fort Riley, Kansas, and the other for the 
National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia. A third, full-sized 
monument was later erected at the Virginia Historical Society in 1997.^^ 
At the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana, a U.S. 


Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

Fig. 18. Snow-accentuated detail of monument erected by 

"The Ladies of tlie Golden North and Alaska Yukon Pioneers," 

1929, depicting struggling pack horses during the Klondike Gold 

Rush of 1897-1898. Photo by Billy Strasser. 

government gravestone erected for the 125* anniversary of Custer's Last 
Stand in 1876 marks the remains of the Seventh Cavalry horses slain 
during the battle (Fig. 19). The simple military-style marble tablet stands 
at the rediscovered site of the 1881 mass burial of the bleached remains 
of the horses, many of them slain by General Custer's own men to form 
a defensive perimeter. 

Another recent monument marks a very different equine tragedy. 
In April of 2002, the Peaceful Pastures Pet Cemetery just south of 
Pittsburgh in McMurray, Pennsylvania, unveiled a 12-ton granite- 
and-bronze monument bearing the epitaph line, "ON THE TRACK 
TO HEAVEN" (Fig. 20). It marks the burial plot of 28 horses killed 
in the early morning of July 6, 2001, when a fire destroyed a barn at 
The Meadows racetrack nearby. The remains of the horses received 
an elaborate graveside tribute at the unveiling. After a bagpipe player 
led a procession to the grave. The Meadows' longtime track announcer 
read all 28 names listed on the bronze plaque beginning with American 
Bad Girl and ending, appropriately, with Trot the Air. According to the 

Gary CoUison 





JUNE 25. 1876 

IN JULY 1881 


Fig. 19. Marker erected in 2001 at the site of the reburied 

remains of the Seventh Cavalry horses slain to make 

defensive breastworks during "Custer's Last Stand," 

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument near 

Crow Agency, Montana. Photo by John A. Doerner. 

Fig. 20. Marker for the remains of the twenty-eight 

equine victims of the July 2001 barn fire at 
The Meadows racetrack, McMurray, Pennsylvania. 

100 Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

cemetery's press release, "Burying the horses gave the owners, trainers, 
drivers and caretakers closure."" A second, less conspicuous memorial 
to the equine "disaster victims" has been placed at The Meadows, where 
a small sheetmetal sign on the new barn remembers the death of the 28 
standardbred horses. 

The horse graves and monuments in the United States serve as a 
barometer of a very complex range of social, cultural, philosophical, and 
economic developments in the modern era. Many measure the growing 
prosperity of America and the corresponding growth of both the leisure 
industry and the professional equine sporting culture that involves an 
ever-growing network of owners, breeders, specialty newspapers and 
magazines, gaming, and heritage sites such as museums and memorials. 
A noteworthy part of this development is the number of historically 
important horses that have either been reburied or buried for the first 
time at sites promoting various equine breeds or branches of sports such 
as the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Horse Park as 
well as at tourist sites connected with military leaders. Graves of Man o' 
War, Traveller, and other famous horses give an element of both celebrity 
and spirituality to a location, much like moving the graves of Moliere, La 
Fontaine, and the famous French lovers Abelard and Heloise to the new 
Pere-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris in 1804 instantly gave the cemetery its 
romantic appeal. As sites of pilgrimage for devotees of sport and history, 
celebrity horse graves are elements of a civic religion. 

The tradition of burying champion thoroughbreds — the oldest and 
strongest horse burial tradition in North America and England — cer- 
tainly says as much or more about the lifestyles of the rich and famous 
as it does about the ethical progress of mankind. Horse graves echo the 
familiar element of human vanity that is evident in human cemeteries 
throughout history. Champion racehorses are undeniable status sym- 
bols. Burial in marked graves continues to confer some of their status, 
power, and prestige on their owners. Horse cemeteries are the outdoor 
equivalent of the trophy room, as much symbols of the human search 
for fame and glory as they are symbols of respect for the horses memo- 
rialized. Why else but for pride would the cemetery at Calumet Farm 

Gary Collison 101 

include cenotaphs for Calumet-bred horses that had been sold and then 
died and were buried elsewhere? 

Still, memorials and marked graves for horses of all types do show a 
respect, an admiration, and even a love that are part of a philosophical, 
emotional, and ethical evolution in our relationship with animals. The 
most unambiguous indicators of this evolution are the nionuments 
for horses lost in war or service and the plaque for the twenty-eight 
ordinary racing horse "disaster victims" at The Meadows racetrack 
near Pittsburgh. However, even the graves of horse comrades-at- 
arms, racing and show champions, movie and TV stars, and ordinary 
riding and working horses tell a story of how people in the United 
States and throughout the world are increasingly erasing the line 
between themselves and animals. The modern horse gravemarkers and 
memorials indicate an expanding self-consciousness and reflectiveness 
about our use of animals. All stand to some degree in reaction against 
both scientific neutrality and callous economic exploitation of horses 
and other animals. They echo the concerns of animal rights groups like 
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) for the humane 
treatment of all animals, including laboratory and farm animals as well. 
Such concerns, once considered extreme, have increasingly entered the 

All indications are that the trend toward burying horses and other 
animals in marked graves in the United States will continue to grow 
in the coming decades. Although only one of many possible measures 
of a decline in "species-ism," the trend appears to represent efforts to 
remake our own identity as human beings into a more "earth friendly" 
image and, at least partially, override the contrasting image of humanity 
as a rapacious and remorseless exploiter of the natural world and the 
animals in it. Although not unmixed with less noble motives and beset 
all around by complacency and callous indifference toward the animals 
that support, sustain, and enrich hunian lives, marked horse burials 
offer sometimes eloquent testimony about an on-going revolution in 
how we define ourselves in relationship to animals. We bury horses and 
place markers on their graves to recognize them for the roles they play 
in our lives as champions, comrades-at-arms, trusted and dutiful co- 
workers, and beloved friends and companions. Modern gravemarkers 


Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

and memorials for horses also stand as symbols of humanity's recovered 
respect for our fellow creatures on the planet, among whom the horse, 
mankind's original best friend, is one of the most remarkable, most 
admired, and most beloved (Fig. 21). 

Fig. 21. Gravestone for Major, inscribed "Always in Our Hearts," 
1999, Peaceful Pastures Pet Cemetery, McMurray, Pennsylvania. 

Gary Collison 103 


All photographs are by the author unless otherwise attributed in captions. 
Earlier versions of this essay were presented at the annual conferences of the 
American Culture Association and the Association for Gravestone Studies. I 
wish to thank David Gradwohl for identifying references in the archaeological 
literature and Dan Pezzoni for sharing his slides of Twin Oaks Pet Cemetery in 
Okeechobee, Florida. Al Hamscher and Anne Peters read versions of this essay 
and provided many valuable suggestions. I am also grateful to Judy Ann Fake 
of Woodruff Family Services; Tammi Angotti of Woodruff Memorial Park and 
Peaceful Pastures Pet Cemetery; Tracy Bittner of The Meadows racetrack; John 
A. Doerner, Chief Historian at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument; 
Jerri Stone of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame; and Valerie White and Dawn 
Arnold of the Perm State York library. I am especially indebted to Billy Strasser, 
Park Ranger — Interpretation, Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, for 
information about and the photograph of the Klondike pack animals monument, 
and to John A. Doerner for the photograph of the Seventh Cavalry monument 
at Little Bighorn. Elise Ciregna, Jacqueline Duke, Joe Edgette, Kit Flannery, C. R. 
Jones, Peggy Jenks, Tom Malloy, Judith Munns, Susan Olsen, Crystal Ray, Sheila 
Riley, Brenda Reynolds, Sherry Robinson, and Rod Thomas also provided useful 
information about horse burial and memorial sites. 

' Audrey Pavia, Horses for Dummies (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999), 214; 
Christa R. Klose of Havelburg Cemetery in Orono, Ontario, reports that "the fee 
for the burial of a horse is between $ 1,500 and $ 2,000 Canadian" (Klose, email 
to author, August 14, 2002). At the low end, burial at a Pine Hill Pet & Horse 
Cemetery along Highway 81 near Bowie, Texas, offers burial for as little as 
$250, including "pick up, a private ground burial, and a wooden marker" (http: 
// pages/910587/ index.htm). 

" "The Straight Dope," 
mhorsegluse.html; Animal Welfare Institute Quarterly, 51:1 (Winter 2002), http: 
//www. htm; "Loving Your 
Horse Sometimes Means Letting Him Go," 
ppc/ A AN2D6wt9945/ ContentSystem/ article.html?CSID=622; Environmental 
Protection Agency, 
3.pdf+%22rendering+plants%22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8; Equine Advocates, "Horse 
Slaughter: An American Disgrace," 
slaughter.html, and 

^ Egypt State Information Service, "Stockbreeding and the Hunt," Life of 
Ancient Egyptians,; Vassos 
Karageorghis, "Horse Burials on the Island of Cyprus," Archaeology [Neiv York] 
18:4 (1965): 282-290. 

'' Elwyn Hartley Edwards, The Encyclopedia of the Horse (London: Dorling 
Kindersley, 1994), 30; International Museum of the Horse, "The Reluctant 
Rider, 1,350 B.C.," The Legacy of the Horse, 

104 Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

.html#xtocid2243625; Tamara Talbot Rice, Jlte Scythians (New York: Frederick 
A. Praeger, 1961), 110, 158, 181. Sandor Bokonyi, History of Domestic Mammals 
in Central and Eastern Europe, trans. Lili Halapy (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 
197 A), 241, notes that even older horse remains have been found in tombs of the 
culture that immediately preceded the Scythian period, which began roughly 
1,000 B.C.E. 

^William Watson, China Before the Han Dynasty (London: Thames and Hudson, 
1961), 71-74; Lu Liancheng, "Chariot and Horse Burials in Ancient China," 
Antiquity 67 (1993): 824. 

^ "Ice Mummies: Siberian Ice Maiden," PBS, original air date Nov. 24, 1998; 
Discovery Channel, "The Frozen Horsemen of Siberia," April 16, 1999, http: 
// story. cfm?ID=19990416-53. 

'' E. Kosmetatou, "Horse Sacrifices in Greece and Cyprus," journal of 
Prehistoric Religion 7 (1993): 31-41; Joseph Coleman Carter, "Horse Burial 
and Horsemanship in Magna Grecia," in Peter Anreiter et al., eds., Man and 

the Animal World: Studies in Archaeozoology, Archaeology, Anthropology and 
Paleolinguistics in Memoriam Sandor Bokonyi (Budapest: Archaeologingua 
Alapitvany, 1998), 131-46. 

^ Carter, "Horse Burial," 133. 

^ Bokonyi, Dortiestic Mammals, 230; Rice, Scythians, 181, notes a similar 
development among the Slavs. 

'° Peter Green, Alexander ofMacedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography 
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), 403; Carter, "Horse Burial," 132, 
citing Herodotus. 

" Tom Weil, Tlie Cemetery Book: Graveyards, Catacombs and Other Travel Haunts 
around the World (New York: Hippocrene Books, 1992), 301. 

'- Bokonyi, Domestic Mammals, 230. Ordinary horses appear to have been 
buried without ceremony in England and in other cultures that prohibited the 
eating or using of horseflesh. Excavations in the 1990s near Westminster in 
London uncovered a burial ground for horses and dogs dating to the first half 
of the fifteenth century. Knife marks indicated that at least some of the horses 
had been skinned, but although the horses had been cut up for burial, there 
was no evidence that the meat had been removed front the bones {Current 
Archaeology 14:6 [1999]: 162-63). 

'^ Stuart Piggott, Ancient Europe from the Beginnings of Agriculture to Classical 
Antiquity (Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company, 1965), 142-44, 177-81. 

''' Peter Shenk, "To Valhalla by Horseback? Horse Burial in Scandinavia 
during the Viking Age" (M. A. thesis. University of Oslo, Fall 2002), 20ff. (http: 
//www. publ/ viking/ 2002/ 7064/ Hovedoppgave.doc). 

'^ Current Archaeology 14:7 (1999): 245-48; "Sutton Hoo Lays Out Its 
Treasures," Manchester (UK) Guardian, March 14, 2002. 

"' See P. Tomka, "Horse Burials among the Mongolians," Acta Archaeologica 
[Budapest] 2V.1-2 (1969): 153. 

Gary Collison 105 

'^ Keith Thomas, Man and the Natural World: A Histon/ of Modern Sensibility 
(New York: Pantheon Books, 1983), 129. 

"^ Sarah Bolton, Our Devoted Friend, the Dog (Boston: L.C. Bolton, 1901). 

'"^ Thomas, Man and the Natural World, 149. Thomas notes that humane- 
treatment bills had been first introduced begimiing in 1800. 

-" "The Pensioners' Stables & the Horse Cemetery," http://; 
"The Parks — Alexandra House, Imperial Stable, Zoo, and the Arsenal/' 
Tsarskoe Selo (orig. published by ViltchKovsky in 1910), http:// 

-' Encyclopedia of the Horse, 312; "Godolphin Arabian," Thoroughbred Heritage, 

-- Mary Thurston, "The History of Pet Burial," Tlie Hartsdale Pet Cemeten/ and 
Crematorium, According to 
an archivist at Windsor, there is no designated animal cemetery; animals are 
buried in various spots on the grounds (letter to Mary Thurston, April 3, 1990). 
Recent additions to the Windsor burials include "the Princess Royal's horse 
Dublet, and Burmese, the horse formerly ridden by the Queen at the Trooping 
the Colour ceremony." 

^^ Encyclopedia of the Horse, 321. 

•^"* See "Europe," Thoroughbred Heritage, 
TurfHallmarks/Graves/GraveMattersFarmEUROPE.html. See also Jane Cook, 
A Map ofNeiomarket Shozoing Historical Training Grounds and their Famous Horses, 
2nd ed. (2000). Cook also authored heavily amiotated maps for Newmarket 
stud farms and Middleham training yards. 

--"' The best source of information about horse graves in the Lexington area is 
Lucy Zeh, Etched in Stone: Thoroughbred Memorials (Lexington, KY: The Blood- 
Horse, Inc., 2000). Zeh does not include burials at Kentucky Horse Park. As of 
2004, the "Grave Matters" webpages at the Tlioroughbred Heritage website put 
up by Patricia Erigero and Anne Peters listed more than 1,000 thoroughbreds 
buried around the world, the majority of them in the U.S., as well as more than 
300 graves of non-thoroughbreds ( 
Graves/ GraveMattersIndex.html) . 

26 vVeil, Cemeteiy Book, 308. Other racetrack burials include Lamb Chop (1960- 
1964) and Quicken Tree (1963-1970), both buried in the infield at the Santa 
Anita Park racetrack. 

-^ One exception to the absence of ownership information can be found on 
the markers at the King Ranch in Kentucky, an operation of the famous King 
Ranch of Texas, which has specialized in breeding cattle and quarterhorses. 
Inscriptions on bronze plaques on the Kentucky ranch end with the phrase, 

-** Mike Wise, "Partners, Horse and Man, in Prison Pasture," New York Times, 
August 10, 2003. 

106 Remembering Man's Other Best Friend 

^■^ In the appendix to Etched in Stone, Lucy Zeh lists fifty-seven farms in the 
three main counties that make up the Lexington horse-breeding area, with 
an average of more than five graves per farm (pp. 207-213). The Thoroughbred 
Heritage website Hsts thoroughbred graves at over 100 different Kentucky 

^^ Encyclopedia Smithsonian: Famous Horses, 
nmnh/ famehors.htm. As of 2001, Lexington's articulated skeleton was part of 
the National Museum of American History's On Time exhibit. 

^' Connie Evener, "Noble in Character, Worthy in Deeds: Equine Mystic and 
Memorials Flourish," Stone in America 116:5 (Sept./Oct. 2003): 23; Jim Bolus, 
"It's a Tremendous Task to Bury a Horse," Keeneland Magazine (Fall/ Winter 
1981): 63. See also, "Marble and Memories," The Blood-Horse, January 3, 1981, 
pp. 52-55. Mt. Brilliant Farm was formerly known as Hira Villa. 

^~ Bolus, "Tremendous Task," 66-67. 

" "Horse Racing: Seattle Slew, 1974-2002," dateline May 7, 2002, http:// Seattle Slew had been 
moved to Hill "n" Dale farm from Three Chimneys Farm so that he could have 
more peaceful surroundings following his second back surgery. He survived 
only a matter of weeks. 

^'^ Kathleen Jones, "Seattle Slew," Tlioroughbred Champions, http://www. 

^^ Manchester Guardian, Nov. 2, 1998; Sports Illustrated, March 15, 1999; USA 
Today, Feb. 8, 2000; Houston Chronicle, Oct. 20, 2000. 

^^ Zeh, Etched in Stone, 170. 

" Kathleen Jones, "Man o' War," 
gallery/ manowar.htm; Bolus, "Tremendous Task," 63. 

-^ Kevin Conley, Stud: Adventures in Horse Breeding (New York: Bloomsbury, 
2002), 1, 4-5. 

^^ Lyrm K. Joris, "Nashua, 1955 Horse of the Year," Unofficial Thoroughbred Hall 
of Fame,; 
Zeh, Etched in Stone, 87. 

""^ Dollar amounts representing the price of a gravestone were occasionally cut 
into the base of colonial-era gravemarkers by New England stonecarvers who 
apparently had created some primitive form of the show room. These dollar 
figures would have been buried beiieath the soil line but in some cases have 
been revealed when the stone was reset or when the soil settled or eroded. 

"" "Greyhound, the Great Trotting Horse," 
heroes/ greyhound.html; "Great Broncs Exhumed for Reinterment at Cowboy 
Hall of Fame," Rodeo Sports Neios, April 15, 1966; "Reinterment of Midnight 
and Five Minutes to Midnight, National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western 
Heritage Center, Saturday, April 30, 1966," typescript. National Cowboy Hall of 
Fame, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; 


Gary Collison 107 

^^ Weil, Cemetenj Book, 303. 

"*■* "Little Texas," Find-a-Grave, 

"*- Smithsonian National Zoological Park: Friends of the National Zoo, 
"National Zoo's Annual Conservation Festival," [Oct. 2004], http:// activitiesandevents/ celebrations/ acf / . 

^^ Weil, Cemetery Book, 305-06. 

'^^ "Don," Find-A-Grave, 

^^ Encyclop>edia Smithsonian: Famous Horses (webpage). 

■^"^ Drew Gilpin Faust, "Equine Relics of the Civil War/' Southern Cultures 6:1 
(2000): 23-49; Tony Horowitz, "How Stonewall's Mount Endured to Become the 
Stuff of Legends," Detroit Neios, July 26, 1997; Peter Finn, "Lexington, Va., Bids 
Fond Farewell to a War Horse," Washington Post, July 21, 1997. 

50 Jerry St. Jean, "Commentary: Man, Horse Together through Eternity," 

Putnam Town Crier, May 12, 1995, p. 6. 

-^ "Equestrian Cremation," St. Francis Pet Crematory, December 2004, http:// 

-'- Bonnie Davis, "When Your Horse Dies," Horse Talk, http:// 

^^ Stew Thornley, email to the author, April 27, 2003. C. R. Jones reports that a 
man named Ambrose Clark is buried between his dog and favorite horse just 
outside Cooperstown, NY (email to the author, January 29, 2003). Also, a horse 
named Old Drom is buried in a small county cemetery not far from Poultney, 
Vermont. There are undoubtedly many other such burials in private farm 

-'■* Billy Strasser, Klondike National Historic Park, email to the author, 
December 12, 2003. Strasser adds that "Inspiration Point is near the Dead Horse 
Gulch, ... a part of the White Pass Trail, one of the trails used by stampeders 
on their way to the Klondike Gold Fields in 1897-98," and notes that the 
monument was later moved to Centennial Park in Skagway, Alaska, where it 
stands today. 

^^ Text taken from Billy Strasser' s photo of the monument. 

-^^ Lisa Campbell, "Origin of the War Horse," Newsletter of the National Sporting 
Library [Summer 2002], 

" Press release [2001], Woodruff Fannily Services, L.L.P., McMurray, PA. 
Peaceful Pastures Pet Cemetery is adjacent to Woodruff Memorial Park near 
Canonsburg, PA. 

George Allen 

Fig. 1, Detail of Jabez Bowen gravestone, 1770, Newman Cemetery, 
East Providence, Rhode Island, carved by George Allen. 


Eighteenth-century Gravestone Carvers of 

THE Upper Narragansett Basin: 


Vincent F. Luti 

The colonial gravestones in the Narragansett Basin, an area that 
includes all of Rhode Island and parts of eastern Connecticut and 
southeastern Massachusetts, show a remarkable cohesiveness of 
outlook and style. In their gravestone designs, the stonecarvers of the 
Narragansett Basin echo the imagery of death and religious culture 
in which they and their clients were immersed. Overall, stones of the 
Narragansett Basin show — remarkably early — an open, pleasurable 
materialism and tolerance." The designs show no distinction of race or 
religion. Even Biblical scenes, implicitly forbidden in the Massachusetts 
Bay Colony, appear unabashedly on two Basin gravestones. Winged 
skulls make only a brief early appearance from 1705 through the 1730s, 
first and primarily in the work of John Stevens of the famous stonecarving 
shop in Newport, Rhode Island, and then briefly in the work of George 
Allen, one of the very few great New England masters of professional 
gravestone carving. Winged effigies (cherubs), many of thein quite 
charming, dominate nearly the whole eighteenth century in the Basin. 
Narragansett Basin gravestones also show a pronounced secular bent 
by the 1760s, when the cherubs lose their wings and become garmented 
figures who appear to be happy, cultured ladies and gentlemen. The 
secular emphasis is especially evident in the neo-classic elements the 
third John Stevens brought to his work in the 1770s and 1780s. The many 
heraldic stones in the Basin throughout the century also speak more to 
social station than to salvation, especially George Allen's masterpieces 
like his gravestone for Jabez Bowen, 1770 (Fig. 1). 

The roots of the upper Narragansett Basin gravestones reach back 
to 1705 and the work of the Stevens family in the lower Basin. The first 
two generations of Stevens carvers worked out their highly original 
style between 1715 and 1730. Their work shows the influence of Boston 
models they were exposed to in Newport (the only location in the 
Narragansett Basin with a sizeable number of Boston gravestones), or 
in areas beyond the region. From 1705 to 1730, gravestones from the 

110 George Allen 

Stevens shop saturated nearly every corner of the Narragansett Basin. By 
the late 1720s, however, the gravestones of a new carver named George 
Allen (ca. 1696-1774) had appeared. Clearly influenced by the work of 
John Stevens the second, son of the founder of the two-hundred-year 
Stevens dynasty, Allen began by imitating the Stevens stones he saw 
in South Attleboro/Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Educated in England, 
where he must have seen contemporary baroque art, Allen developed 
his carving skills so rapidly that he almost immediately outstripped all 
Narragansett Basin carvers in teclinique and design work. His designs 
show the influence of both continental elements and locally cultivated 
colonial regionalisms.^ Since Allen's early work, though imitative, 
emerges fully mature, it is difficult to assign to him an apprentice period. 
It does not appear that Allen ever apprenticed with John Stevens."* 

My documentation of 402 George Allen gravestones in a forty-two- 
year career, although by no means definitive, shows a modest production 
averaging fewer than ten gravestones per year.^ Documentation includes 
twenty payments to George Allen for gravestones, eighteen unspecified 
payments to George Allen which turn out to have been for Allen-style 
gravestones, three signed stones, and two family stones, for a total of 
forty-three documented gravestones, mostly all located (see Appendix I). 
Allen used a medium- to light-gray stone with a fine grainy or crystalline 
texture. Although the exact type stone has not been determined, it ap- 
pears to be something between slate and grauwacke (a grayish or greenish 
feldspar and augite composite allied to basalt). With few exceptions, 
Allen's gravestones are confined to a twelve-mile radius of his shop in 
modern Rumford, East Providence, Rhode Island — in Allen's time part 
of the town known as Rehoboth in the colony of Massachusetts. It can be 
truly said that George Allen fathered the upper Narragansett Basin style 
of carving, holding a near monopoly in the region from the late 1720s to 
the 1760s, when other carvers appeared, including two of his sons (Fig. 2). 

George Allen Biography 

The earliest documentation for George Allen the gravestone carver 
appears in the Attleboro, Massachusetts, town records five years after his 
arrival in America.^ On November 19, 1722, an entry records that George 
Allen was hired to teach school in the town of Attleboro. From this date 
until 1733, eleven years later, there are numerous entries showing that he 

Vincent F. Luti 


O Creoroie KWen. 
• George AWen Jr. 
+ (rabriel AUerL 

• 5terUnj * 6oltin 

• Mo(<ler>. 





+ griniftelA 

♦ stl/rbndge. 


^ V/ooislbtK 
O ■t' WTVi 




# (k^«ft<Wv. •Foxboro 

* O vj re oxn anrv- 

*;.,t t.?l<ii'^*\a'n. 

•f N/orion 
O "^ Altfe-boro 

*6cun,WlQncU ; ^ Attle^boro 
+ C-lowcesfer t.... <*S*Att(et>oro 

-»-»Oa .. +oRcKobotk 

• Shopon 




Fig. 2. Distribution of Allen family gravestone carvings. 

112 George Allen 

taught school continuously. Daggett's history of Attleboro suggests the 
school most likely was in what is now South Attleboro, which not only 
has the oldest gravestones in Attleboro but also is the place where Allen's 
earliest gravestones are located (Newell Cemetery) 7 South Attleboro is 
only a few miles from where, after 1742, George Allen had his shop and 
home. Rehoboth, the home of Allen's eventual second wife, was most 
thickly settled in the central and northwestern areas only a few miles 
from where George Allen concurrently was schoolmaster in the south 
part of Attleboro (modern South Attleboro). Between 1733, the last year 
of his teaching in Attleboro, and 1735, there are no documents relating to 
Allen. In January of 1735, George Allen witnessed a deed in Rehoboth.^ 
From 1729 to 1742 he carved many gravestones, but where his workshop 
was, or where he lived, remains a mystery. 

On June 18, 1735, "George Allen of Providence Rhode Island" about 
thirty-nine years old, married a Mary Ashwell (also Askwell and also 
probably Atwell) of Rehoboth.^ One year later appears the first probate 
payment to George Allen for gravestones.'*^ Mary Ashwell may have 
died a few years later, because on April 9, 1738, Allen is recorded as 
having married Mrs. Sarah Spring, also of Rehoboth, who was the 
widow of Ephraim Spring, a schoolteacher." The widow Spring brought 
three children to the marriage.'" Two died young during her marriage 
to Allen, but one, Thomas, apparently lived to beconie a soldier in the 
Revolutionary War.'^ 

The first hard evidence that George Allen lived in Rehoboth, 
Massachusetts, is the marriage record of 1738. The earliest deed on 
record for him is from 1742, when he bought from John Gladding a house 
lot, orchard, and several pieces of land in Rehoboth just one mile north 
of the Newman Cemetery in modern East Providence, Rhode Island.''* 
This cemetery, already in use when he arrived in the area, has the largest 
collection of Allen gravestones anywhere, although, initially, an equal 
number were erected in the Newell Cemetery in South Attleboro. Later 
deeds mention his shop and home at this 1742 location, close to the 
shipping lanes on the Seekonk tidal river that drains into Providence 
Harbor. Solomon Smith had a gravestone manufacturing business less 
than a mile from Allen's property. However, the reference in Sketches 
of Pawtucket to Smith's shop are vague, indicating only that it was there 
sometime in the eighteenth century. '"" After Allen's death in 1774, his 

Vincent F. Luti 113 

children sold off the house and land. Deeds can be traced to the present 
century for the history of this parcel. The house is gone, but an 1851 map 
appears to show where it was (Appendix 11)."" 

For the next few decades, probate payments to George Allen 
occur frequently in Bristol County records in Taunton, Massachusetts 
(Appendix I). He is a frequent witness to land deeds. '^ The 1755 Re- 
hoboth census lists George Allen as having seven children in his house- 
hold.'^ Except for records of the births and deaths of his children and 
a few tax payments, nothing else relating to George Allen appears 
in public records. On January 20, 1774, a notice of his death lists him 
as stonecutter of Rehoboth.'^ The gravestone of George Allen in the 
Newman Cemetery, East Providence, Rhode Island, bears the following 
epitaph, carved by his son Gabriel: 

here lies the body of Mr. George Allen, a native of Sherburn 
in Great Britain who died January 20th AD 1774 aged 78 
years. His ingenuity and application in study were such that 
in early life he made uncommon advances in all the principal 
branches of literature and at the age of seventeen was 
employed as a writing master in his native town. At the age 
of 21 he arrived at Boston where he opened a school for the 
instruction of youth, in which occupation (in that and other 
towns) he spent the prime of his life. His later researches 
were better calculated for the promotion of Science, than the 
advancement of his private interests. His friendly disposition 
and moderation were conspicuous to all who knew him."*^ 

Indeed, the friendly and moderate stonecarver apparently lived a quiet, 
productive life. Two of his sons rose to some prominence in Providence 
history. Sarah, his second wife, died in 1789.^' 

The Carving Work of George Allen 

PERIOD 1: 1729-1735 - The Derivative Beginnings 

George Allen's early work, although imitative, shows a very high 
level of skill, with none of the crudeness usually associated with the 
work of an apprentice. I can only account for this by referring to his 
renowned "ingenuity and application in study." Much of his early work 

114 George Allen 

owes a large debt in style to John Stevens the second of Newport, as I will 
show at the end of this section. Around 1724, the second John Stevens of 
Newport learned to carve from his father, who in turn had learned and 
imitated relatively quickly (1715-1724) the Boston style of effigies (he 
had abandoned his crude etched-in skulls by 1715). The son then quickly 
abandoned his father's old-fashioned Boston baroque style for a lighter, 
elegant rococo style of his own and placed many stones, as did his father, 
in the northern Basin. 

While it is nearly impossible to distinguish some of the early work of 
George Allen from that of John Stevens the second, enough early Allen 
gravestones can be definitively identified from probate records (see 
Appendix 1) to create a reliable set of identifying characteristics. Like 
the early work of other stonecarvers, Allen's early work often varies 
considerably in style and imagery as he seeks his signature style. His 
fifty identified gravestones from Period I fall into four design groups: 
1) the moonfaced group, 2) the baseline effigy group, 3) the transition 
group, and 4) the skull group. 

A. TJie Moonfaced Group 

The 1731 gravestone for Jonathan Nutting (Fig. 3) in South Attleboro, 
Massachusetts,"" probated to George Allen in 1736 and probably carved 
around 1732-33, exhibits the identifying facial features of all of George 
Allen's Period I gravestones: 1) a moon-shaped head; 2) puffy, thinly 
etched, squinty eyes; 3) a thin but bulbous nose; 4) a severely turned 
down mouth; and 5) a dimpled chin within the round of the face. Similar 
characteristics are found on the 1720s gravestones carved by the brothers 
John and William Stevens of Newport. Allen's mouth, for example, is cut 
with a very severe frown in the manner of William Stevens. However, 
the Stevens faces have a pronounced, pinched, appended chin, whereas 
on all of Allen's stones in this group, the chin is incorporated into the 
round of the face. The same Allen characteristics appear on the probated 
1732 stone for Nathaniel Read in East Providence, Rhode Island (the 1733 
probate payment to Solomon Smith for gravestones can be accounted 
for). A similiar example is the 1731/2 John Perin stone, also found in East 
Providence, Rhode Island (Fig. 4). 

The documented facial features of the Nutting stone help identify 
other stones in the moonface category as being by Allen, including 

Vincent F. Luti 


Fig. 3. Jonathan Nutting, 1731, Newell Cemetery, 
South Attleboro, Massachusetts. 

ammmim.^mi t<a - — 

Fig. 4. John Perrin, 1731/2, Newman Cemetery, 
East Providence, Rhode Island. 


George Allen 

lift \P^ 

Fig. 5. Esther Tingley, 1724, Newell Cemetery, 
South Attleboro, Massachusetts. 

Vincent F. Luti 


-»^ K. V. 

oi'M'NailianuV I) - 

Fig. 6. Nathaniel Read, 1732, Newell Cemetery, 
South Attleboro, Massachusetts. 

the 1724 Esther Tingley stone in the South Attleboro cemetery (Fig. 5). 
Similar examples such as the 1732 Nathaniel Read stone (Fig. 6) and the 
1724 Thomas Tingley stone (Fig. 7) reveal other design elements that 
enlarge the set of Allen characteristics (see George Allen Design Ele- 
ments, Fig. 8). 

Although I have not done a complete genealogy of George Allen 
border design elements, it seems that he drew on a stock of designs from 
Boston, Dorchester, and Newport (John Stevens the second and William 
Stevens types). What he brought with him from England is unknown. 
Some designs he appropriated outright but often added his own peculiar 
stamp or thoroughly reworked the older model. There are more than 
eighteen basic border types (Fig. 8, al-all), some of breathtaking skill 
and beauty, in the cemeteries of the three towns where he worked, lived, 
and attended church (Attleboro, Rehoboth, and Providence). 


George Allen 

•> \ 

Ui^F^"^i*^"^t^ lit^N . Che 4tevJ" 
Xj^T Body oF Thomas 
.'^•- j -Tinoiev luiV.Bec' ^^\ 
I ;,^f June f tfPF y ^j^ ^'^ ^ 


n f J V/ Year oF 

Fig. 7. Thomas Tingley, 1724, Newell Cemetery, 
South Attleboro, Massachusetts. 

Vincent F. Luti 


GEORGE ALLEN-- Design Elements 

This chart generates sufficient design elements to create rigorous associative sets of 
elements that verify effigy stones from PERIOD I 1729-1735 and PERIOD II 1735-1743 

PRl/^ARy AUTHENTICATION frornprohotedL an sijrtedL sioves 

3bfuithonNutting NathomelRead ObsephTaggett HeplizibahChaffe Jamei child iJoSianiel Cooper Mary Cole^ 
'73l-'736 1732 -/753 \^35-l^!3<) I736-I73<) IJJB-IJAO n3S-i743 1736-/740 

t JonatWo-n tslutt iag J 

t — :- Joseph Daqqett 



y t ih^f y 5 th 

N.HpacL XChili O.fcy S.PecK 

17W '756 

^Ephraim drpervtcr 1743-1744-^ 

Hyphenated dates represent 
the death and probate dates. 

SECONDARY AUTHENTICATION, dertved, produces', 

^ (not probated or signed; /.ZlZzrz L • l/\ 

i',' fa^b'd'e'f's'^'iX-) 

V "Ttiom<xs Tinqley Jr. 

J 172^ ^ 

Fig. 8. George Allen Design Elements. 

The casual viewer might assign an early Allen stone to the Stevens 
shop, but a critical analysis proves otherwise. John Stevens 11 and 
William Stevens's lettering is quite distinct in style and detail from 
George Allen's. In her book on eighteenth-century gravestone carvers in 
New England, Harriette M. Forbes, possibly misreading a Tingley family 
genealogy, attributed all this early Allen work, even into Allen's second 
period, to the mythical Samuel Tingley carvers 1 and II, and others have 
since taken her at her word."^^^ In Graven Images, Alan Ludwig attributes 
much Allen work to a lesser imitator who, in fact, does not exist.""* 

Building on the new Stevens style he had borrowed, Allen was able 
to steal the market away from these Newport carvers. Beginning in 
1729, Allen quickly became the dominant carver in his home territory of 

120 George Allen 

Providence, as well as in Rehoboth. After 1735 his work dominated the 
entire middle Narragansett Basin. The disappearance of Stevens stones, 
in fact, helps establish when Allen might have done his first carvings. A 
comparison of the Stevens and Allen gravestones show that Allen's early 
work is clearly modeled after the work of the Stevens shop in Newport 
(Figs. 9-14). Note that the Stevens examples pre-date Allen's and that 
they are located in cemeteries only a mile or two from Allen's shop. 
Close similarities of detail suggest that either Allen had a superb hand at 
drawing or else was using some "mechanical" means such as a rubbing 
or casting to create his derivative images. 

B. The Baseline Effigy Group 
A group of seven stones by George Allen imitate a kind of Stevens 
effigy with the head resting on the baseline of the tympanum and the 
wings arching very high above the head, as on the 1724 John Shorey 
stone by the Stevens shop (Fig. 13). At tinies they also share details with 
Allen's previously discussed moonface set, and at other times they share 
details with the transition set which was to lead to the work of Allen's 
second period. What especially sets these seven baseline effigies apart 
from the moonfaced types is the more naturalistic pear-shaped head 
such as seen on the 1732 Noah Chaffee stone in East Providence (Fig. 
14). The pear-shaped head was to persist, with modifications, to the end 
in Allen's work. The lettering is also distinctive. The six other stones in 
this group are 

Dorothy Bishup, 1718, South Attleboro 

Elijah Barrus, 1725, South Attleboro 

Joseph Freeman, 1727, South Attleboro 

Sarah Peck, 1717, Rehoboth 

Keziah Carpenter, 1732, East Providence 

Mary Weld, 1731, South Attleboro 
Six of the seven stones are found in the two major, early Allen 
cemeteries within ten miles of each other: Newell Cemetery in South 
Attleboro and Newman Cemetery in East Providence. It is documented 
that at least by 1742 Allen's home and shop were located between the 
two burial grounds. 

Vincent F. Luti 


Fig. 9. Thomas King, 
1723 (STEVENS). 

Fig. 10. Rebekah Mason, 
1728 (ALLEN). 


George Allen 

Fig. 11. John Shorey, 
1724 (STEVENS). 

Fig. 12. Noah Chaffee, 
1732 (ALLEN). 

Vincent F. Luti 


Fig. 13. John Shorey, 1724 (STEVENS). 

tercl ir 

Fig. 14. Noah Chaffee, 1732 (ALLEN). 


George Allen 

C. Vie Transition Group 
A group of eleven stones, all but one dated in the early to mid- 
1730s, exhibit proto-characteristics that will be more skillfully done or 
sharply defined in Allen's second period beginning in 1735: 1) open, 
naturalistic eyes, 2) a broad, flattish rectangular nose, and 3) a delicate 
mouth frequently upturned at the corners, often ending in dimple dots. 
Many also have defined nostrils. The 1734 gravestones for Cornelius 
Carpenter and Rachel Freeman are good examples (Figs. 15-16). 

Fig. 15. Cornelius Carpenter, 1734, Newman Cemetery, 
East Providence, Rhode Island. 

Except for obviously backdated examples, the stones in this group are 
dated around 1734 and never occur beyond 1735: 

Israel Church, 1735, Bristol, R. I. 

Abiah Carpenter, 1732, East Providence 

Thomas Horton, 1733, Rehoboth 

Eles Bucklen, 1732, South Attleboro 

Renew Pearse, 1735, Swansea, Massachusetts 

Vincent F. Luti 


Jonathan Pearse, 1731, Swansea, Massachusetts 
John Comer, 1734, Rehoboth 
Martha Bucklin, 1728, East Providence 
Mehetabel Carpenter, 1734, East Providence 
Cornelius Carpenter, 1734, East Providence (Fig. 15) 
Rachel Freeman, 1734, South Attleboro (Fig. 16) 

D. TJie Skull Group 
In 1729, four round-eyed skull stones that look like they might be the 
work of some obscure carver apprenticed to the Stevens shop in Newport 
or even the work of a third-rate unknown Boston carver appeared in 

Fig. 16. Rachel Freeman, 1734, Newell Cemetery, 
South Attleboro, Massachusetts. 


George Allen 

cemeteries within a stone's throw of Allen's school-teaching territory. 
The skull stones of the first John Stevens (1705-1715) are too crude, 
too early, and too totally unrelated to have been the model for Allen's 
work. The round-eyed skull on the backdated 1716 William Carpenter 
stone, South Attleboro, probably belongs in this skull group as well. The 
ferocious fang teeth could have been taken from the contemporaneous 
skull work of Philip Stevens of Newport, brother to John Stevens the 
second, or from someone in Boston for that matter. The first two in the 
following list should be treated with great reserve as Allen work: 

Joseph Bucklen, 1729, East Providence, 

Newman Cemetery (Fig. 17) 
Martha Bucklen, 1729, East Providence, 

Newman Cemetery (Fig. 18) 
Mehetabel Carpenter, 1729, South Attleboro, 

Newell Cemetery (Figs. 19, 20) 
Christopher Bo wen, 1729, South Attleboro, 

Newell Cemetery 

Fig. 17. Joseph Bucklen, 1729, Newman Cemetery, 
East Providence, Rhode Island. 

Vincent F. Luti 








Fig. 18. Martha Bucklen, 1729, Newman Cemetery, 
East Providence, Rhode Island. 


George Allen 

Fig. 19. Mehetabel Carpenter, 1729, Newell Cemetery, 
South Attleboro, Massachusetts. 

Vincent F. Luti 


Fig. 20. Footstone of Mehetabel Carpenter, 1729, 
Newell Cemetery, South Attleboro, Massachusetts. 

130 George Allen 

These two cemeteries are definitely not in the orbit of Boston carvers, 
and a true Boston stone is rather rare, nor is this style skull actually 
found in Newport work. The lettering, also, is not at all traceable to any 
Newport carver. These four skull stones of 1729 with round eye sockets 
show a rapid burst of progression in carving skill from a rude beginner's 
two-dimensional linear work to advanced carved relief as demonstrated 
in the impressive deep relief of central rectangle of the Mehetabel 
Carpenter footstone (Fig. 20), a Boston imitation that nevertheless shows 
considerable originality. Are these, then, possibly George Allen's very 
first carvings, along with the singular winged hourglass and crossed 
bones on the gravestone for Michael Chad wick, 1724, South Attleboro? 
The acanthus border of one is identical to the border of a later probated 

Sometime in the late 1720s in the South Attleboro Newell Cemetery 
appeared the stone for Reverend Ebenezer White, 1726, with an elegant, 
fashionable Boston type of skull with blank eye sockets, perhaps by 
Nathaniel Emmes (Fig. 21)."'' It probably did not get ordered, carved, 
shipped, and set up for a few years, a not uncommon delay given the 
distance. After carving round-eyed skulls, George Allen must have seen 
it, for in 1730, 1731, 1732 and 1734, there suddenly appeared sixteen 
gravestones with skulls (four of which, bearing dates from 1716-1726, 
are clearly oval-eyed backdates) imitating this very distinct oval-eyed 
Boston style of the Reverend White stone, while three revert to roundish 
eye sockets. They are elegant copies of White, bearing the very distinct 
hand of George Allen in the fine lettering and border designs, which are 
all probate verifiable from Allen elements on other stones in the same 
decade. But this was the end of the line anywhere in the Narragansett 
Basin for skulls. Never popular, they made a very brief limited 
appearance again in the 1750s and 60s in the work of John Anthony 
Angel of Providence and of Allen's son George, Jr. There is, however, 
no probate for this particular skull group. The border of the Josiah Ide 
gravestone, 1731, East Providence (Fig. 22), links this Allen skull type 
to the probated Jonathan Nutting stone (Fig. 3). The Rachel Freeman 
footstone, which has the same skull design as well, and her headstone 
with a George Allen transition effigy, also confirms this linkage. 

Vincent F. Luti 


Fig. 21. Reverend Ebenezer White, 1726, a very elegant, 

fashionable Boston type of skull with oval eye sockets, 

perhaps by Nathaniel Emmes. 

The sixteen George Allen skull stone candidates are: 
[William Carpenter, 1716, South Attleboro, 

Newell Cem. (uncertain)] 
John Hunt, 1716, East Providence, Newman 

Cen^ietery (footstone to the famed headstone) 
Rachel Day, 1723, South Attleboro, 

Newell Cemetery 
Preserved Abel, 1724, East Providence, 

Newman Cemetery 
Hannah Stevens, 1726, South Attleboro, 

Newell Cemetery 


George Allen 

rl''^"' ' hf^th \-nnrk" 

y iH*^ 

Fig. 22. Josiah Ide gravestone, 1731, Newman Cemetery, 
East Providence, Rhode Island. 

Jabez Bo wen, 1730, East Providence, 

Newman Cemetery 
Hannah Fairbank, 1730, East Providence, 

Newman Cemetery 
Francis Stevens, 1731, East Providence, 

Newman Cemetery 
Josiah Ide, 1731, East Providence, 

Newman Cemetery 

Vincent F. Luti 133 

Jedediah Carpenter, 1731, East Providence, 

Newman Cemetery 
Abigail French, 1731, South Attleboro, 

Newell Cemetery 
Rebekah Martin, 1731, Rehoboth, 

Palmer River Cemetery 
Mary Weld, 1731, South Attleboro, 

Newell Cemetery (footstone) 
Mary Stearns, 1731, Plainfield, Connecticut 
Patience Chaffee, 1732, East Providence, 

Newman Cemetery 
Rachel Freeman, 1734, South Attleboro, 

Newell Cemetery (footstone) 

There remains to be discussed the question of alternate typographic 
forms in Period I, especially, but not exclusively, in the Transition 
Group. These stones vary quite a bit, and there are distinct differences of 
lettering and numbering that could be used to argue that the gravestones 
I have been ascribing exclusively to George Allen could include the work 
of a colleague, perhaps Solomon Smith. But the interlacing of alternate 
forms of lettering on the same stone or between other stones in the 
group and their lack of consistent differentiation into two bodies of work 
strongly suggest that Allen carved all the gravestones. Nearly conclusive 
evidence lies in the occasional re-appearance of all these variables in later 
probated or signed Allen work from Period 11 on to the end of his life.^^ 
The alternate forms prior to 1735 are the round- and flat-topped "3"; 
the curved tail/ straight tail "y," and "ih" /"t h." After 1735 the curved 
tail "y," flat topped "3," and "th" rarely occur. Other than these minor 
exceptions, numerous probated stones show that Allen's lettering is very 
consistent (see Design Elements, Fig. 8). 

PERIOD U: 1735-1743 - Puffij Cheeks and Experiments in Perspective 

In the years from 1735 through 1739, and verified by probated 
gravestone payments, a new style of effigy face quite different from 
an earlier type appears in George Allen's work (also verifiable through 


George Allen 

probate payments). This line of demarcation in 1735 separates his first 
period work from the more generally recognizable style of his later work. 
I will examine this later work as if it had two distinct periods of its own. 
Period II is well documented with nine probated stones. What charac- 
terizes this period more than anything else is the dogged consistency of 
Allen's designs. The lunettes always contain a bald effigy with puffy 
cheeks; a broad, flat nose; and puffy, staring eyes. Allen also suspends 
the chin from the new head outline. The carving technique is often in 
high, strong relief, resulting in a dramatic impression overall (Fig. 23). 
The border designs of Period II stones are taken from earlier work, but 
one new design appears in 1736: foliate coil with fig (Fig. 24), which was 
possibly taken directly from contemporaneous gravestones produced by 
the William Stevens shop in Newport. 

t<: rcl V 

Fig. 23. Hephzibah Chaffee, 1736, Newman Cemetery, 
East Providence, Rhode Island. 

Vincent F. Luti 


.m t *i 

Mere lies Inter € 

I^GjlBody of Thomas. 
J ^ Son of f Uev" M!" 
' HabijahWeld &c 


^^^Mary his Wife. 

|i'if)ec'!lVlaYf r7.i7:i< 

Fig. 24. Thomas Weld, 1736, Newell Cemetery, 
South Attleboro, Massachusetts. 

A dran^atic new feature of Period II gravestones is an upturned, 
round effigy head. At first Allen struggled with perspective and fore- 
shortening, tilting only the eyes, nose, and mouth but not the entire head. 
The gravestone for James Tillinghast, 1739, Providence, shows only a 
pronounced looking up (Fig. 25), and the Solomon Thornton stone, 1741, 
Providence, shows the head turned up only slightly (Fig. 26). On the 1743 
gravestone for Mary Throop, Bristol, Rhode Island, however, the whole 
head is tilted back, and on the Joseph Kent stone, 1735, East Providence 
(clearly a backdate), the angle of the head has become rather acute (Fig. 
27). Years later, these developments would lead to the remarkable stone 
for Sarah Lawton, 1758, in East Providence (Fig. 28). The foreshortened 
view has no apparent antecedent among all of New England colonial 


George Allen 

Fig. 25. James Tillinghast, 1739, North Burial Ground, 
Providence, Rhode Island. 

- r ■?■?■ 

Fig. 26. Solomon Thornton, 1741, North Burial Ground, 
Providence, Rhode Island. 

Vincent F. Luti 


Fig. 27. Joseph Kent, 1735, Newman Cemetery, 
East Providence, Rhode Island. 

Fig. 28. Sarah Lawton, 1758, Newman Cemetery, 
East Providence, Rhode Island. 


George Allen 

gravestones. Perhaps inspired by his acquaintance with European 
baroque art, Allen's upturned heads are a striking and unique feature of 
New England gravestones. 

Allen also carved a few downward looking cherub heads, the most 
touching of which is the female face on the gravestone of Mrs. Sarah 
Brown, 1744, East Providence (Fig. 29), a stone from the next period. 
In a very naturalistic way, it shows Mrs. Brown with her hair in braids 
looking down to the right at her little son's stone, which is attached to 
the side of hers. There is a similar gravestone in Swan Point Cemetery, 
Providence, for Mary Bo wen, 1744. 

PERIOD III: 1744-1759 - A Burst of Creative Inventiveness 

In a surge of extraordinary inventiveness beginning in 1744, George 
Allen began carving gravestones with baroque images of ornate, 
peruked heads with very delicate skin-like surface features, heads in 
flight, tablatures in the form of parchment scrolls, stippled and quilted 

Fig. 29. Sarah Brown, 1744, Newman Cemetery, 
East Providence, Rhode Island. 

Vincent F. Luti 139 

backgrounds, and swirling, gracious border designs. Toward the end 
of the 1750s, he also carved architectural features, such as arches and 
columns, as well as intricate heraldic designs. Some two hundred 
gravestones from this period have been located. It is more than casually 
apparent, also, that his innovations began influencing other carvers. 
Period III is documented by some fifteen probated stones, two signed 
stones, and a family stone for his daughter; it includes his three most 
remarkable works: the 1716 Lt. John Hunt stone. East Providence, 
now removed from the cemetery to safe keeping (Fig. 30); the 1736 
Capt. Samuel Peck headstone, Rehoboth, which, due to objections of 
a descendant, has not been removed to safe keeping (Fig. 31); and the 
Peck footstone (Fig. 32), which has crumbled into fragments. Other good 
examples of George Allen's gravestones from Period III, with some 
characteristic indications, are the following: 

Sarah Antram, 1736 (probably backdated). Providence, 

Rhode Island, warrior angels (Fig. 33) 
Perez Bradford, 1746, South Attleboro, Massachusetts, 

meticulously raised stippling (Fig. 34) 
John Hunt, 1751, East Providence, Rhode Island, wig, 

foliate scrollwork intertwining (Fig. 35) 
Francis Nicholson, 1753, Wrentham, Massachusetts, 

another wig type (Fig. 36) 
Israel Bullock, 1757, East Providence, Rhode Island, 

arch and column (Fig. 37) 
Joseph Reynolds, 1759, Bristol, Rhode Island, 

intricately carved heraldry (Fig. 38) 
Elizabeth Bos worth, 1747, Chilmark, Martha's 

Vineyard, Massachusetts, superposed angels on 
an effigy 
Border designs from Period I and II continue into Period III, but after 
1744 Allen's designs that echo Stevens shop borders are rare. 

PERIOD IV: 1760-1772 - Nezv Developments and Father to Son-^ 

In 1760, after thirty years of carving, George Allen turned sixty-two 
and could hardly be said to be brimming over with inventiveness after 
such productivity in his earlier years. However, a whole new direction 


George Allen 

Fig. 30, Lt. John Hunt, 1716 (backdated), Newman Cemetery, 

East Providence, Rhode Island (removed). 

Photograph by Francis Y. Duval and Ivan B. Rigby, courtesy 

of the American Folk Art Museum, New York City. 

Vincent F. Luti 


Fig. 31. Capt. Samuel Peck, 1736, Peck Cemetery, Rehoboth, 

Massachusetts. Photograph by Francis Y. Duval and Ivan B. Rigby, 

courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum, New York City. 


George Allen 

Fig. 32. Footstone of Capt. Samuel Peck, 1736, Peck Cemetery, 

Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Photograph by Francis Y. Duval and Ivan 

B. Rigby, courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum, New York City. 

Vincent F. Luti 


Fig. 33. Sarah Antram, 1736, North Burial Ground, 
Providence, Rhode Island. 

Fig. 34. Perez Bradford, 1748, Newell Cemetery, South Attleboro, 
Massachusetts, with meticulously raised stippling. 


George Allen 




^•**. -^rft/y rv^;-'' .-?^ . 

Fig. 35. John Hunt, 1751, Newman Cemetery, 
East Providence, Rhode Island. 

Vincent F. Luti 


Fig. 36. Francis Nicholson, 1753, 
First Congregational Cemetery, Wrentham, Massachusetts. 

Fig. 37. Israel Bullock, 1757, Newman Cemetery, 
East Providence, Rhode Island. 


George Allen 


Fig. 38. Joseph Reynolds, 1759, 
East Burial Ground, Bristol, Rhode Island. 

Vincent F. Luti 


just before his death belies this — if in fact the work is actually his and 
not that of his apprentice son Gabriel. In this final period we find, beside 
the Period III type effigies, a number of effigies in strong relief or with 
a new development: puffy faces with odd, pursed lips and upswept 
eyebrows and, with two exceptions, curly wigs (Figs. 39-42). These 
puffy faces represent a move away from his former naturalistic style to 
a new abstract style. A frilly acanthus scrollwork border makes a strong 
appearance now and is probably the source of similar attempts in the 
work of two younger carvers, Stephen Hartshorn and William Coy of 
Providence, and an older carver, John New of Wrentham, Massachusetts. 
The new effigy developments are found on the following gravestones: 
Thomas Sweet, 1766, Attleboro (Fig. 40) 
Daniel Smith, 1772, Cumberland, Rhode Island 
Samuel Goff, 1771, Rehoboth 
Anne Read, 1771, East Providence (Fig. 41) 


f Marc 

Fig. 39. Daniel Mason, 1750, 
Newman Cemetery, East Providence, Rhode Island. 


George Allen 

Fig. 40. Thomas Sweet, 1766, 
Kirk Cemetery, Attleboro, Massachusetts. 


Fig. 41. Anne Read, 1771, Newman Cemetery, 
East Providence, Rhode Island. 

Vincent F. Luti 


Other noteworthy examples from this period are 

Eunice Hill, 1772, Rehoboth 

Phillip Wheeler, 1765, East Providence 

Alice Barney, 1765, Rehoboth 

Amaziah Arnold, 1767, Providence 

Timothy Ide, 1768, East Providence 

Nehemiah Bucklin, 1770, East Providence 

Mary Bliss, 1771, Rehoboth 
It is a testament to George Allen's enduring artistry that in his last 
half dozen years of carving, he would continue to develop new design 
elements. Sonie of the last stones are handsonie, others quite weak. 
Anne Read's gravestone of 1771 (Fig. 41) has extraordinary delicacy of 
modeling and expression in the facial features, while the 1772 Susannah 
Fuller stone (Fig. 42) is quite weak in execution. An old leftover Period III 
stone for Nathaniel Bosworth, 1772, East Providence, with an inscription 
by John New, was probably re-planed and re-lettered. 

Fig. 42. Susannah Fuller, 1772, 
Palmer River Cemetery, Rehoboth, Massachusetts. 


George Allen 

While his father was still carving, Gabriel, the younger of George 
Allen's two stonecarving sons, apparently produced eight stones in a 
style that is obviously derived from his father's new bewigged type with 
its upswept eyebrows, puffy faces, and little, thin, winsome, slightly 
puckered mouths. Dated from 1768 to 1770, these eight gravestones by 
Gabriel Allen are extremely steely in design and surface, as if machine 
executed. They have the identical George Allen wigs and upswept 
eyebrows, but the eyes have rigidly stylized lids and a simple, tiny 
raised pupil. The gravestone of Caleb Walker, 1768, East Providence, is 
one example (Fig. 43). Six have plain, steely scalloping along the wing 
rib and down under the chin as a bib, which never occurs again. The 
mouths are truly puckered and thin. The borders are indistinguishable 
from George Allen's borders. The eight are 

(Wings with Steely Scalloped Feathers) 
Caleb Walker, 1768, East Providence (Fig. 43) 


Fig. 43. Caleb Walker, 1768, Newman Cemetery, 
East Providence, Rhode Island. Carved by Gabriel Allen. 

Vincent F. Luti 151 

Sarah Walker, 1768, East Providence 
Joseph Lake, 1770, East Providence 
Benjamin Mason, 1770, East Providence 
Gurdon Ledyard, 1770, Groton, Connecticut 
Jonathan Bliss, 1770, Rehoboth 

(Wings with Normal Feathers) 
Nehemiah Bucklin, 1770, East Providence 
Thomas Peck, 1770, Rehoboth. 

With these eight gravestones, Gabriel Allen was breaking away from 
his father's work. Starting in 1773, the same design reappears, but 
significantly changed in the effigy, as the first fully documented work of 
the young Gabriel Allen. It shows that Gabriel had established his own 
signature style. 

George Allen's extraordinary technical skill at drawing and relief 
modeling, especially of heads, created a remarkable legacy in the upper 
Narragansett Valley cemeteries. His influence can be seen in the work 
of his two sons, first George, Jr. and then Gabriel. Other carvers of the 
northern Narragansett Basin followed suit. In the 1760s, John New 
of Wrentham, Massachusetts, seems clearly influenced by the work 
of George Allen, Jr. (and then New, in turn, influenced the work of 
William Throop, Sr., in the 1780s in Bristol, Rhode Island). In the 1770s, 
Stephen Hartshorn in Providence imitates the work of George Allen, Sr. 
Hartshorn probably apprenticed William Coy, who went on to found the 
extensive Plymouth (Massachusetts) school of carving. These are just a 
few examples of the chain of influence that follows from George Allen's 
masterful gravestones. So the craft was handed down from George 
Allen to his successors, and the baroque style of George gave way to 
the severe rococo-like stylization of a younger generation in the hands 
of his son Gabriel. What their remarkable designs and the evolution of 
their designs mean in the context of their culture still remains to be fully 

152 George Allen 


All photographs are by the author unless otherwise noted in captions. 

' This analysis of the work of George Allen was originally delivered in 
abbreviated form at the 1984 AGS Conference at Trinity College in Hartford, 
Connecticut. It is the latest installment of my work on the Narragansett Basin 
gravestones and carvers. During this time, I have brought to light some twenty 
odd bodies of work, most of which I have connected to a specific carver. This 
process of winnowing information and sorting out the gravestones of various 
artisans has been largely piecemeal work; much remains to be done. See my 
articles on John Anthony Angel and William Throop {Markers IV: 148-153), 
Gabriel Allen {Markers XX: 76-109), John and James New {Markers XVI: 6-103), 
and Stephen and Charles Hartshorn of Providence {Markers II: 149-169), as 
well as my Mallet and Chisel: Gravestone Carvers of Newport, Rhode Island, m the 
18"' Century (Boston; New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002). Other 
Upper Basin carvers include George Allen Jr. of Rehoboth; Seth Luther (brother- 
in-law of John Anthony Angel) of Providence; and William Throop Jr. of Bristol, 
Rhode Island. Future scholars also need to move to a higher level of analysis 
by studying the gravestones of George Allen and other Narragansett Basin 
gravestones in relation to each other and to the surrounding cultural views and 

- The excellent photographic documentation that has been done on a great many 
of the best or most outstanding stones leaves the impression that all gravestones 
are of equal artistic quality. They are not; all too many are just plain routine. 

^ A letter in the Massachusetts Historical Society dated April 12, 1750, and signed 
"George Allen, Portrait Painter" advertises the writer's skill at portraiture 
but gives no addressee or even a geographical location. The writer names a 
Captain Gordon as a reference. The signature does not match other George 
Allen signatures I have found (see Bristol County Deeds, Taunton, footnote 
21; Humphrey Papers, Rhode Island Historical Society Library; Untitled Tax 
Receipts, Rehoboth Town Hall, p. 85; see also the gravestone for his daughter, 
Carolina, Newman Cemetery, East Providence, RI.) However, most likely the 
other signatures are the hands of clerks copying from original documents (now 
lost) into collected volumes. 

"* John Stevens's account books mentions many people in his shop in this period, 
but the name "George" or "Allen" never appears. 

"* A complete list of Allen gravestones used for this study is on file in hard copy 
in the AGS archives and the Rhode Island Historical Society. An electronic file (in 
Word) can be ordered by e-mail from the AGS office. Trying to identify the work 
of individual carvers can be made much more difficult if helpers or apprentices 
had a hand in the carving. Worse yet is untangling the overlap of father/son (as in 

Vincent F. Luti 153 

Allen's case) or brother/ brother. In many instances, the most honest designation 
would be "from the shop of so-and-so." For convenience, I attribute stones to a 
carver if all lettering and designs appear to originate with him, no niatter who 
may have had a hand in carving the stone, unless there are clear-cut signs of 
collaboration. My working procedure is to produce many analytical charts based 
on as many stones as 1 can find (ranging into the hundreds) that I refine over 
time. This process often leaves a "halo" of stones that defy clear-cut attribution. 
There are even very small bodies of stones that so far defy carver identification. 

* Attleboro Town Meeting Records, 1723-1734 (City Hall), p. 1 ff. Boston records 
for January 22, 1719, show the arrival of "sundry passengers who came from 
Ireland . . . and arrived here November last" (i.e., in 1718). Among these are a 
George and Robert Allen, farmers. Both were immediately warned out of town. 
In view of his epitaph, which has George Allen coming from Great Britain (with 
a loosely calculated arrival date of 1717) and operating a school in Boston, it is 
unlikely that this is the same George Allen as the gravestone carver (A Rqiort of 
the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, 1716-1736 [Boston, 1885], 13:63). If 
it was the carver, however, it might explain why there is no other record of his 
being married until 1735, when he would have been about forty years old. 

^ John Daggett, A Sketch of the History of Attleborough (Boston, 1894), 312-313. 

* Bristol County Registry of Deeds, Taunton, MA, 26:151. Where was George 
Allen living, and where was he carving the outpouring of gravestones between 
1729 and 1735? The April 18, 1732, probate record for one Josiah Peidge (sic) 
of Attleboro shows a debt due to the estate from George Allen of 1 pound, 6 
shillings, and 7 pence and another for 13 shillings and 4 pence. Does this mean 
Allen was living in Attleboro in 1732 or even in Providence while teaching in 
Attleboro and carving his first gravestones? Daggett's History of Attleboro notes 
that boarding is never mentioned in Allen's salaries and that Mr. Ebenezer Tvler 
was often paid for "going to fetch ye Schoolmaster." In his Rehoboth marriage 
record of 1735, Allen is referred to as "of Providence" (James Arnold, Vital 
Record of Rehoboth [Providence, 1897], 5, and Rehoboth Town Hall Vital Records, 2: 
148). We know that he was a member of King's Church (the present St. John's) 
in Providence from death records of that church for his son Charles, and for 
himself (James Arnold, Vital Record of Rhode Island, Town and Church [Providence, 
1898], X:147). From Providence to where we know he eventually had his home 
and shop is but a few miles. The best conjecture seems to be that he moved from 
Boston to Attleboro, then to Providence, and finally to Rehoboth. 

" Arnold, Vital Record of Rehoboth , 5. 

'° Bristol County Probate Records, Taunton, MA, 8:391. 

" Presumably Mary Atwell died a few years after her marriage to George Allen. 
No children are recorded anywhere. Neither her original family name nor her 
married name appears in any Bo wen probate records of the period. Ephraim 
Spring is mentioned as "engaged to keep school 'in ye several parts of Town' for 

154 George Allen 

one year" (Rehoboth Town Records, 1709-1761 [Town Hall], November 3, 1729, 
p. 124). 

'- Arnold, ibid., p. 748, and Rehoboth Town Hall Vital Records, 2:87. 

'^ The DAR Patriots Index gives the birth, death, rank and names of the two wives 
of this Thomas Spring, "of Connecticut." Thomas was born in 1737. The children 
from the marriage of George Allen and Sarah Spring were Carolina, (1739-1741), 
Lavinia, later Mrs. Jedidiah Freeman (1741- ); George (1743- ); Charles (1746- 
1759); Sylvester (moved to Voluntown, Connecticut; 1746- ); Gabriel (lived in 
Providence; 1749-1824); and William (lived in Providence; 1752-1815) (Arnold, 
Vital Record of Rehoboth, 520, and Rehoboth Town Hall Vital Records, 2:190). 

'^ Bristol County Deeds, 31:15. 

^- Rev. Massena Goodrich, A Historical Sketch of the Town ofPawtucket (Pawtucket, 
1876), 89. Rev. Goodrich says that "a contemporary [1876] says that he was 
informed years ago [early 1800's?] by a former owner of the land bordering on 
the east side of Bucklin's brook, that, being on the premises in 1775, he saw on 
the west bank of the brook the remains of an old dam; and his father [in turn] 
told him that it was erected by Solomon Smith for the manufacture of grave 
stones. In the tedious work of polishing such stones, he substituted water power 
for manual labor [. . .] [H]e made [shaped?] and polished his own grave stones 
[polished and made would be more appropriate if, indeed, he were a carver] 
and set them up in the ancient cemetery in Seekonk [Newman Cemetery, East 
Providence] [. . .] [T]here was only needed the trifling insertion of the date of 
his death and of his age, to make the work complete." The stone bearing a 
death date of 1747 still exists and every detail shows that it is from the hand 
of George Allen. Given the number of generations of hearsay (at least three), 
we must read Goodrich with great caution. I would allow, at best, that Smith 
polished gravestone blanks for his neighbor George Allen to carve. Other than 
two oddly lettered stones of George Allen, there is simply no other body of work 
prior to 1747 to assign to Smith. In 1733, Solomon Smith was paid for a pair of 
gravestones for Nathaniel Read, who died 1732 (Taunton Probate Records 8:36). 
The stones are extant in the Newman Cemetery and in all detail comparable to 
well-documented George Allen stones. The full story of Solomon Smith and his 
shop has yet to be investigated. 

"' The succession of ownership of Allen properties can be found in the following 
sources: Bristol County Deeds, Taunton, MA, for Rehoboth, MA, 31:15, 41:247, 
41:272, 60:317, 60:320, 60:522, 61:557, 66:483, 74:533, 74:565, 75:547, 83:559, 99:192, 
174:194, 174:107, 174:193, 174:252, 177:173, 190:272, 192:95, 206:126, 249:363, 255: 
337; East Providence Registry of Deeds (set off from Massachusetts in 1862), 56: 
300, 59:60, 56:475, etc. Modern topographic maps show a cemetery at the site, but 
inspection today shows an abandoned, large, heavily wooded lot with no visible 
gravestones. It is possible that at one time unused or partially carved remnant 
slates by Allen were lying about, giving the impression in later years, that the 
site was a cemetery. There are local legends that the site was later used as a Civil 
War cemetery and a pauper cemetery and that the stones were removed. 

Vincent F. Luti 155 

'^ Bristol County Deed, Taunton, MA, 26:151, 24:162, 40:266, 40:139, 40:173, 40: 
421, 55:526. All this witnessing of deeds for lands in Rehoboth suggests that Allen 
was a resident there from 1735 on and that he had some reputation as a person 
of character. His name also appears as witness to an Obligation of Indenture, 
Humphrey Papers, Rhode Island Historical Society Library. 

'** Carolina had died by then, so this seventh could well have been Thomas 
Spring, the stepchild mentioned earlier (See note 13; Frank Calef, Rehoboth Census 
of 1755 [Providence, 1932]). 

''' Massachusetts State Archives, Valuation Lists, 24 December 1770 (Rehoboth 
131:333), gives a George Allen real and personal estate valuation of 9-1-10 
(pounds, shillings, and pence), which is low compared to others in town. 
He was taxed 0-1-8, Real, and 0-0-3, Personal, again low by comparison with 
others. The 1771 Valuation List (one cow, one swine, eight acres pasturage) has 
him down as "Polls not ratable" and one "Dwelling house and shop under the 
same roof or adjoining them. Annual worth of Whole Real Estate 1-0-0." All of 
this evidence suggests that in his seventies George Allen was not a rich man. 
Deeds from 1908-1910 show that the George Allen homestead of ten 
acres began to break up into small lots (58:400, 456; 59:377, 378, 380 and 
462). To further pin down the exact location of Allen's home and shop, we 
have, beside modern names for the boundary streets, a street that cuts right 
through the ten-acre parcel, Coyle Avenue, the name of the owner of the 
parcel seen in two deeds. To finally clinch the exact location of the house, an 
1851 map of Seekonk, brought to light by Dr. John Erhardt of Seekonk in his 
book on the history of Seekonk, has a dot indicating the owner of the house 
in 1851, which is confirmed in deed transfers (192:45, 206:126) to a person 
named John (variously Conron, Condon, Conson on the map and deeds). (See 
Appendix II) [Map of Bristol County, Mass., H. F. Walling (New Bedford, 
1851), Taunton Registry of Deeds]. An 1858 Walling map of Bristol County 
shows the old Allen house as belonging to A. L. Crout (confirmed by a deed). 
As late as the first decade of the twentieth century the house and shop seem 
to have been still extant. No documentation, photographic or otherwise, explains 
uses of the site. Nor is there any surviving documentation to explain when the 
"East Providence Cemetery" on Newport Avenue, on the lot immediately north 
of Allen's property, came into existence, or when it was removed (vaguely, to 
the Newman Cemetery), or the fate of its stones. As of 2000, Erhardt reported 
bones appearing in excavation sites in the area of the former cemetery. Did Allen 
locate where he did because of this cemetery, or did his presence bring it into 

-" See Edward M. Stone, An Account of tlw Seventy-first Anniversary of the Providence 
Association of Mechanics and Manufacturers (Providence, 1860), 58-59, which says 
that George Allen "engaged in a project to produce perpetual motion." No 
studies of school teachers in Boston list George Allen. In his own time he is 
referred to as "sculptor," not as a carver of gravestones. 

-' Arnold, Vital Record of Rhode Ishmd, Providence County, 113: "Sarah, widow of 
George Allen of Rehoboth, August 9, 1789, age 79th year." 

156 George Allen 

" Ezekial Read, Account Book, 1711-1734, Rehoboth (Rhode Island Historical 
Society Library), shows that Jonathan Nutting preceded George Allen as a 
schoolteacher in Rehoboth: "April 25, 1713 Jno. Nutting acknowledges receipt 
of 8-0-0 from Lt Moses Read, treasurer, Rehoboth, for teaching the school in sd. 

--' Harriette M. Forbes, Gravestones of Early New England And the Men Wlw Made 
Tljem 1653-1800 (New York: Da Capo Press, 1967), 98-99. She may also have seen 
the account books of the Tingley stonecarving business, which begin only very 
late in the 1700s, at the Rhode Island Historical Society Library, Providence, RI. 

-"* Alan Ludwig, Graven Images (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan Univ. Press, 1966), 
322-325. An "imitator's" stone cited by Ludwig actually has a documented 
probate payment to George Allen. Ludwig is also the source for the conjecture 
that Allen was an engraver. In her Eighteejith Century Gravestone Art in Georgia and 
South Carolina (Emory University dissertation, 1978), Dianne Combs identifies 
a so-called George Allen, Jr., as a silversmith-engraver. Forbes, Ludwig, and 
Combs are completely wrong about who "G. Allen" was. Certainly he was not 
George Allen, Jr., and neither man was ever an engraver or silversmith (Vincent 
F. Luti, "Gabriel Allen" and "The Real George Allen, Jr.," papers delivered at the 
AGS Conference in Hartford, CT, 1984). 

-^ William Mumford, Boston skull carver, died in 1717 (the probable year of 
George Allen's arrival in Boston to open a writing school), and Nathaniel 
Emmes, Mumford's probable apprentice according to Forbes, produced similar 
skulls that Allen must have seen in great number in Boston. 

-'' A few Period II examples for comparison, by name and death/ probate year: 

James Child, 1738/1740 curved tail y/ straight tail y 
David Joy, 1739/1742 round and flat top 3 
Lt. Samuel Peck, 1736 (signed) th/th 
Phillip Walker, 1761/1763 curved tail y 
Stephen Fuller, 1768/1769 th 

I have no explanation for the use of the word "lieth" ("lies" is the normal form 
with Allen) on some gravestones with skulls, hourglasses, and crossed bones. It 
occurs nowhere else. Perhaps it had a more solemn or archaic sound suitable to 
those symbols. Skulls went coinpletely out of fashion in the cosmopolitan centers 
of Newport and Providence very early and are rare after 1730. I suggest that the 
old-fashioned word "lieth" also went out of fashion at the same time. 

-^ The period designations given for George Allen's work are demarcated by 
large-scale changes in style or the clumping of a particular design. By these 
standards, it would be possible to consider Period IV merely a second phase of 
Period III. 

Vincent F. Luti 



George Allen Gravestone Documentation 

All probate records are at the Bristol County Courthouse, Taunton, MA, except 
for Ann Bosworth, Bristol, R.l. Town Hall; John and Stephen Dexter, Providence 
City Hall; and Robert Ware, Suffolk County Court House, Boston. 


jned Stones 





Lt. John Hunt 



E. Providence, RI. 

Lt. Samuel Peck 



Rehoboth, Mass. 

Sarah Tillinghast 


North Burial 

Providence, RI. 


payments to 

George Allen for gravestones 





Samuel Newman 

1747 1748 


E. Providence, RI 11:640 

Mary Cole 

1738 1740 


Warren, RI 9:425 

James Childs 

1738 1740 


Warren, RI 9:507 

Martha Baesto 

1747 1749 


E. Providence, RI 11:682 

Stephen Lee 

1754 1756 

100 Acre 

Barrington, RI 15: 

Benjamin Slack 

1760 1762 


S. Attleboro, MA 18:91 

Ebenezer Smith 


(not found) 

Oliver West 

1757 1758 


Rehoboth, MA 16:96 

Abel Carpenter 

1755 1755 


E. Providence, RI 17:573 

Philip Walker 

1761 1763 


E. Providence, RI 18:216 

Ephraim Read 

1753 1754 


E. Providence, RI 14:138 

Elizabeth Shorey 

1754 1754 


E. Providence, RI 14:146 

Mary Bliss Hunt 

1754 1756 

Palmer Riv. 

Rehoboth, MA 14:692 

Miles Shorey 

1752 1753 


E. Providence, RI 13:453 

Nathaniel Cooper 

1735 1743 


E. Providence, RI 10:417 

Oliver Hunt 

1769 1770 

Swan Pt. 

Providence, RI 21:368 

Rebecca Willson 

1749 1750 


E. Providence, RI 12:239 

Anne Bosworth 

1745 1747 

North Burial 

Bristol, RI. Wills 1:237 

Jonathan Nutting 

1731 1736 


S. Attleboro, MA 8:391 

Ephraim Carpenter 

1743 1744 


E. Providence, RI 10:459 

Unspecified payments to George Allen (found to be work of Allen) 

Perez Bradford 17461748 Newell S. Attleboro, MA 11:487 


George Allen 

John Carpenter 

1754 1755 


E. Providence, RI 14:529 

Obadiah Carpenter 

1749 1750 


E. Providence, RI 12:240 

Ezra Read 

1753 1753 


E. Providence, RI 14:245 

Joseph Daggett 

1735 1739 


E. Providence, RI 9:219 

Richard Bowen 

1737 1738 


E. Providence, RI 9:156 

Nathaniel Wilmouth 


(not found) 11:670 

Keziah Barney Horton 


(not found) 11:676 

Joseph Peck 


(not found) 

Benjamin Bucklen 


(not found) 

John Sweeting 

1762 1762 


E. Providence, RI 18:122 

Hepzibah Chaffee 

1736 1739 


E. Providence, RI 9:265 

John Hunt 

1751 1751 


E. Providence, RI 13:32 

John Dexter 

1763 1764 

Swan Ft. 

Providence, RI A:818 

Elizabeth Carpenter 

1739 1740 


E. Providence, RI 10:252 

John Robinson 

1749 1752 


E. Providence, RI 13:227 

John Robinson 

1751 1752 


E. Providence, RI 13:277 

David Joy 

1739 1742 

Palmer Riv. 

Rehoboth, MA 10:211 

Stephen Dexter 

1756 1760 

North Burial 

Providence, RI A:752 

Caleb Walker 

1753 1757 


E. Providence, RI. 15:524 

General payments for gravestones 
(no name but found to be work of Allen) 

Nathaniel Millard 17401747 BPH Rehoboth, MA 

Daniel Perrin 1740 1747 Newman E. Providence, RI 

Caleb Walker 1753 1757 Newman E. Providence, RI 

Robert Ware 17321734 Congr. Ch. Wrentham, MA 

Carolina Allen 
Charles Allen 

Family stones 

1741 Newman 

1 759 Newman 

E. Providence, RI 
E. Providence, RI 

Payment to others: to Solomon Smith for gravestone 

Nathaniel Read 17321733 Newman E. Providence, RI 8:36 

(This stone shows a full mastery of chisel and perfect lettering front the hand of George Allen.) 

Vincent F. Luti 




Map of Bristol County, Rhode Island, showing East Providence 

(H.F. Walling, 1851). Arrow points to the house of 

J. Condon, probable home and shop of George Allen. 


An Iron-Cross Cemetery 

[Frontispiece] Entrance to "Old St. Mary Cemetery/ 
west of Hague, North Dakota (looking north). 


"Unser Lieber Gottesacker" (Our Dear God's Acre): 

An Iron-Cross Cemetery on the 

Northern Great Plains 

Timothy J. Kloberdanz 

There are literally hundreds of cemeteries on the Northern Great 
Plains that include examples of richly ornate wrought-iron grave crosses. 
Most of the iron-cross cemeteries can be found in the Dakotas, eastern 
Montana, western Kansas, southeast Texas, and the Canadian prairie 
provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. One of the oldest of 
these prairie graveyards is also one of the most accessible and the most 
visually stunning: the "Old St. Mary Cemetery" (1885-1914) located 
west of Hague, North Dakota. The name is used by locals to distinguish 
it from the newer St. Mary Cemetery that lies on the southern edge of 
the town of Hague. The Old St. Mary Cemetery went by still another 
name, "Unser Lieber Gottesacker" (Our Dear God's Acre).^ The term was 
used by the original German-Russian settlers who settled in the Hague 
area. The early immigrants felt a special attachment to the old cemetery 
because it held the remains of many individuals who came directly from 
"Russland" (Russia — the Old Country). 

Most of the founding families of Hague were Black Sea Germans of 
the Roman Catholic faith. They and their ancestors had participated in a 
double migration, going first from Alsace and what is now southwestern 
Germany to establish colonies in "New Russia" or "South Russia" 
(Ukraine) in the early 1800s. Then, in the 1870s and 1880s, large numbers 
of Black Sea colonists decided to acquire homesteads and settle on 
the prairies of Dakota Territory.^ The first years of prairie pioneering 
were extremely difficult due to innumerable hardships: isolation, crop 
failures, prairie fires, searing summer temperatures, blizzards, below- 
zero winters, and repeated epidemics. 

Among those who immigrated and took up homesteads were a 
number of blacksmiths who had apprenticed in South Russia. Soon 
after settling on the Dakota prairies, the blacksmiths filled a crucial role 
because of their jack-of-all-trades abilities. They could fashion tools for 
building and farming, repair wagon wheels, sharpen plowshares, and 
even cauterize wounds or pull infected teeth. The blacksmiths also made 


An Iron-Cross Cemetery 

decorative iron crosses, ranging from small markers for infants to large, 
intricate crosses that included hundreds of individually hammered 

Old St. Mary Cemetery west of Hague, North Dakota, includes the 
decorative iron work of at least four German-Russian crossmakers: 
Paul Keller (1864-1923), Michael Schmidt (1875-1921), Jacob Schneider 
(1852-1934), and Jacob's son "Deport" or "Diebert" (Tibertius) Schneider 
(1877-1941).^ All four blacksmiths were born in South Russia, principally 
in the "Kutschurgan" Black Sea colony area northwest of the port city of 

Paul Keller (Fig. 1) learned blacksmithing on the Ukrainian steppes 
and then settled on the Dakota prairies in the 1880s. Both regions were 
characterized by extremely fertile soil and expansive fields of wheat. 
Keller's crosses often incorporated a circular design with a rather unusual 
waving- wheat motif (Figs. 2-4). Like many other German-Russian 

Fig. 1. Photograph of Paul Keller, courtesy of 
the North Dakota Council on the Arts. 

Timothy J. Kloberdanz 


Fig. 2. Double-bar cross with sunburst design 
and waving-wheat motif by blacksmith Paul Keller. 


An Iron-Cross Cemetery 

Fig. 3. Another double-bar cross by Paul Keller. This one 

incorporates a circular design and metal blossoms, along with 

the characteristic waving-wheat motif. Note the brass doorknob 

that was affixed to the center of the cross and forms the flower's pistil. 

Timothy J. Kloberdanz 


Fig. 4. A double-bar cross with 
exquisite detail, possibly by Paul Keller, 

166 An Iron-Cross Cemetery 

blacksmiths, Paul Keller was a man of many talents and he could do 
more than make the anvil ring. His daughter Frances remembered: "My 
dad loved music and singing. He played by ear and whenever he visited 
someone with an organ he would play it by the hour. . . . He developed a 
wanderlust, so we moved often, different states and Canada."^ Although 
Paul Keller and his family moved around, they stayed primarily in the 
Great Plains region. The largest number of Keller's crosses appear to be 
centered in the Hague area. 

Blacksmith Michael Schmidt remains something of an enigma. No 
photographs of him or his family are known to exist. Nonetheless, he left 
behind a number of lightweight, single-bar iron crosses with incredibly 
delicate and fine scrollwork (Fig. 5). Besides making numerous crosses 
for German-Russian families in the Hague area, he also made his own 
cross shortly before his death in 1921, at the age of forty-six. Mary, an 
elderly woman from the Hague area, recalled: "He did his work right. 
Always when there was something to be done, Michael Schmidt was the 
man. ^ 

The Schneiders were a true cross-making family, who had been 
making iron crosses for as far back as anyone in the Schneider clan could 
remember. Most of the crosses in Old St. Mary Cemetery undoubtedly 
were fashioned by Deport Schneider. Deport married Rose Scheer, and 
two of their sons, Louis Snider (1901-1987) and Jake Schneider (1902- 
1961), became talented crossmakers as well (Fig. 6). Both Louis and Jake 
eventually moved from the Hague area and settled on the Standing 
Rock Sioux Indian Reservation (about 35 miles across the Missouri River 
and west of Hague), where they made numerous iron crosses for Sioux 
Indians as well as German-Russians.^ 

Not surprisingly, all four of the Schneider crossmakers shared a 
preference for double-bar iron crosses with a basic diamond design. But 
Jacob and Deport Schneider preferred lightweight iron for their crosses 
(Figs. 7-12). Deport's sons Louis and Jake both made much heavier iron 
crosses. Louis preferred to use the iron from buggy wheels, and Jake 
made his crosses from large wagon wheels. The iron crosses of the 
Schneider family can be seen in various parts of the Northern Great 
Plains, but today they are most numerous in south-central North Dakota 
(especially Emmons, Mcintosh, Burleigh, Morton, and Sioux counties). 

Many iron-cross cemeteries on the Northern Great Plains are difficult 
to find, even with the aid of detailed maps. Due to past acts of theft and 

Timothy J. Kloberdanz 


Fig. 5, Iron Cross by Michael Schmidt. 

Fig. 6. Deport Schneider and his family, undated photogragh 
courtesy of the North Dakota Council on the Arts. 

An Iron-Cross Cemetery 

Fig. 7. Double-bar cross with central heart motif. 
Probably made by Deport Schneider, 

Timothy J. Kloberdanz 


Fig. 8. Double-bar cross with diamond design. 
Made by Deport Schneider. 


An Iron-Cross Cemetery 

Fig 9. "Shrine Cross" located at the south end of the cemetery. This 

cross did not mark a grave but was used for private prayer and 

religious services. The cross is missing its Christus figure, but it 

does include the tools traditionally associated with crucifixions: 

hammer, tongs, lance, sponge, and ladder. The "Shrine Cross" 

appears to have been made by Deport Schneider. 

Timothy J. Kloberdanz 


Fig. 10. A Schneider family plot (enclosed area). The double-bar 
crosses in the enclosed area were made by Deport Schneider. 


An Iron-Cross Cemetery 

Fig, 11. Close-up of iron cross on the right side of the 

Schneider family plot. Note the intricate leaf design 

so characteristic of the Schneider family's iron crosses. 

Timothy J. Kloberdanz 


Fig, 12. Close-up of iron cross on the 
left side of the Schneider family plot. 

174 An Iron-Cross Cemetery 

vandalism, locals may not always be willing to guide visitors to the more 
secluded prairie sites. Old St. Mary Cemetery, however, is located only 
a few miles east of Highway 83. Another highway (#11), one of the main 
east-west routes in south-central North Dakota, is nearly adjacent to the 
old cemetery. Thus, the graveyard is in full view of motorists who pass 
by on Highway 11. 

When I first visited Old St. Mary Cemetery in the summer of 1976, 
most of the old crosses were badly rusted, and the graveyard was 
overgrown with high weeds. But in the late 1970s and early 1980s, locals 
decided to clean up the old cemetery and to paint the old iron crosses a 
metallic silver color. Following the publication of the book Iron Spirits in 
1982, additional efforts were made to renovate the cemetery and make it 
more accessible to sightseers. Previously, there was a small gate on the 
far north end of the graveyard, but a new, much larger iron gate was 
added on the south end that faces the highway (Frontispiece). 

In the summer of 1987, 1 did an intensive study of Old St. Mary 
Cemetery. 1 was assisted by folklorist Troyd A. Geist, and together we 
spent several days measuring, photographing, and sketching nearly 
every aspect of the site. Eventually, this information became part of a 
thematic nomination of selected German-Russian wrought-iron-cross 
cemetery sites in North Dakota. As a result. Old St. Mary Cemetery 
was among twenty-two wrought-iron-cross sites named to the National 
Register of Historic Places in 1989.^ 

At the time of our survey work in 1987, we noted a number of features 
of the old cemetery: (1) the area of the cemetery was 22 x 75.5 meters in 
size; (2) nearly all of the gravemarkers faced east; and (3) there were 
a total of 75 individual gravemarkers, 55 of which were wrought-iron 
crosses.^ A few foundry or cast-iron crosses (see Fig. 13, center and left) 
stood at the site, as well as much smaller numbers of marble tombstones 
and other gravemarkers.^ 

Old St. Mary Cemetery near Hague clearly is distinctive, owing to 
the large number of extant wrought-iron crosses. Several appear to be 
more than a century old. Because of the range of cross styles and the 
fact that the work of at least four German-Russian crossmakers still can 
be seen, the site has been described by visitors as an "open-air prairie 
museum."^" But it is much more than that. Many of the residents of the 
present-day Hague community continue to feel a special attachment to 
the old graveyard, as did so many of their pioneering ancestors, who 
affectionately referred to the site as "Unscr Lieber Gottesacker." 

Timothy J. Kloberdanz 


Fig. 13. A variety of iron cross styles can be seen in this picture. 

The four wrought-iron crosses are all Schneider crosses and were 

made by either Deport or his father Jacob. Note the 

two cast iron foundry crosses, center and far left. 

Fig. 14. Old St. Mary Cemetery, looking south toward Highway 11. 


An Iron-Cross Cemetery 

Fig. 15. A double-bar cross with circle design. 
Possibly made by the old patriarch Jacob Schneider. 

Timothy J. Kloberdanz 


Fig. 16, Iron crosses that appear to mark children's graves. 

A single-bar cross with diamond design (left), a single-bar cross 

with scrollwork (right), and a simple double-bar cross (below). 


An Iron-Cross Cemetery 

Fig. 17. This metal cross appears to be of the 

prefabricated variety. These usually were shipped by rail to 

German-Russian settlements in the prairie states. 

Timothy J. Kloberdanz 


Fig. 18. A double-bar cross, most likely by Deport Schneider. 

1 80 An Iron-Cross Cemetery 


All photographs except the two historical photos of crossmakers are by Bob 
Pierce. His entire slide collection is now in the AGS archives. 

^ The Germans from Russia also used a variety of other German terms to 
refer to their cemeteries. These terms included Friedhof, K/rc/j/zo/ (literally, 
churchyard), and Rosengarten. The term "unser lieber" was a term of 
endearment, used especially for persons or things considered sacred. Besides 
saying "Unser Lieber Gottesacker" (Our Dear God's Acre), Catholic German- 
Russians also might say "Unser Lieber Herrgott" (Our Dear Lord God) and 
"Unser Lieber Herrgottseck" (when referring to a corner of the family dwelling 
where holy pictures, crucifixes, and blessed palms were displayed). 

- See, e.g., Joseph S. Height, Paradise on the Steppe (Bismarck: North Dakota 
Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1972). Also see Timothy J. 
Kloberdanz, "The Black Sea Germans in North Dakota," in Plains Folk: North 
Dakota's Ethnic History, edited by W.C. Sherman and Playford V. Thorson 
(Fargo: North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies, 1988), 131-156. 

^ The late blacksmith Louis Snider proved to be of enormous help in 
identifying individual makers of iron crosses in the Hague area. He knew the 
work of his own father and grandfather intimately, and he also could point 
out the characteristic features of iron crosses made by other blacksmiths such 
as Paul Keller and Michael Schmidt. Snider passed away in Bismarck, North 
Dakota, January 6, 1987. See also Iron Spirits, ed. N.C. Vrooman and P. A. 
Marvin (Fargo: North Dakota Council on the Arts, 1982), 50-61. 

■* Iron Spirits, 58. 

^ Iron Spnrits, 60. 

^ Timothy J. Kloberdanz, "Mazakaga: The Last Iron Cross Maker," in Horizons, 
vol. 18, no. 3 (Summer 1988), 24-27. Also see a related piece by Kloberdanz, 
"In the Land of Inyan Woslata: Plains Indian Influences on Reservation Whites," 
in Great Plains Quarterly 7 (Spring 1987): 69-82. For insightful interviews with 
various Sclineider family members, see Iron Spirits, 50-57. 

'' This study was funded by the State Historical Society of North Dakota and 
the National Park Service. 

^ Due to their age, few of the wrought-iron crosses in Old St. Mary Cemetery 
include name plates that bear any traces of personal names and dates. 
Traditionally, the Germans from Russia would have affixed metal letters or 
hand-painted inscriptions that included the epitaph "Hier ruht in Gott" (Here 
rests in God). 

^ The cast-iron crosses appear to be similar to those produced in Chicago and 
St. Louis. No Andera iron crosses were found in Old St. Mary Cemetery. See, 
e.g., Loren N. Horton, "The Remarkable Crosses of Charles Andera," Markers 
XIV: 110-133. 

Timothy J. Kloberdanz 181 

^° The prairie community of Hague, North Dakota, has only about a hundred 
residents but "Old St. Mary Cemetery" continues to draw tourists from all 
over the U.S., as well as from a number of foreign countries. For background 
information about Hague and the surrounding area, see A History of Emmons 
County, edited by Ellen Woods and Euvagh Wenzel (Linton, North Dakota: 
Emmons County Historical Society, 1976), especially pp. 80-88. 



James Silas Rogers 

Highland Cemetery occupies a knoll at the intersection of County Roads 
31 and 42, three miles southwest of the town of Rosemount, Minnesota, 
about seventeen miles from the Twin Cities. A new road that will open for 
traffic soon has been graded near the cemetery's boundary. 

A fence of long iron pipes held in place by posts the size of railroad 
ties delineates the northern edge of the cemetery. The pipes, unpainted for 
many years, wear a lustrous coat of rust; poke your finger at points where 
they have rusted through, though, and the metal will flake away like dry 
clay. Deep fissures run down the sides of the wooden posts. Sections of the 
fence pull away from one another and tilt toward the ground. The fence 
serves only to show the man who occasionally tends the cemetery where to 
stop mowing. 

Church archives record two hundred and sixty burials in Highland 
Cemetery — including that of F. Scott Fitzgerald's immigrant great- 
grandmother McQuillan — though other graves almost certainly went 
unmarked in its earliest days. The last person interred here was a woman 
named Kate Fahey, born in County Mayo, Ireland, in 1883. A widow, she 
ran a boarding house in a nearby town and died in 1947. Most graves in 
Highland Cemetery date from the first eleven years after it opened in 
1868, and nearly all of those buried here were Irish, often from the western 
counties of Mayo and Galway. 

William B. O'Donoghue, buried here, was a Fenian rebel who, in 1867, 
brought his campaign against Britain to Minnesota by invading Canada with 
an army of thirty-five men. After being pursued by American forces who 
had crossed the border, O'Donoghue fled south to Rosemount — an Irish 
farming community at the time — where he taught school. The townspeople 
took up a collection to buy a monument after his early death; his headstone 
reads defiantly: "He loved liberty and hated oppression, therefore he died 
in exile." 

Rural Americans of the late nineteenth century often ordered 
gravestones from Sears & Roebuck and other mail-order firms, and 
sometimes a typographical error would arrive enshrined in marble; here, 
the hero's name is misspelled as "O'Donohue." On the Sheridan family 
headstone a few yards away, the letter N has been carved backward, as if 
the stonecutter were dyslectic. 

James Silas Rogers 183 

The cemetery's name reflects not only the modest elevation of its site, 
but also the Highland or Hyland family name (both variants appear on 
headstones). In the past, family members believed that an ancestor had 
donated the cemetery land to St. Joseph's Catholic Church, the parish 
responsible for the graveyard. Father Thomas Hill, the current pastor, 
denies this and points to a bill of sale still held by the parish. Father Hill 
often finds himself negotiating between conflicting ideas about the past, 
present, and future of the cemetery; the parish's maintenance person once 
told a member of the Hyland family that he hoped in thirty years the 
cemetery would be completely flat, easy to mow, with maybe a plaque to 
note where the graves used to be. 

The Hyland family retains undisputed ties of ancestry to the cemetery 
and in 1999 restored the granite monument on their family plot. Few other 
monuments in the cemetery have received any recent attention, however, 
except — according to the charges of concerned descendants — for those 
knocked over or damaged by a front-end loader hired by the parish to 
"remodel" the cemetery in 1998. Hill points out that the unstable headstones 
in the graveyard presented a potential liability and insists there were 
numerous committee meetings and other forums within the parish during 
which the families could have contributed to a discussion about the site's 
future. The families say they were never consulted. The parish's legal and 
traditional obligations to the cemetery exceed any emotional connection; of 
the fourteen-hundred families currently registered at St. Joseph's parish, no 
more than a half dozen have relatives buried in Highland Cemetery. 

Shawne FitzGerald of Minneapolis, a Hyland descendant, has a 
Website devoted to the graveyard. It includes all of the inscriptions on 
the headstones, a cemetery map, photographs, and links to short histories 
of the various families, taken from the research of a dogged genealogist, 
Kevin Geraghty of St. Paul, whose great-grandparents are buried there. The 
Website presents an indignant account of the parish-sponsored remodeling 
of the cemetery. In September 1998, the parish regraded the cemetery, and 
the traditional cast-iron palings and chain fences around several early 
plots were uprooted and demolished. Pieces of many fractured headstones 
disappeared; FitzGerald thinks they may be buried under piles of brush and 
clippings at the back of the lot. A new entrance road was graded to allow 
access for large machinery, which, she charges, runs over the unmarked 
grave of a child. 

The Website exhorts the public to contact the archbishop, the 
archdiocesan Catholic Cemeteries office, and the pastor to protest the 
condition of Highland Cemetery. When pressed about the controversies 

184 Elegy 

that have lately surrounded the site. Father Hill asks — in a clearly bemused 
tone — where were the families during the years that the archdiocese listed 
the cemetery as abandoned? 

Since 1980, 1 have published a number of pieces on the history of the Irish 
in Minnesota, including a calendar that printed the only known photograph 
of the rebel O'Donoghue. I had been to Highland Cenietery twenty years 
ago, doing research for that project, but my recent interest in the site 
came about through my friend Dermot O'Mara. Like many Irish people, 
Dermot has the quality of being simultaneously pragmatic and idealistic. 
When he chanced on this old Irish graveyard in late March 2000, he grew 
concerned about its in^iperiled condition, and — though he has no familial 
reason for sentinient — started calling people to see if something might be 
done to protect and restore it. When Dermot called me, I remembered little 
except the site's isolation and openness to the wind. It had been a February 
afternoon when I visited the cemetery two decades ago, and the wind came 
sweeping in from the western prairies, a wind that had passed over no 
towns of more than a few thousand souls. 

Dermot moved to Miiinesota from Cork, Ireland, in 1984. He has 
prospered in the United States, where he runs an Irish gift shop from 
a freestanding home on Grand Avenue, St. Paul's most desirable retail 
district. The shop includes an art gallery and boasts of offering the largest 
selection of traditional music in North America. With his American wife, 
Molly Lynch, last summer Dermot became a parent at the age of thirty- 
seven; when I met him at his home before going to the cemetery, his ten- 
month-old daughter, Emer, was getting a bath in the sink. Recently he 
began making arrangements to sell his business in order to resettle on a 
farm in County Galway. 

Two days after Memorial Day, on an evening with low clouds and rain 
spitting — cool, Irish weather, though this was May in Minnesota — Dermot 
and I drove to Highland Cemetery. Northern Dakota County comprises 
one of the most youthful and fast-growing parts of the metropolitan area, 
but apart from an occasional rollerblader striding and swaying in time to 
the music on a Walkman, we saw almost no one on the newly paved trails 
that parallel County 31. Tracts of new homes and townhouse developments 
with such names at Kingswood Ponds, WoodWinds, and Emerald Pond 
Estates cluster along the road, with convenience stores, strip malls, and pay- 
at-the-pump gas stations. 

As we drove, Dermot asked about various places and points of local 
history. A strong sense of both history and of community shine through 

James Silas Rogers 185 

in Dermot; at times, he gives the impression that he feels himself to be not 
only a citizen of Ireland or of America, but also a citizen of history, itself. 
Dermot's plan to return to Ireland stems in part from his wish to give his 
daughter a sense of historical continuity. 

When Dermot first saw Highland Cemetery, he was distressed by the 
neglect of the site and even more distressed to learn that a strip mall would 
soon be built fifty yards north of the Irish pioneer graves. In two or three 
years, young people will cut through the graveyard on their way to rent 
videos; they will toss plastic soda bottles and empty Whopper boxes among 
the headstones. Dermot hopes to encourage the Irish people in Minnesota to 
take up the graveyard's precarious condition as a cause celebre. 

I have long known the area through which we drove, as 1 grew up in 
what is now Inver Grove Heights (the next community north of Rosemount) 
on the very frontier of the suburbs, in a 1957 split-level rambler, which, at 
the time it was built, stood across the road from a cornfield. As a teenager, 
I bicycled practically every road in northern Dakota County. If I did not 
bicycle on them, I rode on them with my father on summer evenings; he 
liked to stop at roadside ponds and watch waterfowl and egrets. On a 
thousand such drives, my father would remark, "I remember when this land 
was just farm country." This evening 1 found myself extending the same 
theme; as we approached the cemetery, 1 remembered a German Shepherd 
loose in a farmyard, and how I had pedaled to outrun it. A Conoco station 
now stands near that farm. 

The rain let up as Dermot and I arrived. He parked his car far on the 
shoulder across County Road 31. 1 noted a surveyor's stake, with an orange 
plastic ribbon tied to it, pounded in the roadside right-of-way. We let traffic 
pass, then ran across the road and up a gentle slope to the gravesites. Lawn 
grass is not the natural vegetation here, as the site has no water; grass 
competes with — and loses to — stringy, tough-stemmed weeds. The usual 
roadside detritus of fading soft-drink cups and plastic straws blows up 
the slope and snags in the milkweed and Queen Anne's lace. There was 
farmland directly across the road, and beyond it stood hundreds of new 
homes, each painted slate blue or earthy brown. The earth itself — at least 
the field newly planted just to the south and in the field across the street — 
looked worn, the soil bleached. Nonetheless, rows of corn sprouted. 

"Those are probably the last crops that will ever be planted here," 
Dermot said. He pointed to the future building site, a plowed field of 
perhaps seventy acres. Beyond the field, a duck slough hid behind a copse 
of trees. As a boy in the 1960s and '70s, I watched nascent suburban creep 
claim one after another of these wetlands. Progress: If this were thirty years 
ago the lake would have been drained to make way for houses. Today's 


developers are mandated by law to protect the lake, and they probably also 
see it as a bit of rural charm. One can imagine the coined street names that 
will go into the new development: Cattail Path, Teal Way, Duck Pass Court. 
Developers would never incorporate the features of this small knoll into 
their lexicon of place, though, because the places they build consciously 
ignore the past. "A suburb," writes the poet Eavan Boland, "is all about 
futures. Trees grow; a small car becomes a bigger one to accommodate new 
arrivals. . . . There is little enough history, almost no appeal to memory." 
Headstone Way? Cemetery Trail? Not likely. 

Dermot and 1 stood looking at the landscape, and 1 thought that if my 
father, born in 1913, were alive, he could tell you where he used to shoot 
prairie chickens within sight of this hillside. Though attenuated, I also sense 
an historical connection to this area through the stories he told me of his 
bygone hunting trips; how Elmer so-and-so used to let him hunt on this 
farm, how his brother once stood on that road and shot three pheasants 
before closing the car door. Another history may also be unfolding here, 
a history I cannot claim as my own because I am too close to it, a history 
shared by millions of Aniericans: We have witnessed America transform 
itself into a suburban culture. 

"At the very least," Dermot said, "there needs to be a good strong fence 
around this cemetery so that no one comes in here with a four-wheel-drive 
truck to tear though the headstones." 

Nothing stands between the road and the graves. Something felt wrong; 
simply by being left vulnerable to the world outside, this site — where we 
had every reason to expect a sense of enclosure and protectedness, a sense 
of sacred space — had already been vandalized. 

Chunks of limestone or marble leaned in a clutter at the base of many of 
the markers. They were shards of crosses and broken urns that would have 
crowned the headstones when new. Many older stones had been laid flat 
and made flush with the ground, and we speculated that this was a recent 
measure; the carvings and inscriptions were too well preserved to have lain 
under many Minnesota winters. Mats of grass clippings spread over the 
edges of these embedded headstones, filling them in like putty around a 
window glazing. 

Dermot examined the weathering on a white obelisk bearing the name 
McGrath; using the flat edge of a car key, he scraped off a coin-sized mound 
of lichen and held it tentatively in the palm of his hand, as if it might be 
toxic. He had not seen lichen like this before. Lichen spores cling to porous 
stones like those used for monuments a century ago; lichen grows slowly, 
but once established it's hard to remove. Decade by decade, green-gold 
splotches accrue on the white marble. 

James Silas Rogers 1 87 

The early settlers usually aligned the headstones to face east. In the 
lee of 130 years of winter storms, most of them remained legible, though it 
took us a long time to discern the name on the base of a small gray marker 
before deciding it read McCarthy. The McCarthy stone cannot be read at all 
if looked at straight on, but from the top down, the carvings inscribed when 
Grover Cleveland was president leave interpretable shadows. "Probably a 
Cork man," Dermot said. 

1 wondered how long it takes for a name to be severed from a place, for 
McCarthy to no longer be a Cork name, or a Rosemount farmer's name, or 
even the name of someone's grandfather, a grandfather who had a face and 
pocketknife and a house with a cottonwood tree in the yard. 

As long as it takes for a headstone to become unreadable? 

As long as it has taken family farming to dwindle away? 

As long as it takes to buy lunch at Burger King? 

Dermot and I continued to walk, weaving in and out of the lanes, 
reading names, dates, and inscriptions half to ourselves and half aloud: 
Quigley, McQuillan, Casey, Bambery, Lenehan, Lynch. Mayo, Limerick, 
Galway, Mayo again. It struck me that probably no one in this cemetery 
ever returned to Ireland after leaving it. 

"Look at this fellow, here," Dermot said, stopping before an impressive 
granite stone, one of the few in the cemetery to have retained its finial cross. 
"James Dewire, born County Galway 1832, died 10 July 1872. Do you think 
he's the same family as the Dwyers buried over there? He would have been 
an Irish-speaker who lived through the Famine." 

Derniot looked at the heavy equipment parked on the new road to the 
north and said quietly, "Whoever he was, he didn't grub out the trees and 
clear the field of rocks for this." 

For this. I began pulling weeds from around an 1886 grave and thought 
about what Dermot meant by "this." The headstones had been laid flat, and 
the floral carvings had begun to cup soil, giving a clump of weeds a place to 
take root on the stone itself. 

I absentmindedly broke off a piece of wild yarrow and started to 
chew it, then spit out the bitter weed. If "this" meant new homes in a safe 
neighborhood, then Dermot was, at one level, completely wrong. The 
affluence that makes these suburbs possible is precisely what the people 
buried here wanted for their children and grandchildren, a nineteenth- 
century Midwest variation on Thomas Jefferson's pronouncement that he 
was a farmer so that his son could be a gentleman. 

Except, except, except: I knew Dermot was right. James Dewire didn't 
grub out trees to make a farm so that, one hundred and twenty -eight years 
after his death, it could be paved over to build Taco Bells and Arbys and 


surrendered to put up new homes with SUVs in the driveway and bass 
boats in the garage. Behind the disdain in Dermot's phrase "for this" lay an 
intuition that the Hfe being bought with these new homes is just too easy. 
These too are the presences that filled this graveyard: the dignity of rest well 
earned. When we lose agricultural land, part of what gets ruptured and sent 
into the wind is the spirit of the work that went into the vanished farm. 

The occasional rain turned to drizzle, and we headed for Dermot's car. 
"It would be a shame," he said, "if we let this place be forgotten." 

I began to suggest possible projects. Maybe we could lobby, or raise 
money, to get a fence put up. Maybe we could get the historical society to 
erect a roadside marker about the rural Irish. Maybe we could organize 
an Irish poetry reading among the headstones, a walking tour for school 
children. Even as I warmed to these ideas, part of me knew they would 
amount to little. The future of this cemetery will be, by definition, 
anomalous and ornamental. 

As we walked toward the car, I thought of how strange it would seem 
to many that we would even care about this place. Dermot was born in 
Ireland. He has no people in this cemetery. I was born and raised fewer than 
ten miles from here. I have no people in this cemetery. 

Except for everyone. 

From the roadside litter I picked up a fading soft drink cup from the 
PDQ convenience store up the road. 

Pretty. Damned. Quick. 

A red Jeep sped past us on the soon-to-be-enlarged highway, its stereo 
so loud that the surge of its notes preceded it like a siren. 

James Silas Rogers' "Elegy" originally appeared in Neiu Letters, volume 67, number 4, 2001. It is 
included here with the permission of New Letters and the Curators of the University of Missouri at 
Kansas City. 

The Year's Work in Cemetery and Gravemarker 
Studies: An International Bibliography 

Compiled by Gary CoUison 

Starting with Markers XXI, the annual bibUography of scholarship 
begun by Richard E. Meyer in 1995 appears in a more streamlined 
form, with coverage of pre-modern and non-English-language titles 
significantly curtailed. The bibliography still aims to provide compre- 
hensive coverage of the most recent English-language scholarship about 
gravemarkers, cemeteries, monuments, and memorials in the modern era 
(i.e., post-1500). As in the past, most marginal materials are necessarily 
omitted, including entries that would fall under the heading of "death 
and dying" as well as compilations of graveniarker transcriptions, 
book reviews, items in trade and popular magazines, and newspaper 
articles. This year's bibliography includes items published in 2003 and 
2004; items published in 2004 after this bibliography was compiled will 
be included in next year's listing. A noteworthy addition this year are 
recent articles in Church Momimenis, the annual journal of the AGS sister 
organization in Britain, the Church Monuments Society (founded 1979). 
While many articles in CM concern elaborate indoor monuments, the 
journal also includes articles on outdoor burial markers and sites. For a 
complete listing of the contents of all eighteen volumes, follow the link 
to the journal on the society's homepage. 

Books, Monographs, Pamphlets, etc. 

Ancient Chinese Tomb Sculpture [exhibition catalog]. New York, NY: J. J. Lally & 
Co., 2004. 

Arnold, Dieter, Sabine H. Gardiner, Helen Strudwick, et al. Tlie Encyclopaedia 
of Ancient Egi/pitian Architecture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University 
Press, 2003. ^ 

Bachelor, Philip. Sorroiu & Solace: The Social World of the Cemetery. Aniityville, 
NY: Baywood Pub. Co., 2004. 

Benoit, Tod. Wliere Are Tim/ Buried? How Did They Die? New York: Black Dog & 
Leventhal, 2003. ^ 


Bissette, Samuel D. A Tribute to Oakdale. [Wilmington, N.C.?]: S.D. Bissette, 2003. 

Chambert-Loir, Henri, and Anthony Reid. Tlie Potent Dead: Ancestors, Saints and 
Heroes in Contemporary Indonesia. London: Allen & Unwin, 2003. 

Chung, Sue Fawn, and Priscilla Wegars. Chinese American Death Rituals: 

Respecting the Ancestors. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2004. 

Clark, Rusty. Stories Carved in Stone [tours &c. of five West Springfield, MA, 
cemeteries]. West Springfield, MA: Dog Pond Press, 2004. 

Clarke, John M. London's Necropolis: A Guide to Brookwood Cemetery. Stroud, UK: 
Sutton, 2004. 

Davies, Penelope J. E. Death and the Emperor: Roman Imperial Funerary Monu- 
ments from Augustus to Marcus Aurelius. Austin, TX: University of 
Texas Press, Combined Academic, 2004. 

Davis, Veronica A. Here I Lay My Burdens Down: A History of the Black Cemeteries 
of Richmond, Virginia. Richmond, VA: Dietz Press, 2003. 

Duda, Eugeniusz, and Jacek Balcewicz. Jewish Cracow: A Guide to the Historical 
Buildings and Places of Remembrance. Krakow: Vis-a-vis/ etiuda, 2003. 

Emergency Measures for Historic Memorials: A Short Guide for Cemetery Managers. 
Edinburgh: Historic Scotland, 2003. 

Fisher, Charles. People, Places, and Material Things: Historical Archaeology of 

Albany, New York. Albany: New York State Museum, University of the 
State of New York, State Education Dept., 2003. 

Gage, Mary E., and J. E. Gage. Stories Carved in Stone: The Story of the Dummer 
Family, the Merrimac Valley Gravestone Carvers, and the Newbury Carved 
Stones, 1636-1735. Amesbury, MA: Powwow River Books, 2003. 

Geisler, Michael E. National Symbols, Fractured Identities: Contesting the Natioiml 
Narrative. Middlebury, VT: Middlebury College Press, 2004. 

Goldberg, Jacqueline. La vastedad del adios: historias sepndtadas en un cementerio 
judio. Caracas: Fundacion Polar, 2003. 

Goodman, Fred. TJie Secret City: Woodlawn Cemetery and the Buried History ofNeiu 
York. New York: Broadway Books, 2004. 

Goody, Jack. Death and the Ancestors: A Study of the Mortuary Customs of the 
LoDagaa of West Africa. London: Routledge, 2004 [1962]. 

Guide to Jewish Cemeteries: 2003-2005 [5764-5766J. Newton Centre, MA: Jewish 
Cemetery Association of Massachusetts, 2003. 

Guss, John Walker. Savannah's Laurel Grove Cemetery. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 

Handley, Mark A. Death, Society and Culture: Inscriptions and Epitaphs in Gaul 

and Spain, AD 300-750. BAR International Series 1135 (supplementary). 


Oxford, UK: Archaeopress, 2003. 

Harrison, Robert Pogue. Tlie Dominion of the Dead. Chicago: University of 
Chicago Press, 2003. 

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Hopkins, Bruce. Spirits in the Field: An Appalachian Family History. Nicholasville, 
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Hornstein, Shelley, and Florence Jacobowitz. Image and Remembrance: Represen- 
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Ikram, Salima. Death and Burial in Ancient Egypt. Harlow: Longman, 2003. 

Kakosy, Laszlo. Tlie Mortuary Monument of Djchutymes (TT 32). Budapest: 
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Keels, Thomas H. Plnladelphia Graveyards and Cemeteries. Charleston, SC: 
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Levy, Allison M. Widowhood and Visual Culture in Early Modern Europe. 

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Lewis, Norman. Tlie Tomb in Seznlle. London: Jonathan Cape, 2003. 

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Misra, Ratanalala. Memorial Monuments in Ancient and Medieval India. Delhi: B.R. 
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Northup, A. Dale. Detroit's Woodlawn Cemetery. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2003. 

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Parik, Arno, Vlastimila Hamackova, Dana Cabanova, et. al. Prazske Zidovske 
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Poplack, Alvin M. Carved in Granite: Holocaust Memorials in Greater Nezo York 
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Reis, Joao Jose. Death Is a Festival: Funeral Rites and Rebellion in Nineteenth- 
Century Brazil. Chapel Hill: University of North CaroUna Press, 2003. 

Respect for the Dead and Relief for the Budget: Can Privatization Improve Hope 

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Richards, Janet E. Society and Death in Ancient Egypt: Mortuary Landscapes of the 
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Siebigs, Hans-Karl. Grabmal der Galla Placidia: Versuch einer Erkldrung [Ravenna, 
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Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. World Epidemics: A Cultural Chronology of Disease fi'om 
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Stanton, Scott. Tlie Tombstone Tourist: Musicians. New York: London: Pocket 
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Stewart, Peter. Roman Art. Oxford [England]; New York: Published for the 
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Strangstad, Lynette. Preservation of Historic Burial Grounds. Washington, DC: 
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Thornley, Stew. Six Feet Under: A Graveyard Guide to Minnesota. St. Paul, MN: 
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Troutman, K. Roger. Ohio Cemeteries, 1803-2003. Mansfield, OH: Ohio 
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Van Voorhies, Christine. Grave Intentions: A Comprehensive Guide to Preserving 
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Walkowitz, Daniel J., and Lisa Maya Knauer. Memory and the Impact of Political 
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Weber, Francis J. Requiescant in Pace: The Story of Catholic Cemeteries in the 

Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Mission Hills, CA: Saint Francis Historical 
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Wells, Charles Chauncey, and Suzanne Austin Wells. Preachers, Patriots & Plain 
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Wilder, William D. journeys of the Soul: Anthropological Studies of Death, Burial, 

and Reburial Practices in Borneo. Phillips, ME: Borneo Research Council, 

Wilding, Roy, and Gordon Emery. Death in Chester: Roman Gravestones, Cathedral 
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Williams, Howard. Archaeologies of Remembrance: Death and Memory in Past 
Societies. New York: Kluwer Academic/ Plenum Publishers, 2003. 

Wilson, Liz. Tlie Living and the Dead: Social Dimensions of Death in South Asian 
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Articles in Scholarly Journals, Book Collections, etc. 

Alvis, Robert E. "Hallowed Ground, Contagious Corpses, and the Moral 

Economy of the Graveyard in Early Nineteenth-Century Prussia." Tlie 
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Arnold, Bettina. "Landscapes of Ancestors: Early Iron Hillforts and Their 
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Ashcraft, Mary Ann. "Carving a Path to Freedom: The Life and Work of African 
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Attema, Ypie. "Begraafplaatsen en kerkhoven: een stand van zaken [survey 
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Ben- Amos, Avner. "War Commemoration and the Formation of Israeli National 
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Blair, Claud, and John Goodall. "An Effigy at Wilsthorpe: A Correction to 
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Bonaduce, I., and M. P. Colombini. "Gas Chromatography/ Mass Spectrometry 
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Bosco, Ronald A., and Joel Myerson. "'In the Palm of Nature's Fland': Ralph 
Waldo Emerson's Address at the Consecration of Sleepy Hollow 
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Bouzek, J., and L. Domaradzka. "The Emergence of the Odrysian Aristocracy, 
the Greek Trade in Central Thrace, and the Emergence of Monumental 
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Archaeopress BAR International Series (supplementary) 2 (2003): 525- 

Brooks, Kimberly. "The Little House that Heartache Built [dollhouse 

monument, Connersville, Indiana]." AGS Quarterly 27:3 (2003): 6-7, 12. 

Brown, Marley R. III. "Memorials: James Fanto Deetz, 1930-2000." Historical 
Archaeology 38:2 (2004): 103-123. 

Buckham, Susan. "Commemoration as an Expression of Personal Relationships 
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Carboni, S. "The Painted-Glass Decoration of the Mausoleum of Ahmad ibn 
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Capuani, Massimo, and Tim Vivian. "Christian Egypt: Coptic Art and 

Monuments Through Two Millenia." Sobornost 25:2 (2003): 101-103. 

Chamosa, Oscar. "'To Honor the Ashes of their Forebears': The Rise and Crisis 
of African Nations in the Post-Independence State of Buenos Aires, 
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History 59:3 (2003): 347-378. 

Ciregna, Elise Madeleine. "Museum in the Garden: Mount Auburn Cemetery 
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Clark, Jennifer, and Ashley Cheshire. "RIP by the Roadside: A Comparative 
Study of Roadside Memorials in New South Wales, Australia, and 
Texas, United States." Omega: An International Journal for the Study 
of Dying, Deatii, Bereavement, Suicide, and Other Lethal Behaviors 48:3 
(2004): 203-222. 

Clayden, Andrew, and Jan Woudstra. "Some European Approaches to 

Twentieth-Century Cemetery Design: Continental Solutions for British 
Dilemmas." Mortality 8:2 (2003): 189-208. 

Cloke, Paul, and Owain Jones. "Turning in the Graveyard: Trees and the 
Hybrid Geographies of Dwelling, Monitoring and Resistance in a 
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Cockerham, Paul, and Adam White. "Epiphanius Evesham in a French 
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Collier, C. D. Abby. "Tradition, Modernity, and Postmodernity in Symbolism of 
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Collins, Charles O, and Charles D. Rhine. "Roadside Memorials." Omega: An 
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Collison, Gary, comp. "Subject Index for Markers 7- XX." Markers XXI (2004): 

Crawford, Sybil F. "Albert Rieker: An Extraordinary 20"'-Century New Orleans 
Talent [sculptor]." AGS Quarterly 27:2 (2003): 11-13. 

Crawford, Sybil F. "Frank Teich: Adopted Texan and Sculptor Extraordinaire." 

AGS Quarterly 28:4 (2004): 10-11. 

Crawford, Sybil F. "Imitation: A World of Cemetery Look-Alikes [sculpture: 
angels, women]." AGS Quarterly 27:3 (2003): 4-5, 20-22. 

Crawford, Sybil F. "Oklahoma's Historic Fort Reno Cemetery." AGS Quarterly 
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DeVido, Elise A. "The 'New Funeral Culture' in Taiwan." Inter-Religio Bulletin 
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Downing, Mark. "A Military Effigy at Clyffe Pypard, Wiltshire." Church 
Monuments (UK) 18 (2003): 5-9. 

Downing, Mark, and Richard Knowles. "A Fifteenth Century Helmet Depiction 
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Eaton, Kent. "'Go Tell It in the ... Cemetery?' Protestant Funerals in Victorian 
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Eisenman, Peter. "Memory, Monument and Memorial." Inform: The Jourrml of 
Architecture, Design, and Material Culture 3 (2003): 73-79. 

Eliav, Yaron Z. "The Tomb of James, Brother of Jesus, as Locus Memoriae." 
Harvard Vieological Review 97:1 (2004): 33-59. 


Evener, Connie. "Almost Heaven: The Lush Landscapes of Garden Cemeteries 
and the Angels Featured in Them Offered Heavenly Visions in the 19"" 
Century [based on interview with Elizabeth Roark]." Stone in America 
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Ewald, B. "Sarcophagi and Senators: The Social History of Roman Funerary Art 
and its Limits [review]." journal of Roman Archaeology 16 (2003): 561- 

Fagin, Elizabeth. "Lost and Broken: Replicating Zinc Grave Marker Tablets." 

AGS Quarterly 27:1 (2003): 4-6. 

Francaviglia, Richard. "Obituary: Terry Jordan (1938-2003)." Markers XXI 
(2004): 8-11. 

Freed, James Ingo. "The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: A 

Resonator of Memory." Inform: The Journal of Architecture, Design, and 
Material Culture 3 (2003): 11-22. 

Freeman, Allen. "The Silent Edge: Gertrude Jekyll's 'Wide Wood Path' Informs 
a New Burial Ground at Historic Mount Auburn Cemetery." Landscape 
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French, Chris. "'Death in Kingston upon Thames': Analysis of the Bonner Hill 
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Freni, Giovanni. "The Setting of Rituals: Fourteenth-Century Monuments in 
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Frykman, Jonas. "Making Sense of Memory: Monuments and Landscape in 
Croatian Istria." Ethnologia Europaea 33:2 (2003): 107-120. 

Furlong, J., L. Knight, and S. Slocombe. "'They Shall Grow Not Old': An 

Analysis of Trends in Memorialisation Based on Information Held 
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(2003): 1-37. 

Gabel, Laurel. "Obituary: Theodore Chase (1912-2003)." Markers XXI (2004): 
viii, 1-7. 

Gittos, Brian, and Moira Gittos. "The Ingleby Arncliffe Group of Effigies: A 
Mid-Fourteenth Century Workshop in North Yorkshire." Church 
Monuments (UK) 17 (2002): 14-38. 

Grabitske, David M. "First Lady of Preservation: Sarah Sibley and the Mount 
Vernon Ladies Association [Washington's tomb &c.]." Minnesota 
History 58:8 (2003-04): 407-416. 

Gradwohl, David Mayer. "Judah Monis's Puzzling Gravestone as a Reflection 
of his Enigmatic Identity." Markers XXI (2004): 66-97. 

Greenspan, Elizabeth L. "Spontaneous Memorials, Museums, and Public 

History: Memorialization of September 11, 2001 at the Pentagon." TJie 
Public Historian 25:2 (2003): 129-132. 


Grissom, Carol A., and Ronald S. Harvey. "The Conservation of American 
War Memorials Made of Zinc." Journal of the American Institute for 
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Gwin, Peter. "Cliff-Hanging Tombs [Peru]." National Geographic 205:6 (2004): 

Halporn, Roberta. "African- American Burying Grounds in New York City." 
AGS Quarterly 28:1 (2004): 6-8. 

Hammond, Norman. "Church Monuments in Belize: A Final Note." Church 
Monuments (UK) 17 (2002): 118-120. 

Hardy, Sandra. "The Heart and Verse Carvers of Northampton County, 
Pennsylvania." AGS Quarterly 28:2 (2004): 4-5, 20-22. 

Harvey, David C. "'National' Identities and the Politics of Ancient Heritage: 

Continuity and Change at Ancient Monuments in Britain and Ireland, 
c. 1675-1850." Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 28:4 
(2003): 473-487. 

Hay, Iain, Andrew Hughes, and Mark Tutton. "Monuments, Memory and 
Marginalisation in Adelaide's Prince Henry Gardens." Geografiska 
Annaler (Series B: Human Geography) 86:3 (2004): 201-216. 

Heneghan, Bridget. "The Pot Calling the Kettle White: Goods and the 

Construction of Race in Antebellum America." Nineteenth Century 
Studies 17 (2003): 107-132. 

Holladay, Joan A. "Tombs and Memory: Some Recent Books." Speculum 78:2 
(2003): 440-451. 

Horst, Heather A. "A Pilgrimage Home: Tombs, Burial and Belonging in 
Jamaica." journal of Material Culture 9:1 (2004): 11-26. 

James, Jean. "Identification in Han Funerary Art: By Their Hats and Garments 
You Shall Know Them." Oriental Art 49:1 (2003): 13-21. 

Jenks, Margaret R. "Marble in the Green Mountains [early marble gravestones; 
Vermont]." AGS Quarterly 17:1 (2003): 7-8. 

Jenks, Peg [Margaret R.] "Upper Connecticut River Valley Slate Carvers." AGS 
Quarterly 27:1 (2003): 7. 

Kawano, Satsuki. "Finding Common Ground: Family, Gender, and Burial in 

Contemporary Japan." In Demographic Oiange and the Family in Japmn's 
Aging Society. Edited by John W. Traphagan and John Knight. Albany: 
State University of New York Press, 2003, pp. 125-144. 

Kimball, Jacqueline. "The Cost of War: Memorials in Central Europe during 
and after World War I [based on interview with Joyce Corbett about 
Vienna and Budapest]." Stone in America, 117:5 (Sept./Oct. 2004): 11- 

Kimball, Jacqueline. "One Foot in the Grave [profiles of Helen Sclair and J. 
Joseph Edgette]." Stone in America, 117:5 (Sept./Oct. 2004): 30-33. 

King, John M. "Grave-Goods as Gifts in Early Saxon Burials (ca. AD 450-600)." 
journal of Social Archaeology 4:2 (2004): 214-238. 

Klisiewicz, Bob. "Photographing the Stone: Privacy and Copyright Issues." AGS 

Quarterh/ 27-A {2003): 7-8. 

Knoell, S. "Collective Identity: Early Modern Funeral Monuments for 

Academics in Northern Europe." History of Universities 18:1 (2003): 

Krowl, M. A. "'In the Spirit of Fraternity': The United States Government and 
the Burial of Confederate Dead at Arlington National Cemetery, 1864- 
1914." Tlie Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 111:2 (2003): 151- 

Krtiger-Kahloula, Angelika. "The Alyscamps Cemetery in Aries." AGS 
Quarterly 28:1 (2004): 4-5, 20-22. 

Kriiger-Kahloula, Angelika. "Double Meanings: Chronograms on Monuments." 
AGS Quarterly 27:2 (2003): 4-6. 

Kurzweil, Allen. "Budapest Tomb." Nest: A Magazine of Interiors 22 (Fall 2003): 

Lambourn, Elizabeth. "From Cambay to Samudera-Pasai and Gresik — The 
Export of Gujarati Grave Memorials to Sumatra and Java in the 
Fifteenth Century CE." Indonesia and the Malay World (London) 31:90 
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Langridge-Noti, Elizabeth. "Mourning at the Tomb: A Re-evaluation of the 
Sphinx Monument on Attic Black-figured Pottery." Archaologischer 
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Leone, Anna. "Spazio urbano e inumazioni in Nord Africa dal IV al VII secolo 
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Liebens, Johan. "Map and Database Construction for an Historic Cemetery: 
Methods and Applications." Historical Archaeology 37:4 (2003): 56-68. 

Linehan, P., and M. Torres Sevilla. "A Misattributed Tomb and Its Implications: 
Cardinal Ordono Alvarez and His Friends and Relations." Rivista di 
storia delta chiesa in Italia 57:1 (2003): 53-65. 

Liston, Maria A., and John K. Papadopoulos. "The 'Rich Athenian Lady' Was 
Pregnant: The Anthropology of a Geometric Tomb Reconsidered." 
Hesperia 73:1 (2004): 7-38. 

Lord, John. "A Decade of Bertie Memorials in Lincolnshire." Church Monuments 
(UK) 17 (2002): 107-113. 

Mack, Mark E., and Michael L. Blakey. "The New York African Burial Ground 
Project: Past Biases, Current Dilemmas, and Future Research Opportu- 


nities." Historical Archaeology 38:1 (2004): 10-17. 

Malloy, Tom, and Brenda Malloy. "Gravemarkers and Memorials of King 
Philip's War." Markers XXI (2004): 40-65. 

Matero, Frank G., and Judy Peters. "Survey Methodology for the Preservation 
of Historic Burial Grounds and Cemeteries." Association for Preservation 
Technology Bulletin 34:2-3 (2003): 37-45. 

Mazzola, M., P. Frediani, S. Bracci, et al. "New Strategies for the Synthesis 
of Partially Fluorinated Acrylic Polymers as Possible Materials for 
the Protection of Stone Monuments." European Polymer Journal 39:10 
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McKeown, Simon. "More on Quarles and Funerary Art: An Emblematic 
Tombstone in Cornwall." Emblematica 13 (2003): 425-434. 

Miller, James R. "Barnard Mortuary Chapel [Sheffield, MA]." AGS Quarterly 27: 
3 (2003): 3-5. 

Murail, P., B. Maureille, D. Peresinotto, et al. "An Infant Cemetery of the Classic 
Kerma Period (1750-1500 BC, Island of Sai, Sudan)." Antiquity 78:300 
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Murawska-Muthesius, Katarzyna. "Oskar Hansen, Henry Moore, and the 

Auschwitz Memorial Debates in Poland: 1958-1959." Centropm 3:2 (May 
2003): 105-115. 

Oakley, Fred. "An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure: Treating 
Delaminating Slate Stones." AGS Quarterly 28:3 (2004): 11-12. 

Oosterwijk, Sophie. "Madonnas, Mothers, Mites and the Macabre: Three 
Examples of Mother-and-Child Tomb Iconography." Church 
Monuments 18 (2003): 10-22. 

Pearson, Lynn F. "Memorial and Commemorative Tiles in Nineteenth and 

Early Twentieth Century Churches [England]." Journal of the Tiles & 
Architectural Ceramics Society 9 (2003): 13-23. 

Pezzoni, J. Daniel. "The Austin [Nevada] Cemetery." AGS Quarterly 28:2 (2004): 

Riding, James, Cal Seciwa, and Susan Harjo. "Protecting Native American 
Human Remains, Burial Grounds, and Sacred Places: Panel 
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Riegert, M., and A. Turkington. "Setting Stone Decay in a Cultural Context: 
Conservation at the African Cemetery No. 2, Lexington, Kentucky, 
USA." Building and Environment 38:9-10 (2003): 1105-1111. 

Rizvi, K. "Religious Icon and National Symbol: The Tomb of Ayatollah 
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Roberts, P. "Here Today and Cyberspace Tomorrow: Memorials and 

Bereavement Support on the Web []." Generations: 


Vie Joiminl of the Western Gerontological Society 28:2 (2004): 41-46. 

Roberts, Paige. "Monuments and Memory: History and Representation in 
Lowell, Massachusetts." Tlie Public Historian 26:2 (2004): 84-86. 

Roberts, Pamela. "The Living and the Dead: Community in the Virtual 

Cemetery." Omega: An International Journal for the Study of Dying, Death, 
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Rowe, Mark. "Grave Changes: Scattering Ashes in Contemporary Japan." 

Japanese Journal of Religious Studies (Nagoya) 30:1-2 (2003): 85-118. 

Rugg, Julie. "Introduction: Cemeteries." MortaUty 8:2 (2003): 107-112. 

Ryder, Peter. "St John's Church, Stanwick, North Yorkshire: The Medieval 
Cross Slabs." Church Monuments (UK) 17 (2002): 5-13. 

Schultz, Brian. "The Archaeological Heritage of the Jerusalem Protestant 

Cemetery on Mount Zion." Palestine Exploration Quarterly 136:1 (2004): 


Schwab, R. "Acts of Remembrance, Cherished Possessions, and Living 
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Shaffer, C. A. "The Standing of the Dead: Solving the Problem of Abandoned 
Graveyards." Capital University Law Review 32:2 (2003): 479-498. 

Slater, James A. "Thoughts on Backdating of Early Gravestones." AGS Quarterly 
27:2 (2003): 9-11. 

Slater, James A. "The Tree Stone Carving of Charles Strong of Belvidere, 

Illinois, with a Discussion of Tree Stone Study." AGS Quarterly 28:3 
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Smith, Charles. "The Memorial Stone Tomorrow: A Personal View." Church 
Monuments (UK) 17 (2002): 114-117. 

Smith, Daniel Jordan. "Research Articles: Burials and Belonging in Nigeria: 
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Snell, K. D. M. "Gravestones, Belonging and Local Attachment in England 1700- 
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Steinbardt, Nancy Shatzman. "Structuring Architecture at the Cultural 

Crossroads: Architecture in Sogdian Funerary Art." Oriental Art 49:4 
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Strange, Julie-Marie. "Only a Pauper Whom Nobody Owns: Reassessing the 
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Taragan, Hana. "The Tomb of Sayyidna ' Ali in Arsdotuuf: the Story of a Holy 


Place." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 14:2 (2004): 83-102. 

Tarpy, Cliff. "Maya Royal Grave: Fit for a King." National Geographic 205:5 
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Tiller, K. "En-graving Chivalry: Tombs, Burials, and the Ideology of 

Knighthood in Malory's Tale of King Arthur." Arthuriana 14:2 (2004): 


Trebon, Theresa. "Thomas Hastie, Stone Carver [Whitbey Island, Washington]." 
AGS Quarterly 27:1 (2003): 8. 

Treib, Marc. "Modern Landscape Architecture: Monuments and Icons." Tlw 
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Trzcinski, Andrzej, and Marcin Wodzinski; trans. Gwido Zlatkes. "Some 

Remarks on Leszek Hondo's Study of the Old Jewish Cemetery in 
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Tzalas, H. E. "Fantastic Discoveries in Archaeology: The Case of the Tomb 
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Waterfield, A. "Lichens in the 'Magnificent Seven' Cemeteries: A Baseline 
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Watkins, Meredith. "Cemetery and Cultural Memory: Montreal, 1860-1900." 
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Weiss-Krejci, Estella. "Mortuary Representations of the Noble House." Journal 
of Social Archaeology 4:3 (2004): 369-404. 

Whittemore, Philip. "Monumental Brasses Formerly in the Church of St. 
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Whittemore, Philip. "Sir William Dugdale's 'Book of Draughts.'" Church 
Monuments (UK) 18 (2003): 23-52. 

Williams, Paul B. "Raising the Dead: The Use of Osteo- Archaeology to Establish 
Identity at the Little Dutch Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia." Material 
History Review [Canada] 57 (2003): 53-67. 

Wilson, Jean. "The Darling of the Gods: Monuments to Adolescents in Early 
Modern England." Church Monuments (UK) 18 (2003): 65-89. 

Wilson, Jean. "Dead Fruit: The Commemoration of Still-Born and Unbaptized 
Children in Early Modern England." Church Monuments (UK) 17 
(2002): 89-106. 


Yaimer, Keith M., and Steven J. Ybarrola. "'He didn't have no cross': Tombs 

and Graves as Racial Boundary Tactics on a Louisiana Barrier Island." 
Vie Oral Histonj Review 30:2 (2003): 1-28. 

Zadora-Rio, Elisabeth. "The Making of Churchyards and Parish Territories in 
the Early-Medieval Landscape of France and England in the 7th-12th 
Centuries: A Reconsideration." Medieval Archaeology 47 (2003): 1-19. 

Dissertations and Theses 

Adkins, LaTrese Evette. "'And Who Has the Body?': The Historical Significance 
of African American Funerary Display." Ph.D. dissertation, Michigan 
State University, 2003. 

Adler, Renate Karoline. "Graber im Wald: Lebensspuren auf dem jiidischen 
Friedhof in Miihringen; Dokumentation des Friedhofs, der iiber 
300 Jahre in Miihringen ansassigen jiidischen Gemeinde und des 
Rabbinats Miihringen." Ph.D. diss., Stuttgart, 2004. 

Bergeron, Paul. " Anthropologie des nouveaux rituels funeraires au Quebec. Le 
cas de la region de I'Outaouais." Ph.D. diss.. University of Montreal, 

Case, Daniel Troy. "Who's Related to Whom?: Skeletal Kinship Analysis in 

Medieval Danish Cemeteries." Ph.D. diss., Arizona State University, 

Dajao, Rori Christian Espina. "A Cemetery for the City of New York [Potters' 
Field design proposal]." M.Arch. thesis, Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology, 2004. 

Fields, Cheryl Lynne. "Cemetery Design: Transcenciing the Traditional." M.L.A. 
thesis. University of Guelph (Canada), 2003. 

Gagne, Richard H. "Cultural History Carved in Stone: The Colonial American 
Frontier Revealed in the Traditional Art of Gershom Bartlett's 
Gravestones." Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 2004. 

Gee, Regina Lynn. "The Vatican Necropolis: Ritual, Status, and Social Identity 
in the Roman Chamber Tomb." Ph.D. diss.. University of Texas at 
Austin, 2003. 

Goldberg, Idana. "Gender, Religion and the Jewish Public Sphere in Mid- 
Nineteenth Century America." Ph.D. diss.. University of Pennsylvania, 

Goodson, Caroline Jane. "The Basilicas of Pope Paschal I (817-824): Tradition 
and Transformation in Early Medieval Rome." Ph.D. diss., Columbia 
University, 2004. 

Houle, Marie-Josee Florence Chantale. "The Fishermen's Memorial and Tribute 
in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia: The Interface between Producers and 


Consumers of Cultural Heritage." M.A. thesis, Dalhousie University 
(Canada), 2003. 

Hunt, Katherine Anne. "'Beauty That Endures': Egyptian Revival in the 1920s." 
M.A. thesis. University of Delaware (Winterthur Program), 2003. 

Kahler, Gerald Edward. "Washington in Glory, America in Tears: The Nation 
Mourns the Death of George Washington, 1799-1800." Ph.D. diss.. The 
College of William and Mary, 2003. 

Madar, Heather Kathryn Suzanne. "History Made Visible: Visual Strategies 
in the Memorial Project of Maximilian 1 (Albrecht Duerer, Albrecht 
Altdorfer, Hans Burgkmair, Germany)." Ph.D. diss.. University of 
California, Berkeley, 2003. 

Matrix, Sidney Eve. "Cyberfigurations: Constructing Cyberculture and Virtual 
Subjects in Popular Media." Ph.D. diss.. University of Minnesota, 2003. 

Munk, Ana. "Pallid Corpses in Golden Coffins: Relics, Reliquaries, and the 
Art of Relic Cults in the Adriatic Rim (Italy, Croatia)." Ph.D. diss.. 
University of Washington, 2003. 

Oryshkevich, Irina Taissa. "The History of the Roman Catacombs from the 

Age of Constantine to the Renaissance (Italy)." Ph.D. diss., Columbia 
University, 2003. 

Overbey, Karen Eileen. "The Space of the Holy Body: Relics and Reliquaries in 
Medieval Ireland." Ph.D. diss.. New York University, 2003. 

Pulley, Catherine Ann. "Cemeteries of Nacogdoches County, Texas Since 1542." 
M.I.S. thesis, Stephen F. Austin State University, 2003. 

Sandover, Cherry E. "The Triumph of Fame over Death: The Commemorative 
Funerary Monument of the Artist in 19th Century Britain as Signifier 
of Identity." Ph.D. diss.. University of Essex (UK), 2004. 

Sherrod, S. Marc. "That Great and Awful Change: Death and Protestant 

Practical Theology in the American Northeast, 1700-1900." Th.D. diss.. 
Harvard University, 2004. 

Stewart, David James. "'Rocks and Storms I'll Fear No More': Anglo-American 
Maritime Memorialization, 1700-1940." Ph.D. diss., Texas A&M 
University, 2004. 

Toland, Lisa Marie. "Resurrecting the Dead: The Language of Grief in a Seven- 
teenth century English Family." M.A. thesis, Miami University, 2003. 

Wicker, Stacey. "Voices from Beyond: Culture and Society as Reflected in Cath- 
olic and Protestant Gravemakers of Indiana County, Pennsylvania." 
M.A. thesis, Indiana University of Pennsylvarua, 2003. 

Wolfenden, Leslie Karen. "Austin's Cemeteries: State of Preservation and Their 
Futures." M.S. thesis. University of Texas at Austin, 2003. 


Zielenski, John W. "Shaping a Soul of Stone: The Soul Effigy Gravestones 
of Uzal Ward, William Grant, and the Anonymous Pear Head 
Carvers of Eighteenth-Century New Jersey — A Stylistic Study and 
Comprehensive Survey." M.A. thesis, Montclair State University, 2004. 

Zieser, Michael Steven. "Walking with Ghosts and Talking with Gods: A 

Study of Folk Religion in Taiwan (China)." M.A. thesis. University of 
Missouri, Kansas City, 2003. 

Video Tape, DVD, CD, etc. 

Baumel, Ellin, Robert Pulcini, et al. Tlie Young and the Dead [Hollywood 

Memorial Cemetery becomes Hollywood Forever]. New York: HBO 
Home Video [distributor], 2003, 2000. DVD. 90 min. 

Berge, Greg, Craig Burford, et al. Landscapes of Honor and Sacrifice: Tlie History 
of the National Cemeteries. [Washington, D.C.]: National Cemetery 
Administration, 2003. VHS tape. 30 min. 

Chiu, Ling. From Harling Point [Victoria BC's Chinese Cemetery: From Neglect 
to National Heritage Site]. New York, NY: Third World Newsreel, 
2003. VHS tape. 40 min. 

Gross, Ginny, and Debra Daubert. Stories about Riverside Cemetery. [Oshkosh, 

WI]: Oshkosh Community Access Television, 2003. VHS tape. 60 min. 

Hutcherson, Carl B., Jr. All Gone Home: Black History in the Old City Cemetery. 
Lynchburg, VA: Little Pond Productions, 2004. VHS tape. 18 min. 

London, UK (Bunhill Fields Cemetery); 24: Edinburgh (A Tour); 25: Dublin, 
Ireland (Glasnevin Cemetery); 26: Halifax, Canada (Fairview 
Cemetery). Carson City, NV: R.I.P Productions, Inc. [distributed by 
Filmwest Associates], 2002. VHS tapes. 

McCane, Byron R. Roll Back the Stone: Death and Burial in the World of Jesus [book 
on tape]. Princeton, NJ: Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, 2003. CD. 

Potts, Ian, and Julian Richards. Slave Island: New York's Hidden History [18""- 
century slave cemetery in Manhattan]. Princeton, NJ: Films for the 
Humanities & Sciences, BBC Learning, 2004. DVD. 49 min. 

Sawatzki, Jim. Here Lies Colorado Springs. Palmer Lake, CO: Palmer Divide 
Productions, 2002. VHS tape. 

Trapp, C. Michael. Out of The Dust: Stories from the Nauvoo Cemetery. Hurricane, 
UT: The Studio, 2002. Compact disc. 



Gary CoUison, professor of American studies and English at Perm 
State York, has given numerous presentations on gravemarkers at annual 
meetings of the American Culture Association and the Association for 
Gravestone Studies and is founder and chair of the Death in American 
Culture Section of the Mid- Atlantic Popular/ American Culture 
Association. Editor of Markers since 2003, he is researching Pennsylvania 
German gravemarkers and historic cemeteries. 

June Hadden Hobbs, professor of English at Gardner-Webb 
University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, teaches American 
literature, classical rhetoric, and composition. Her book, "/ Sing for I 
Cannot Be Silent": The Feminization of American Hi/nnwdy, 1870-1920, was 
published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 1997. While finishing 
the book, her interest in gravestones became a passion v^^hen she realized 
that many American epitaphs are quotations from hymn texts. She has 
published several articles on gravestones, including one in Markers XX, 
and has begun a preservation project in the Boiling Springs Baptist 
Church Cemetery, conveniently located across the street from her 
university. Her first home was Kenton, Oklahoma. 

Timothy J. Kloberdanz, associate professor of anthropology 
at North Dakota State University (Fargo) and author of more than 
a hundred articles and co-author of two books, has been studying 
wrought-iron crosses and related cemetery folk art for nearly thirty 
years. He narrated and wrote the script for the award-winning public 
television documentary, Prairie Crosses, Prairie Voices: Iron Crosses of the 
Great Plains (2002). 

Vincent F. Luti, professor emeritus of music at the University of 
Massachusetts, Dartmouth, is the 1997 recipient of the Association for 
Gravestone Studies' Harriette M. Forbes Award for excellence in grave- 
stone studies. He has been studying the carvers of the Narragansett 
Basin for more than thirty years and has published articles on carvers 
in Markers II, Markers XVI, Markers XVII (with James Blanchowicz), and 
Markers XX. His Mallet and Chisel: Gravestone Carvers of Newport, Rhode 
Island, in the Eighteenth Century was published in 2002. 


Robert Godfrey Pierce (1926-2003) took countless thousands of 
photographs in thousands of cemeteries, churchyards, burial grounds, 
and other burial sites across the United States and around the world over 
the course of twenty-five years. Through the generous gift of his sister, 
Ree Miller, all of Bob's photographs have now been added to the AGS 
archives. A member of AGS since 1983, Bob wrote the AGS Quarterly 
column on Southwest cemeteries and gravemarkers from 1992 to 1996. 

James Silas Rogers is an essayist and poet in St. Paul, Minnesota, 
where he is managing editor of the Irish studies journal Nezv Hibernia 
Review. A scholar of Irish American literature, Rogers has also published 
articles on the literary journalist Joseph Mitchell. The essay presented 
here (which he read at the AGS 2003 meeting) is taken from his current 
project, a collection of linked writings involving cemeteries. 

Sally Ross, a translator and historian specializing in Acadian culture, 
is co-author of The Acadians of Novn Scotia and author of Les ecoles 
acadiennes en Nouvelle-Ecosse, a history of Acadian schools in Nova 

Deborah Trask, a long-time AGS member and the recipient of the 
AGS 1993 Forbes Award, is curator emeritus of the Nova Scotia Museum 
and chair of the 2005 AGS Conference in Halifax. 



Abel, Preserved 1 3 1 

Abelard 100 

Acadians vi-29 

Acadie 1 

Affirmed (horse) 79 

Alaska Gold Rush 97 

Alberta 161 

Alexander I 74 

Alexander the Great 72, 92 

All Pets Memorial Garden 96 

Allen, Gabriel 113, 150-151 

Allen, George 108-151 

Allen, George Jr. 130, 151 

Allen, Sarah (Spring) 112-113 

Alsace 161 

Alydar (horse) 79, 82, 88 

Amarillo, Texas 54 

American Bad Girl (horse) 98 

American Folk Art Museum, N.Y.C. 140-142 

Ami (horse) 74 

Amirault, Adrien C. 22, 24 

Angel, John Anthony 130 

Anglo-Saxon 73 

Antigonish County, NS 5, 33 

Antram, Sarah 139, 143 

Arcaro, Eddie 78 

Arichat,NS 15 

Aries, Philippe 54 

Armed (horse) 88 

Arnold, Amaziah 149 

Ashwell, Mary 112 

Asia 73 

Attleboro, MA 110, 112, 117, 147 

Aucoin, Luce 9, 14 

Aucoin, Pierre (Peter O' Quin) 6, 8 

Aucoin, Severin 9, 14 

Barney, Alice 149 
Bamum, P.T. 40 
Barrus, Elijah 120 
Battle ofSan Juan Hill 92 
Bay of Fundy 1 , 4 
Beaubassin, NS 1 

Belanger,A. 22,24 

Belle, Bonnie 54 

Belliveau, Placide 28-29 

Belmont Park, NY 75 

Belmont Stakes 75, 83 

Beowulf ITi 

Bewitch (horse) 88 

Biblical scenes 109 

Bishup, Dorothy 120 

Blackmore, Professor A. Carlyle 40 

Black Mesa 35, 53, 59-60 

Black Mesa Bed and Breakfast 48 

Black Nell (horse) 92 

Black Sea Gennans 1 6 1 

Black Toney (horse) 76 

Bliss, Jonathan 1 5 1 

Bliss, Mary 149 

Boise City, OK 35,40,41 

Boise City News 60 

Bokonyi, Sandor 72 

Boorstin, Daniel J. 43, 57 

Boston, MA 1,41. 109, 113, 114, 117, 125- 

126, 130 
Bosworth, Elizabeth 139 
Bosworth, Nathaniel 149 
Boudreau, Charles M. 23 
Bourbon County, KY 75 
Bowen, Christopher 126 
Bowen, Jabez 108-109, 132 
Bowen, Mary 138 
Bradford, Perez 139, 143 
Bramalea (horse) 86 
Branson, MO 92 
Bristol, RI 135, 139, 151 
Bristol County, Rl 1 1 3 
British colonies 2 
British Parliament 74 
Brown, Sarah 138 
Bucephalas (horse) 72 
Bucklen, Eles 124 
Bucklen, Joseph 126 
Bucklen, Martha 126, 127 
Bucklin, Martha 125, 126, 127 


Bucklin, Nehemiah 149,151 

Buckskin Joe (horse) 92 

Buddhism 73 

Bullock, Israel 139, 145 

Bull Lea (horse) 78, 79, 81, 88, 91 

Burleigh County, ND 166 

Buttes-Amirault, NS 22 

CaHfomia 74,92 

Calumet Farm 78-83, 86, 88, 100-101 

Cambridgeshire, UK 74 

Canada 161, 166 

Cape Breton Island 2, 6-7, 15 

Carpenter, Abiah 124 

Carpenter, Cornelius 124,125 

Carpenter, Jedediah 133 

Carpenter, Keziah 120 

Carpenter, Mehetabel 125, 126, 128-130 

Carpenter, William 126,131 

Carter, Joseph 72 

Catholic Church 5 

cattle brands 37, 54-58 

Chadwick, Michael 130 

Chaffee, Hephzibah 134 

Chaffee, Noah 120, 122 

Chaffee, Patience 133 

Champlain, Samuel de 1 

Charmel Islands, GB 15 

Chelsea, VT 96 

Cheticamp, NS 6,21 

Chezzetcook, NS 22 

Chiasson, Father Anselme 6,21 

Chiasson, Thomas 9, 13 

Chicago, IL 43, 96 

Chief (horse) 92 

Chief's Crown (horse) 88-89 

Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, MA 139 

China 72 

Church, Israel 1 24 

Cigar (horse) 83 

Cimarron County, OK 35,38,40-41 

Cimarron News 40 

Cimarron Valley Band 41 

Citation (horse) 78, 88, 90 

Civil War 36,41,43,97 

Claiborne Farm 76 

Clare, NS 19 

Clayton, NM 40-41 

Cob (horse) 74 

Cobequid,NS 1 

Cody, Buffalo Bill 92 

Coe gang 36-37 

Collins, Uncle Dave 41 

Colma, CA 97 

Colorado 35-36, 53, 60 

Comer, John 125 

Congres mondial acadien (2004) 7 

Connecticut 109-110 

Copenhagen (horse) 74 

Cork, IRE 184 

County Galway, IRE 182, 184, 187 

County Mayo, IRE 182 

Coy, William 147, 151 

Crawford, S. D. 41 

Cumberland, RI 5, 147 

Cumberland County, NS 5, 33 

Custer, General George Armstrong 98 

Custer's Last Stand 98 

Cj^rus 72 

D'Escousse, NS 15 

De Monts, Pierre Dugua 1 

DeVillers, Andre 22, 26 

Dakotas 161 

Dakota Terri tory 161 

Dalhart Army Air Base, TX 35 

Darby Dan Farm 76, 86 

Day, Rachel 131 

Deportation (Acadians) vi, 2, 4-6 

Dewire, James 1 87 

Digby County, NS 5-6, 15, 29, 32-33 

Dolly (horse) 96 

Domino (horse) 85 

Don (horse) 92, 97 

Dorchester, MA 1 1 7 

Doucait, Catherine Rains (Ryan) 9, 1 1 

Doucait, Patriqe (Patrice) 9 

Doucet, Scholastique 21-22 

Doucet, Simon 21-22 

Doucette, Dominique 9-10 

Drew, Fairchild Bamum 40 

Dry Cimarron Valley 35, 57, 59, 60 


Dugas, Joseph 19 

Dunlap, Ray H. 60-61 

Dust Bowl 47 

Duval, Francis Y. 140,141.142 

Early Bronze Age 73 

Easter Pageant 58 

East Anglia, UK 73 

East Burial Ground, Bristol, Rl 146 

East Margaree, NS 7 

East Providence 112-114,124, 125-126, 131, 

133 135, 138-139, 147, 149, 150-151 
Edison Phonograph Company 40 
Egypt 72 

Elmendorf Farm 88 
Emmes, Nathaniel 130,131 
Emmons County, ND 1 66 
England 1,74, 100 
English 74 
Ethiopians 72 
Europe 73 
Evangeline (Longfellow) 2, 22 

Fahey, Kate 182 

Fairbank, Hannah 132 

Fairchild Bamum Drew 40 

Fair Play (horse) 76,88 

Faraway Farm 83 

Faust, Drew Gilpin 94 

Fayette County, KY 75 

Fearon, E. 15 

Ferdinand (horse) 75 

Figure (horse) 96 

First Congregational Cemetery, Wrentham, 

MA 145 
Fitzgerald, F. Scott 182 
Fitzgerald, Shawne 183 
Five Minutes to Midnight (horse) 92 
Flint (horse) 96 
Flora (horse) 74 
Florida 74 
Fonda, Jane 7 1 
Forbes, Harriette M. 119 
Forest, Bregitte (LeBlanc) 15,17 
Forest, Remi 1 5 
Fort Lyon 36 

Fort Riley Cavalry Museum 92 

France 1-2, 15, 29 

Francis, Dick 79 

Franquelin, Jean-Baptiste-Louis 2-3 

fraternal symbols 37 

Freeman, Bud 41 

Freeman, Joseph 120 

Freeman, Rachel 124, 125, 130, 133 

French, Abigail 133 

French, Lloyd George (Beerly) 48-49 

French colonization 1,7 

French Regime 2 

Front Royal, VA 92 

Ft. Riley, KS 97 

Fuller, Susannah 149 

Gabel, Laurel 45 

Geist, Troyd A. 174 

Georgia 2 

Geraghty, Kevin 183 

Germany 161 

German-Russians 161-162, 166, 174 

Giles, Edgar 48, 50 

Girl on a Pony (Manners) 50, 52 

Give Me Strength (horse) 86 

Gladding, John 112 

Godolphin Arabian (horse) 74 

Goff Samuel 147 

Graceland 76 

Grand Pre, NS 1-2 

Graustark (horse) 76 

Graven Images ( Ludwig ) 1 1 9 

Great Britain 1 

Great Plains 166 

Greece 72 

"Green Country" 35 

Grey, Zane 53-54 

Greyhound (horse) 92 

Groton, CT 151 

Guymon, OK 40, 45, 54 

Guysborough County, NS 5, 33 

Hadden, J. W. 59-60 
Madden, Robert 59-60 
Mague. ND 160-179 
Mail-to-Reason (horse) 86 


Halifax, NS 1,5, 15,22,29 

Halifax County 5, 32 

Hall of Champions 83 

Hamburg Place 75 

Hanners, LaVeme 50, 52-53 

HartlandStud 75 

Hartshorn, Stephen 147, 151 

Heloise 100 

Heppard, Bonnie Belle 54, 56 

Heppard, Junior Judson 54, 56 

Hickok, James Butler ("Wild Bill") 92 

Highland Cemetery 182-188 

Hilda (horse) 85-86 

Hill, Eunice 149 

Hill, Father Thomas 182-183 

Hill Gail (horse) 78 

Hill "n" Dale Farm 76 

Hira Villa farni 75, 85 

His Majesty (horse) 76 

Horse Memorial Park 96 

Horton, Thomas 124 

Huguenots 15 

Hunt, John 139,144 

Hunt, Lt. John 131, 139, 140 

Hutchinson, KS 41 

Hyland family 1 83 

hymns 37 

Ide, Josiah 130, 132 

Ide, Timothy 149 

Imperator (horse) 85 

Inca Chief (horse) 86 

Independence Day 48 

India 72 

Inspiration Point 97 

Inver Grove Heights, MN 1 85 

Inverness County, NS 5, 7, 15, 33 

Ireland 15, 182, 184 

Irish 15, 184 

Iron Age 73 

Iron Liege (horse) 78 

Isle Royale (Cape Breton Island) 2 

Isle Saint Jean (Prince Edward Island) 2 

Italy 72 

Jackson, General Thomas J. ("Stonewall") 94 

Japan 75 

Jeff (horse) 92 

Jefferson, Thomas 1 87 

Jockey Club 86 

Junior Judson Heppard 54 

Justin Morgan (horse, a.k.a. Figure) 96 

Kansas 36,97, 161 

Kansas City Star 45, 47 

Katonka (horse) 86-87 

Keller, Francis 166 

Keller, Paul 162-166 

Kent, Joseph 135, 137 

Kenton, OK 34-65 

Kenton Cemetery 34, 36, 40-41 

Kenton Cemetery Association 41 

Kentucky 74-75 

Kentucky Derby 75-76, 78-79, 83 

Kentucky Horse Park 83, 85, 100 

Kidron (horse) 92 

Kimon 72 

Kirk Cemetery, Attleboro, MA 148 

L' Amour, Louis 53 
La Fontaine, Jean de 100 
Ladies of the Golden North 97 
Lairey, Father (Lairez) 15-16 
Lake, Joseph 151 
Late Bronze Age 72 
Late Roman Iron Age 73 
Lavache, Abraham 15, 18 
Lawton, Sarah 135, 137 
Lay ton, John Everett 57 
LeBlanc, Marie (Ryan) 9, 12 
LeBlanc, P.J. 9, 12 
Ledyard, Gurdon 1 5 1 
Lee, Robert E. 93 
Lee Chapel 93 
LeLievre, Jean 6 
Lexington (horse) 75 
Lexington, KY 75-91 
Lexington, VA 93-95 
Like, Chester 54-55, 65 
Like, Jane 54-55,65 

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument 


Little Sorrel (horse) 94-95 

Little Texas (horse) 92 

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth 2, 22 

Los Animas, CO 36 

Louisbourg, NS 2 

Louisdale, NS 22 

Ludwig, Alan 119 

Lynch, Margaret 43-44 

Lynch, Molly 184 

Mack (horse) 70,94 
Maillard, Father Pierre 2 
Maine 1 

Major (horse) 102 
Malbome, Rufus 96 
Manitoba 161 

Man and the Natural World: A History^ of Mod- 
ern Sensibilit}' 73 
Man o' War (horse) 83-84, 100 
Maranda, Father 15-16 
Marathon 72 

Marchand, Kelvin Joseph 25 
Maritime Provinces 4-5 
Marselus, Edward M. 45-47 
Marshall, William R. 92-93 
Martin, Rebekah 133 
Mason, Benjamin 151 
Mason, Daniel 147 
Massachusetts 2 
Massachusetts Bay Colony 109 
McClain, Harold M. 48-49 
McCool, Harry 41-42 
Mcintosh County, ND 166 
McMuiTay, PA 98 
McNeil, Murdoch 9 
Mellon, Paul 97 
Memorial Day 41 
metal crosses 22 
Mexican 37 
Meyer, Richard E. 48 
Mi'kmaq 2 
Middleburg, VA 97 
Midnight (horse) 92 
Midwest 43 
Minneapolis, MN 183 
Missouri River 166 

Moliere 100 
Montana 97, 161 
Montmagny, QUE 22,24 
Morgan horses 96 
Morgan Horse Club, Inc 96 
Morton County, ND 166 
Mount Brilliant Farm 75, 85 
Mozart Concert Company 40 

Nantura Farm 75 

Narragansett Basin carvers 1 09- 1 1 

Nashua (horse) 86, 88 

National Cowboy Hall of Fame 92, 100 

National Register 1 74 

National Sporting Library 97 

New, John 147, 149, 151 

New Brunswick 1 , 4 

New England 1-2,4 

Newell Cemetery, South Attleboro, MA 112, 

116, 117, 118, 120, 125, 128, 129, 135, 143 
Newman Cemetery, East Providence, RI 108, 

112-113, 115, 124, 126-127, 134, 137, 138, 

140, 144-145, 147, 148, 150 
Newport, RI 109. 114, 117, 125, 126. 130 
Newport carvers 119, 130 
New Brunswick 1 , 4 
New England 1,15 
New Mexico 35, 48, 53 
New Russia 161 
Nicholas 74 

Nicholson, Francis 139,145 
Niven, Laird 6 
Nodouble (horse) 88 
Normandy Fann 76 
Northeast 43 

Northern Great Plains 161. 166 
North Burial Ground. Providence. RI 136, 143 
Notre-Dame-de-FAssomption 15 
Nova Scotia vi-33 
Nutting, Jonathan 114-115,130 

O' Donoghue, William B. 1 82- 1 83 
O' Mara, Den-not 184-189 
O' Quin, Peter (Pierre Aucoin) 6, 8 
Odd Fellows, International Order of 45 
Odessa, Russia 162 


Okeechobee, FL 96 
Oklahoma City, OK 35, 92 
Oklahoma State University 47 
Oklahoma Territory 36-37, 60 
Old St. Mary Cemetery 160-179 
Old Testament 92 
Oyster Bay, NY 92 

Palmer River Cemetery, Rehoboth, MA 149 

Paris 100 

Patience Chaffee 133 

Patton, General George 92 

Peaceful Pastures Pet Cemetery 98 

Pearse, Jonathan 125 

Pearse, Renew 124 

Peck, Capt. Samuel 139, 141, 142 

Peck, Sarah 120 

Peck, Thomas 1 5 1 

Peck Cemetery, Rehoboth, MA 141,142 

Pennsylvania State University (York Campus) 

Pensive (horse) 78 
Pere-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris 100 
Perin,John 114-115 
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of 

Animals) 101 
Peter (apostle) 58 

Pets Rest Cemetery and Crematory 97 
Phillips & McQueen 15, 18 
Pisiquid, NS 1 
Pittsburgh, PA 98, 101 
Plainfield, CT 133 
Plessis, Bishop Joseph-Octave 15 
Pliocene Age 60 
Plymouth, MA 151 
Pointe-de-l'Eglise, NS 15 
Ponder (horse) 78 
Porter, Gene Stratton 53 
Port Royal 1 -3 
Potier, Ambroise 19-20 
Potier, Dominique 1 9 
Preakness 75 
Presley, Elvis 76 
Prince Edward Island 1-2, 4, 15 
Providence, Rl 112-1 13, 117, 120, 130, 135, 

138, 139, 147, 149, 151 

Pubnico-Ouest, NS 22 
Putnam, CT 96 

Quebec 4, 15,29 
Quinan, NS 21 

Rambling Willie (horse) 85 

Read, Anne 147-149 

Read, Nathaniel 114, 117 

Rehoboth, MA 1 10, 112-113, 1 17, 120, 124, 

125, 133, 139, 147, 149, 151 
Rescue Fire Company 94 
Revolutionai7 War 112 
Reynolds, Joseph 139,146 
Rhode Island 109 
Ribot (horse) 76 
Richardson, Billy 60,63 
Richardson, Thelma 60, 63 
Richmond County,NS 5,15,33 
Riders of the Purple Sage 54 
Rigby, IvanB. 140, 141, 142 
Robber's Roost 36 
Roberto (horse) 86 
Roberts, Evelyn 63 
Roberts, Monty Joe 48, 58 
Roberts, Vicki 48, 58 
Roberts, William Maurice "Monty" 58 
Rocky Mountains 40 
Rock Island Railroad 43 
Roco Point, NS 6 
Rodney, (horse) 85-86 
Rogers, Roy 92 
Roman Catholic 161 
Roosevelt, Theodore 92 
Roselawn Cemetery 93 
Rosemount, MN 1 82 
Roseville, MN 93 
Rossen, Kevin J. 50-51 
Roy Roger's museum 92 
Ruffian (horse) 75 
Rumford, East Providence, RI 110 
Russia 72,74, 161 

Sainte-Agnes Cemetei^ 2 1 
Sainte-Anne-du-Ruisseau, NS 6, 19 
Sainte-Marie graveyard 15 


Saint Francis Pet Crematory 96 

Sandeen, Ernest 58 

Santa Fe Trail 35,47 

Saskatchewan 161 

Scandinavia 72, 73 

Schaffer, Canzetta 54-55 

Schaffer, Carl 54-55 

Scheer, Rose 166 

Schmidt, Michael 162,166-167 

Schneider, Deport 162,166-171,179 

Schneider, Jacob 166,176 

Schneider, Jake 166 

Schneider, Rose 166 

SCI (Service Corporation International) 65 

Scottish settlers 7, 15 

Scythians 72 

Seabiscuit (horse) 76 

Sears, Roebuck, and Company 41, 43, 182 

Seattle Slew (horse) 76-77, 83 

Secretariat (horse) 75 

Seekonk tidal river 112 

Seventh Cavalry 98-99 

Shang Dynasty 72 

Sherbum, Great Britain 1 1 3 

Shorey, John 120, 122 

Siberia 72 

Sigogne, Father Jean-Mande 1 9 

Sioux County 1 66 

Sioux Indians 166 

Sketches of Pawtiicket 1 1 2 

Smith, Daniel 147 

Smith, Solomon 112, 114, 133 

Smithsonian Museum 75 

Snider, Louis 166 

Society (later Royal Society) for the Prevention 

of Cruelty to Animals 74 
South Attleboro, MA 110, 112, 114, 120, 124- 

126, 130-131, 133, 139 
Spanish American War 41 
Spendthrift Farm 76 
Spring, Ephraim 112 
Spring, Sarah 112,113 
Spring, Thomas 112 
St.-Joseph-du-Moine, NS 7 
St. Anselme Cemetery 22 
St. Bernard graveyard 29 

St. Croix Island 1 

St. Joseph parish, NS 7 

St. Joseph's Cemetery 9 

St. Mary Cemetery 160-179 

St. Paul. MN 183 

St. Michel parish, NS 7 

St. Pierre Cemetery 22 

St. Pierre parish 6 

Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation 166 

Steams, Mary 133 

Stevens, Adolph 62, 64 

Stevens, Francis 132 

Stevens, Hannah 131 

Stevens, John 109-110,114,117,126 

Stevens, John II 110, 114, 119 

Stevens, John III 109 

Stevens, Philip 126 

Stevens, William 114, 117, 119 

Stevensshop 109-110,119-123,125 

Storm Cat (horse) 86 

Stovall, J. Willis 60 

Strolling Jim (horse) 92 

Surette, Evangeline 22, 27 

Sutton Hoo 73 

Swansea, MA 124, 125 

Swan Point Cemetery 138 

Sweet, Thomas 147, 148 

"They Shoot Horses, Don 't They? " 71 

Talakeno (horse) 86 

Taunton, MA 1 1 3 

Tennessee Walking Horse 92 

Ten Broeck (horse) 75 

Texas 35, 161 

Texhoma, OK 43 

The Meadows 98, 100-101 

Thomas, Keith 73 

Thoreau, Henry 73 

Thornton, Solomon 135, 136 

Three Chimneys Farm 88 

Throop, Mary 135 

Throop, William 1 5 1 

Tillinghast, James 135,136 

Tim Tam (horse) 78 

Tingley, Esther 116-117 

Tingley, Thomas 117-118 


Tingley, Samuel 1 1 9 

Tompkins, Jane 54 

Trask, Deborah 5 

Traveller (horse) 93, 100 

Treaty of Utrecht 1 

Trigger (horse) 92 

Trinidad, CO 41 

Triple Crown 75-76, 78-79 

Trot the Air (horse) 98 

Tsarskoe Selo (Royal Village) 74 

Tulsa, OK 35 

Turks 72 

Tusket 22 

Twin Oaks Pet Cemetery and Crematorium 96 

U.S. Army cavalry 92 

U.S. Cavalry Museum 97 

Ukraine 161-162 

Union County, NM 50 

United Daughters of the Confederacy 93-94 

University of Arkansas 50 

University of Oklahoma 60 

Vermont 96 
Vermont marble 43 
Victoria, Queen 74 
Vikings 72-73 
Virginia 92 

Virginia Historical Society 97 
Virginia Military Institute 94 
Virginian, The (Wister) 58 

Weld, Thomas 134-135 

Wellington, Duke of 74 

Western Europe 73 

West of Eveiything (Tompkins) 54 

Wheeler, Phillip 149 

Whirlaway (horse) 78 

White, Reverend Ebenezer 130-131 

White Pass and Yukon Route, AK 97 

Wiggins, James Albert "Jim" 57 

Wild West Weekly 53 

Wilson's Wild West Shows 53 

Windsor Castle 74 

Wister, Owen 53,58,62 

wooden markers 5,21-23 

Woodford County, KY 75 

Woodmen of the World 40 

World War 11 35 

WPA 60 

Wrentham, MA 139, 147, 151 

Wright, Dannie W. 60, 64 

wrought iron cross 22 

Wynnewood, OK 47 

Wynnewood, PA 47 

Yamiouth, NS 6 

Yarmouth County, NS 5-6, 19, 22, 32 

York, PA 94 

York Fire Museum 94 

Walden (Thoreau) 73 

Walker, Caleb 150 

Walker, Louise 59 

Walker, Sarah 151 

Wall Street Journal 94 

Wandlebury, UK 74 

Wartrace, TN 92 

War Admiral (horse) 83 

Washington, DC 75 

Washington and Lee University 93 

Waterloo 74 

Wedgeport, NS 22 

Wednesday Club 40 

Weld, Mary 120, 133 

oii?L on 
.. ^ fl ponr 


\'m 1998 













Acadian Cemeteries in Nova Scotia: 
A Survey 

hy Sally Ross, photos by Deborah Trask 

The Cowboy Cemetery of 
Kenton, Oklahoma 

by June Hadden Hobbs 

Remembering Man's Other Best Friend: 
U.S. Horse Graves and Memorials in 
Historical Perspective 

by Gary Collison 

Eighteenth-Century Gravestone 
Carvers of the Upper Narragansett Basin: 
George Allen 

by Vincent F. Luti 

''Unser Lieber Gottesacker'" (Our Dear 
God's Acre): An Iron-Cross Cemetery 
on the Northern Great Plains 

by Timothy J. Kloberdanz, photos by 
Bob Pierce 


by James Silas Rogers 

The Year's Work in Cemetery and 
Gravemarker Studies: An International 

Compiled by Gary Collison