05 January 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Community Cemetery (AKA Big Prairie-Everett)

The rustic sign over the entrance is a signal that this is a rural cemetery. There are at least 3 little buildings in this cemetery. Two are plain jane white clapboard structures, quite small. The third is this substantial stone building.
The date of 1936 makes me wonder if it was a work project during the depression. The fact that it and the others have no windows brought up the fact that in this northern climate the ground is frozen for most of the winter. Most if not all of the area cemeteries have a "No digging" policy during the winter months. Some cemeteries do not dig graves after December 1, others play it by ear. During mild winters, graves can be dug longer, but there almost always comes a time when the bodies are stored at the cemetery for spring burials. That was the case for my father who died on December 26, as well as my mother-in-law who died in January with sub-zero temperatures. Very likely at least one of these buildings are not caretaker sheds but storage facilities used during the winter.
Above is a beautifully carved stone for Lulu Utley. The date is very difficult to read, but appears to be September 1880. The scroll work around the sides and the floral details and arch at top makes me suspect her family was a fairly well to do one.

Below, the stone for Felix Matthews is a plain rectangle, as opposed to the shaping of the above stone. The weeping willow is featured on his stone. His death in 1860 came at the age of 20. I am intrigued by the jagged line across the bottom, over his age. I am undecided from the picture if this was broken, or perhaps buried to that level at one time, The bottom has a cleaner look, bu is less covered with lichens, and better preserved.
Next is the rather unusual stone of Wesley Hawley. On the front, above his name are 5 circles with different engravings. The middle one has the initial H, the others are harder to decipher. I am not sure if they are organization symbols or not. He died around age 42, in 1905 so he certainly could have been a member of one or more society.
These last two pictures are a more over all view of the cemetery. The broken drapery covered marble stone in the foreground leans against its base. But in the background are many of the older, tall stones as well as lower, more modern granite stones.

Again in this last view, you can see how large the cemetery is. You can see the cemetery is still in current use, with a modern granite stone, as well as a wood and metal one near the front.

1 comment:

  1. Is this in Washington state? I love the old artistry, fonts & inscriptions on the old stones.


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