09 February 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Curtice Cemetery

Yet another of the many county cemeteries I have not visited. But I will. The reason? One day, several years ago, when reviewing these pictures, my co worker called to me to ask if I was related to a "C J Cross'. After repeating the name to myself several times, I had a "Well, Duh!" moment. My father's grandfather! While we knew him as Jesse, his real name was Calvin Jesse. And there was his stone.Great Grandpa Jesse's stone was remarkable to me when I first saw the picture. It was a cement stone, painted silver, with the lettering looking as though someone had carved in the damp cement with a nail. And that may have been the case. However looking through our file pictures from the cemetery, I discovered several other stones about the same general shape as his, but with molded lettering. See below.
Jesse's stone is in the background here, on the left next to the earn. The central stone with the name Thomas is also cement, and also painted silver. It is placed between two granite stones that look much newer. The carving of the granite stones is hard to see in this picture, but when I look at a enlarged version there are deeply carved flowers outlined around the border. The remind me of the early to mid 20th century stones of other family members. The center stone, shaped similarly to Great Gramps, has clearly molded letters and decoration in the center. You can also see the lines of the mold along the edges.
Here below is another stone that, when closely studied, also appears to be of cement. Again a finer molding of the design on front--sort of a double heart inscribed Rest in Peace. The name on the top is difficult to make out even in the enlarged version.
The stone below in contrast looks quite modern. The person it remembers however is one of the earlier burials, dying in 1914. In perusing the transcript we have of Curtice Cemetery, only a handful died earlier.
Most of the names in the transcript show death dates from the early 1920's on into the 1960's, with a few beyond.
Even this large stone in front, for the David family appears with close scrutiny to be made of cement. As with the others, a closeup view shows the wear and pebbles poking to the service. The large stone near the shrub is too dark to tell the material it is made from.
This pictures shows the back of the above scene and the other side of the bordered plot.
The presence of these cement stones causes me to wonder if other cemeteries have this much cement work as well? Did I simply realize it because of Great Grandpa Jesse's stone? Have I overlooked them in other cemeteries?
Or was this a factor of the geographic location? Northern Newaygo county has gravel and marl that were used in the production of cement. Was there a local craftsman or business who specialized in grave markers using local materials?
Definitely worth pondering as well as researching.

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