Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tombstone Territory

Courtesy of Lighthouse Digest
Over my years of collecting information and minutia about lighthouses, I've discovered a number of gravestones with lighthouses on them. The salvation symbolism of a lighthouse, plus its enduring meaning as a refuge from storms and woes and an icon to show the way, make it appealing to families as they decide on a monument for the hereafter. Another reason we see so many lighthouses on gravestones is that people just plain love them.

This is the grave of lightkeeper Abbie Burgess Grant in Spruce Head Cemetery, Maine. The photo was taken when the small lighthouse was placed on her grave in the 1940s. That's Edward Rowe Snow on the right and Wilford Snow on the left. This image is from Jeremy D'Entremont's website about New England lighthouses.

Quite a few of my cemetery images are old slides, so I cannot share them until they are converted to digital files. Having a digital camera and a cell phone is terrific for cemetery sleuthing, as I have the images instantaneously and can share them right away. 

I love walking through cemeteries--I always have--as the serenity, quiet, and storied stone monuments have great stories to tell.

Enjoy this sampling from my files. Many are my photos, and in the very polished stones you can often see my reflection as I snapped the photo. A few are from monument companies or other photographers. Study them, and note the details. They were all lovingly designed.

And please be respectful of these stones and their owners, as you would be if you were walking through a cemetery. I said a quiet thank-you to each one as I took a photo.

Cemetery in Brooklyn, Connecticut

Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida

Bozrah, Connecticut

Photo by Lisa Pisa. 

This image was on Pinterest, with no info attached. It's quite the monument!

Octave Ponsart was a lightkeeper from New England. His daughter Seamond is a digital friend of mine, meaning we communicate on FB and email often but have never met. Someday, Seamond!! You're a true lighthouse kid. Note the service badge on the keeper's grave. It's part of a program to honor lightkeepers. You can learn how to help with that by emailing tim@lhdigest.com. Photo by Scott Coup.

Brooklyn, Connecticut.

Burwen cemetery in the United Kingdom, from Wikimedia Commons

This lighthouse mausoleum is in Memorial Park Cemetery in Michigan. I found it on a way-making website. Apparently, it is a geocaching spot. Neat!

I found this stone in cemetery in Lewes, Delaware. It has the shape of a lighthouse, but it may be a cross.

Barrow Cemetery in the UK has this monument to John Gall, one of the rescued crew of the wrecked ship Forfarshire. If you recall your lighthouse history, Grace Darling helped with this rescue. She was the daughter of the lightkeeper of Longstone Lighthouse. This monument does resemble that lighthouse--the beacon that saved John Gall. Photo by Stephen Middlemiss.

This lovely stone featuring New London's Ledge Lighthouse is in the Mystic Cemetery in Connecticut.

Richardson Memorials in Maine did this nice engraving of Portland Head Lighthouse.

This man was a lightkeeper at old Willapa Lighthouse on the coast of Washington. His lighthouse washed into the sea many years ago. His grave has been moved once, due to erosion of the shoreline at Willapa Bay. The last time I paid him a visit, the sea was encroaching again.

If you have images or directions to lighthouse gravestones, let us know! lightkeeper0803@gmail.com

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome your comments, photos, stories, etc.!