Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"..Nor the demons down under the sea.."

"And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee."







 Milan's Monumentale Cemetery




Memorial To A Marriage by sculptor Patricia Cronin
Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY
- all images above found on Pinterest, Gardens and Cemeteries board
and are the property of their respective photographers.

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An Etruscan Sarcophagus from the Late Classical or Early 
Hellenistic Period (350-300 BC) found in Vulci, Lazio Italy.

Thomas de Beauchamp and Katherine Mortimer his wife, Earl & Countess of Warwick.
St. Mary's, Warwick. Wikipedia Commons image.


The clasped hands of John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset KG (+1444)
and Margaret, Duchess of Somerset (+1482) Wimborne Minster. Tomb abt.1450



Richard Fitzalan III, 13th Earl of Arundel (ca 1307-1376) and his second wife Eleanor.
In his will Richard requested that he be buried “near to the tomb of Eleanor de Lancaster, my wife; 
and I desire that my tomb be no higher than hers, that no men at arms, horses, hearse, or other pomp, 
be used at my funeral, but only five torches…as was about the corpse of my wife, be allowed.”


The wife was Catholic and the man Protestant; at that time they 
weren't allowed to be buried together."  Location unknown; Europe.



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Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Rochester, NY
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The Children

Nothing touches people as a child's grave can. Innocence ended; a life barely begun, the joy and promise inherent in a child suddenly gone. The Victorian/Edwardian era brought children's memorials to a level not seen before, but we sometimes still see similar in modern times.

Victorian American Children’s Culture
Scholars from many fields have studied aspects of the history of childhood. While there is little consensus on an overarching theory of childhood, those who focus on late-nineteenth-century Anglo-America agree that it was an era in which an ideal of childhood arose that stressed the natural innocence and joyfulness of children, their right to a labor-free childhood, and the responsibility of adults and the state to protect children’s dependency. The new field of pediatrics, a movement to provide infants with safe milk, compulsory education, kindergartens, societies for the prevention of cruelty to children, child labor laws, a new body of literature for children’s entertainment, and a large class of objects catering to children’s perceived needs all document the new positioning of children as the hub around which the upper- and middle-class American home revolved in the late nineteenth century. Vivianna Zelizer identifies this as an era of “profound transformation in the economic and sentimental value of children.”
-
The Baby-in-a-Half-Shell: A Case Study in Child Memorial Art of the Late Nineteenth Century
by Annette Stott


The above photograph is all over the internet, and I've been unable to determine the photographer or location. The following photos are hotlinked to their sources; and are the result of a stroll through Pinterest, unless otherwise noted.

Unknown


Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Boston MA

 Forest Home, the German Waldheim Cemetery, Chicago

 Mexico

 Paris Cimetiere du Montparnasse

 J.B. Sarpy Morrison, Died 1876 andJulia Olivia Morrison, Died 1870
Calvary Cemetery, Missouri

 Detail of Julia's memorial


Chippiannock cemetery, Rock Island, IL



Francis Bentley Craw, Lakeview Cemetery, 1847

Crystal Springs Cemetery, Copiah County, Mississippi
Tapho note: The shell motif stones were mail order,
customizable to degrees dependent upon one's wallet.


Unknown


"..a few of my favorite things..."


 "The little girl waiting for her mother" By Ferdinando Marchetti
Viareggio (Lucca) - Monumental Cemetery



This amazing and haunting photo is the work of Isabelle Cooper,
who graciously allowed us to share it with you. -Taph



 Baby memorial garden, London Rd., Coventry, England

Southern USA

Unknown

Unknown

"A daughter, a sister
A painter of rainbows"

"Natchez - 10 yr old Florence died in 1871. She was extremely frightened of storms and her grief-stricken mother had Florence's casket constructed with a glass window at the head. The grave was dug to provide an area, the same depth of the coffin, at the child’s head, but this area had steps that would allow the mother to descend to her daughter’s level so she could comfort her during storms. To shelter the mother, metal trap doors were installed over the area the mother would occupy."
After the mother's death, the glass window was cemented over to prevent vandalism, but you can still go down the steps to where the mother sat.



Iowa City
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"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."
- from a headstone in Ireland

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween, cemeteries, and vandalism

Halloween (which I love), unfortunately also often means vandalism for too many cemeteries. Just Google 'cemetery vandalism' tomorrow morning.

I wanted to do an article on cemetery legends and hauntings, but decided against it for fear of encouraging excursions and increasing the risk of vandalism by even the well-intentioned.

Being a Massachusetts resident, surrounded by some of the oldest cemeteries in the country, I cannot emphasize the fragility of many of our cemeteries and monuments. Some of our oldest slate stones will surrender a large piece, sliding off, at even a moderate touch. Deliberate vandalism is not something I can understand. If you go to a cemetery, even just for the spooky, fun, most superficial reasons - why would you then want to destroy it?  What drives the urge to break someone's headstone, that's stood through time and weather for who-knows how long - sometimes hundreds of years?

Why?

That question echoes across hundreds of cemeteries the day after Halloween. It is never answered, even when the vandals are caught; there is never a reason. There can be no reason for an irrational act of destruction, I suppose.

One brilliant solution is the example set by Portland, Oregon, and the Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery. After an unprecedented act of vandalism in 2000, where over 80 stones were broken or damaged, this group formed to restore the damage. One idea born of this group was to conduct the Halloween night Tour of Untimely Departures through the cemetery; a spooky, candlelit tour, weaving tales from the residents of the cemetery -some of whom you will meet at their tombstones, in period attire, telling their ghastly tales of untimely demise - with local legends and chilling atmosphere. This insured the security of the cemetery that night, generated revenue and increased interest. I hope this idea sparks similar ideas in other places that confront recurring Halloween vandalism. Even high schools or college drama departments could volunteer for such projects in lieu of an interested outside group being available. Many historic cemeteries already offer tours; if they do not offer them on Hallows Eve itself, it may well be worth considering.

Finally, in order not to be a complete buzzkill for Halloween, Tapho wishes you all the very best Hallows ever.




 Above animated graphic is the marvelous work of the talented Kevin Weir.
All images not copyrighted to TaphoTribes are linked to their source.