Posted 15 April 2009 - 05:47 PM
Have you ever taken some time out of an afternoon just to wander through one? While I don't venture out to write poetry or ponder life's many questions, I do like to take time out to reflect of those laying at rest around me. I really like to think that just taking a second or two to simply read someone's name makes them less forgotten. Think about it - you may have been the first person to visit them in decades.
I like to go and take pictures of the headstones, as a way of remembering. Take a look, read the names. Some of them are quite beautiful.
These images all came from a very old cemetery near my house. I ended up shooting most of them in black and white as a majority of the stones have been carved out of the local sandstone. My camera picked up the contrast of the carvings better in black and white. And, like I mentioned, this is a very old cemetery, with some interred as far back as the late 1700s. In some shots the stones might look crooked, they are not. It's just how the ground has swallowed them up over the years.
I live in a Pennsylvania Dutch area of Pennsylvania, so some of these early markers are in German. Here's a close-up -
I really like the hand-in-hand motif on this one...
Nice floral motif. A young couple?
A cross with a lamb. A child's stone. Notice the stonemason's signature at the bottom...
Another early German marker...
Very detailed stonework.
So young. A fitting epitaph.
Posted 15 April 2009 - 06:28 PM
Here in Toronto we have two MASSIVE cemetaries, Mount Pleasant, which is the 'new' one and the Necropolis. The Necropolis was opened in the mid 1850's after the growing city decided that it needed the area the old Potter's Field was occupying. Incidently, there are rumours about town that there are still bodies from early 19th century epidemics underneath many of the posh towers that now occupy that area.
Anyway, the Necropolis is the one I go to, there's over 30,000 folks there and you can still be buried there. It's right across from the Riverdale Farm (a working 19th century farm) in the old Cabbagetown area in the east end. Once inside, I swear you cannot hear the sounds of the city at it's gate! It's this lovely, quiet, peaceful place (if you can deal with the fact that, in my mother's words, you are walking over bodies....lol)
I also happen to have several ancestors buried there (including one or two who were moved when the old burying ground was cleaned out), and many a local notable is buried there as well.
Another one I like to go to, but don't get there often is out in Woodbridge, ON (where more ancestors are buried). And I always like to find old rural churches and their graveyards. I remember when one of my cousins got married in a little old Anglican church, I spent the time between ceremony and reception wandering the old graveyard, reading the stones.
England is one place I really want to go, I've seen images of some of the graveyards out there and I long to check them out (especially the one in Bronte country that was featured on Most Haunted several seasons ago. I MUST go to that graveyard!)
Good to see I'm not alone in liking to wander and explore cities of the dead.
Krafted with luv
Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:44 AM
I remember one of my favorites one was the one in San Pedro, Green Hills it is a huge one and I use to spend most of my Sundays there wondering, reading and thinking. In that cemetery I remember I found a grave with fresh flowers and a balloon saying.. "get well soon"
I will post some of my pictures later when I organize my cemetery album, I do have some really nice ones.
Posted 16 April 2009 - 09:16 AM
In that cemetery I remember I found a grave with fresh flowers and a balloon saying.. "get well soon"
Someone has a good sense of humor!
I also love old cemeteries--Vampchick, you definitely need to get to England, some of the cemeteries there really are extraordinarily beautiful.
I'm particularly fascinated by the gravestones that have a picture of the deceased--gives you an even stronger sense of the folks there.
Posted 16 April 2009 - 10:48 AM
Here's the tombstones of a couple. A tree nearby has moved one of them slightly.
Another early German stone.
A pair of obelisk-like monuments...
A Civil War veteran. Notice the Grand Army of the Republic marker at the right?
Posted 16 April 2009 - 10:49 AM
Posted 16 April 2009 - 11:11 AM
Posted 16 April 2009 - 12:32 PM
There's actually two seperate cemeteries - my photos are from the older of the two. Interestingly enough, the newer cemetery is said to be haunted by a headless phantom.
Posted 16 April 2009 - 03:45 PM
the fact there is a Starbucks and a GAP right accross the street,this bit of antiquity is left unscathed.
Most of these cemeteries have old inhabitants.17 and 1800s.
There is one like this right on Broadway at 10th street,then one at 2nd ave and 9th.They have graveyards.
i used tp wander in the one on westchester anenue in the bronx just off westchester square.
Most gravestones carried names of some of the local streets. I had never known,the streets were named
after the prominent families that lived on them.
i also like to wander graveyards in Japan.They are set up very differenly from how they are here of course.
if the wind blows,and the name slats at each family plot,bang on the bars holding them in place,,,creepy.
i never thought to take photos though.I will have to when i go back.
The cemeteries in big cities there,are also walled in by 8 foot walls,with like one small entrance on only
one side of the cemerery.And its as if the rest of the city vanishes when you walk inside the walls.
The air is different,and sound is muffled.Its like walking through a portal to another world somehow.
Not all are like that ,but a lot. i have been to 3 in Tokyo ,and one in Kyoto.
but I did go to one way in the south in Toba.Very different set up.
Toba is seaside town.Its where the pearl diving goes on,and Mikimoto Island is there .
This cemetery was on a hill,prob to keep it all above sea level.,and the care takers were burning incense in a huge cauldron at the base of the hill.
Its was kind of otherworldly that one.
Posted 16 April 2009 - 05:12 PM
Krafted with luv
Posted 16 April 2009 - 06:39 PM
Thank you so much Squatch, for sharing these beautiful pictures.
Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:46 PM
Stay tuned, I have more pictures from other old local cemeteries I've visited. I'll post some more soon.
Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:10 PM
Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:50 PM
Forgotten New York has some fantastic photos and mini histories of New York City's many graveyards, as well as some outside of the city proper. I'm rather jealous of NY's little graveyards, Toronto doesn't have little historic cemeteries in odd unexpected places.
Well truth be told,the only reason I know about the one on 2nd ave,is because of David Duchovney.
I have easily walked by that church 1000 times over 20 years.
Never looked at the cemetery.
David Duchovney gave an interview I happened to catch,and he grew up over there.
He said as a kid,they would play in there and use the tombstones as bases for baseball games.
Who knew ..
There is one in Flushing i want to check out though.
Its always locked off though.
Its behind a NY landmark.It was i believe some sort of house for Quakers,and used as lodgings for
soldiers and prisoners during the revolutionary war.
Something to that affect.So its not even a church.
Its off Main Street,right on Northern Blvd.
Not sure what its used for now,but the sign out front says welcome in 14 languages or so.
i am tempted to jump the fence.
And you should do a cemetery excursion to NY sometimes.
We have so many haunted ones.Huge and small.
The cemetery Houdini is buried in is here too.
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