Cemeteries are unique places in our lives. Some are beautiful, some are historic, and some are even entertaining. There is a quiet sadness about all cemeteries because they are the final resting places of our loved ones. We intend to post pictures here of cemeteries and head stones that are original photographs. We are looking for beauty, dignity, funny and above all something interesting. Feel free to comment and to contribute. We will provide a mail box if you want to contribute.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Church-Yard Cemeteries

There is a tradition that was carried here from Europe of using some of the most hallowed ground, Church Yards for burials.  In New England there are many very old churches and some of them have cemeteries on the church property.  There are many that own cemeteries but most of those are located away from the church proper.  What is pictured here is from Cheshire Connecticut.  In New England and Connecticut in particular the best candidates for churches with attached cemeteries are Congregational and Episcopal Churchs.  This is St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Cheshire Connecticut.  The Cemetery wasn't very visible from the front of the church so I am showing you this view.
There were many old and interesting stones in this Cemetery and some of them follow.

This stone is especially ornate and beautiful, unfortunately there was no way to photograph it without the cars.
I came upon a stone that was a first for me.  There was even a sign pointing to this stone because it is so special.  This stone marks the grave of a Civil War Veteran who survived the war and later became the Headmaster and Principle of Cheshire Academy, a private school in the community.  He was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Civil War. This is my first Medal of Honor marker.

Eri Davidson Woodbury and his wife and another relation are buried beneath this large stone. If you follow this link you will learn about this brave (at the time) young Sargent.  He was later promoted to Lieutenant and given a Brevet Commission of Captain.

Many of the cemeteries I have seen have little or no care.  Some get very basic care, mostly lawn mowing.  This church cemetery is very well kept as the picture below shows.
One of the previous markers, a large one, remembers another Civil War veteran.  this young man was not as fortunate as our Medal of Honor winner.  He died at the age of 17.  I am guessing that he died in the war, near the end.  There were many vicious Cavalry battles in the war and this young man was a Cavalry soldier.
This is Memorial day weekend.  It is a time to reflect on the sacrifices made by so many for the freedoms we enjoy today.  It is also a time to appreciate those freedoms and to encourage those around us, friends, family, neighbors and politicians to protect the hard won freedom we enjoy.  I don't want to go on a soap box here but seeing so many military graves recently makes me very aware that these men and women should not have died for no reason.  They believed they were protecting something very special and valuable.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Higganum - Burr

I have a knack for finding small cemeteries.  All cemeteries are filled with all kinds of history and memories, but sometimes the small ones seem to intrigue me.  This is another cemetery where I have performed a burial.  See my information for more on that. I am including the required flowers right away.
I found several things of interest  at this Cemetery, the Higganum and Burr Cemetery.  It is located just off Rt 81 in Higganum, Connecticut.  This is a small cemetery for a small community.  It is apparently a merger of a community cemetery with a family cemetery.  There is a very old section some of which you can see below.
Though old is often interesting, this cemetery has several very interesting occupants.  It seemed to me that there were a large number of veterans buried here.  As the picture below shows every grave of a veteran has an American Flag and there are a lot of them.  (Remember this is not a specifically military cemetery!)

Though there were many graves from the Civil war era, some of the markers were different from the usual simple military marker.  the one below is quite typical of the usual marker.

The marker below is quite different because it identifies not only the soldier who is buried there, but also identifies the battle in which he died.  He died in one of the most terrible of Civil War battles, the Battle of Antietam. Antietam was the bloodiest single-day battle of the war with 23 thousand casualties. He apparently was seriously wounded in the battle and died later in a Hospital.  Today we think of people surviving if they make it to a Hospital for care.  Medicine and medical care were quite different then.  Antietam Creek is located in Maryland near Sharpsburg. This Connecticut man died a long way from home.
There is much more to be seen in this small cemetery.  It will have to wait for another post.  Peace.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Brief Shot

These were taken by the side of a very old cemetery in Meriden CT.  The cemetery is practically in the middle of town and right next to a Lutheran Church.  I did not have time to get any more detailed shots and these are not very great.  The first one I took becase there was a contrast between the monument and the stump of a dead treethat was in the midst of the stones.

The second I took because it highlights a theme that has been developing in my mind.  Many of the larger and some of the smaller stones were certainly inspired by ancient Egyptian monuments.  Many appear to be obelisks of some sort.  I plan to do more on this.  this next picture is of a cluster of obelisk-like stones.  I apologize for the fence and the wires, it was in downtown Meriden.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pequot Trail Revisited

Since I travel to visit my father in Rhode Island every two weeks or so, I frequently drive on a section of the old Pequot Trail that goes through Stonongton Connecticut.  In a recent post I put up some pictures taken at a small cemetery just off the road.  About 300 yards down from that cemetery there was another one.  I stopped this time and investigated this new little cemetery.
I had to get the flowers in, I am a sucker for flowers!  As you can see in the above picture This is old, small and not extremely well kept.  The stone wall is in great need of repair and many of the stones were tilted and some were turned over totally and lying flat one the ground.

I am guessing that this cemetery is a family cemetery. One of the houses nearby was probably the family "homestead." Many of the stones have the family name Noyes. One of the stones was for a Captain Noyes and another one was for the wife of a Captain Noyes. In many cases I would assume that this was Military, but Stonington was part of the great shipping and Whaling industry of the 18th and 19th Century New England. I am guessing that the Captain's Noyes were Sea Captains, though I do not know for sure.
You can click on the pictures to get a larger version of them. You can then see that one stone is for a Capt Noyes and another is for the wife of a Capt Noyes. Though it is hard to see Mrs Noyes was born May 1, 1776 a very significant year for our nation.
I shot these photos late in the afternoon.  It was a bright and warm day and there was a great deal of sun in the west.  You may notice that there are shadows on some of the stones.  I did very little editing of these because there was such great texture already.  The trees cast some distinct shadows over the stones and some areas were in full light still.
There was a very interesting circle of dandy Lion Puffs in an area of the cemetery.  They gave the whole scene a mystical and pastoral quality.  Who could guess that just yards away cars were rushing by on the asphalt highway?