Monday, March 16, 2015

Stories of the Stones

Yesterday my post was about Ray and me taking pictures of gravesites for Find a Grave. We had also been contacted by a woman from France asking if we could find her aunt's grave and send her pictures.  Some of you wondered how Ray's back was, since he slipped while taking the picture of Victor and Julia DeLaFountaine's grave.  He is fine.  He wrenched his back badly a number of years ago and always takes it easy if he feels a twinge.

He had given me the camera and asked me to finish taking pictures.  While searching for the gravesite I had noticed a number of other grave stones that were unique and took some time to take pictures of them.  These stones told more of a story about the deceased.  They reminded me of my parent's gravestone.  A fish has been etched  above my father's name and a butterfly above my mother's.  My father loved a peaceful day of fishing and my mother always wore a piece of butterfly jewelry.

My Parent's Gravestone

I wandered around St. Mary's Cemetery in search of those stones that told more of a story. 

The first stone is the saddest to me.  It is in the shape of a Teddy Bear.  I knew, before seeing the front that this would be for a child.  What joy Gerald's family must have had the day he was born only to lose him the next day. This tombstone looks fairly new, and someone has left a small angel statuette. This little boy would be my sister's age if he had lived.  I wonder what story this Teddy Bear stone could tell us?

            This stone tells quite a bit about Kenny Robertson's personality.  This is the back.

        Here is the front of the stone.  Kenny was a Viet Nam Vet.  It looks like he lived a full life, but short.  This family sends such a positive message. I want to know more of the story.
Love conquers all-- Live, Laugh. Love

There is no doubt what this man loved to do, and I wonder, What is his whole story? 
Here it the back of another stone...etched with a way of life.  This man was a farmer and was in the Army National Guard from 1971-1977.  I wonder, What is his whole story?
Here is an older stone.  Harriett Ann Burroughs born in 1873 and died in 1895.  She was only 22 years old.  Her tombstone is tall.  I have to stand far back to get the whole monument.  Why did she die at such a young age?  She must have been well loved because her stone is so tall.  I checked to see if there were epidemics in 1895 and learned that many people died of scarlet fever or tuberculosis.  Of course, we don't know.  It could have been from childbirth.  I wonder what is her whole story?
And at the top of Harriett's tombstone a dove sits on top of a cross.  She seems to be watching over all those stones, each with its own story.


  1. Glad to hear that Ray is OK.
    These stones truly do tell stories. I can't say that I ever carefully looked at stones except those of my family. I have not seen such intricately carved stones. These show off the skill of the stone cutter as well as tell a bit about the person being remembered.

  2. I enjoyed reading your post. When I visited Boston, I took many photos because I saw the most unusual stones there. At a workshop once, the class visited an old cemetery to collect data and form hypotheses about the town's history.

  3. Gravestones do provide us with a glimpse into another's life. It does make you wonder what other stories there might be as well. When we were in Paris we visited the cemetery where Jim Morrison as well as Chopin were buried. The stones everywhere made you pause, knowing stories were behind each one. Thanks for sharing.

  4. If you weren't a writer, you wouldn't have noticed the story these stones tell. Next time I'm in a cemetery I will have to look closer at the headstones. These are very unique and does make you wonder, what happened.

  5. I love how you let the photos enhance your words. Interesting assignment. I wonder about the lives of all who are represented in the stone.