Although often writing under a nom de plume my legal - if perhaps not True - identity is Tim Wolter. I'm retired from medicine and enjoying travel, family and teaching.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
More Trees-Graves of the Lumber Jacks and Jills
One town I work in used to be a major logging center. I figured for sure the cemetery there would have some interesting "tree tombstones" And I was right.
I have seen a few other examples that used the trick of having bark peeled away to leave a flat spot for lettering. But this was done with such realism. It looked as if it would appeal to someone who really knew their trees. In historic photos of the lumberjack era you see a lot of this-guys with enormous stacks of logs:
Well, I found a couple of very unusual grave markers that appear to be recreating this image as a memorial. Behold:
And a more feminine version for the wife of a lumberjack:
Probably work of the same artist, note the nice little daisy type flowers at the bottom on each. Off a ways in the cemetery I saw this rather spooky looking tree. It just struck me as sinister, but I could not put my finger on why for a moment:
It is weathered and old, but that's common place in a cemetery. No, the disquieting thing is that it appeared to be blank. As it happens, there is an inscription, but facing a different direction than all the others in the row of markers:
This is the oldest tree tombstone I have found to date. Unless it was a marker set up later, it dates to the late 1880s, before the founding of the Woodmen of the World. I note that it is the wife of a physician, and that she died at age 19. Seems vaguely scandalous but I am not sure why. The tombstone is one of the earliest in this cemetery, and probably stood all by itself for a while. Hence the backwards alignment in relation to later "neighbors" on either side.....