Monday, January 7, 2013

Tree Shaped Tombstones-Hitting the Jackpot, part 1

While on our road trip to South Dakota I decided to test my theories regarding the frequency of tree shaped tombstones.  Specifically the notion that German communities might have more of them.  So I accumulated a few spousal good will points by patiently sitting through visits to quilt shops and the like, in exchange for a visit to the cemeteries at New Ulm Minnesota.

New Ulm is about as German as you can get in this part of the Midwest, and it is also a very strong, cohesive place.  It was you see one of the few existing towns that successfully fought off a full scale Indian attack back during the Sioux Uprising.  The locals take pride in their town and their heritage.  And it shows, the City Cemetery at New Ulm is neat, well maintained and incidentally contains the greatest trove of tree shaped tomb stones I have so far located.

It has everything you could wish for in that regard.

For sheer quantity you encounter entire groves of "trees".  Here are seven in one shot.

If you like otherwise rare forms, consider this planter style piece.  I had seen two previously.  I think New Ulm had nine or ten.

Here is a variety I had not encountered before.  It is twin trees, representing husband and wife, clutching limbs for eternity.  And on those limbs...

Two doves, one presumably representing each of them, together for all time.

On another tree we have a tiny, easily missed detail....a bird on a nest.

And another version of the "sheaf and sickle" that I have seen once before.  This one lacks the bizarre "chicken leg" seen on the earlier example.

The New Ulm visit took longer than I thought it would as I strode from one row to the next snapping pictures.  Some of the neat little details I only noticed after the fact.

Come back Wednesday and I will show you a few entirely new finds, including what I must now promote to my all time favorite!

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