Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tree Shaped Tombstones - Some local oddities

Passing unexpectedly through the sleepy burgh of East Farmington Wisconsin I pulled into a little cemetery.

Here was a traditional family group of Trees.  Husband, wife holding "hands" through eternity. And the usual smaller subsidiary ones...

I am as always, impressed with the detail that these things contain.  This is carved stone.

But it was the subsidiary markers that interested me in this instance.  Here is the second latest tree shaped gravestone I have encountered:

It is not immediately clear to me how this individual is related to the Engelhardts, but maybe that perpetual care plaque is significant.  If they specified a tree shaped marker then he was gonna get one, even if they were out of style by 1946.  But, a few feet over I found what is, and may well remain for a while, the newest tree themed marker yet...(Or so I thought!  Come back Friday for a real oddity! T)

1982!  The year I graduated medical school.  I figure the Engelhardt family had some kind of unbreakable contract with the funeral home!  I admit, as a tree shaped marker this is sort of borderline, but the stylized bark is actually rather appealing.

Weirder still and in the same graveyard, behold this specimen.  I can't really call it attractive, but I have in my journeys not seen its like...

Notice the odd little cut off branches on this "double tree"?  They have markings on them....

Here we have A, L, M and O.  There were about a dozen total.  They do not seem to spell anything, and per the adjacent family gravestones do not seem to be initials of children.  I am thinking these were the initials of their grand children!
Hmmm.  The things you notice on a second look.  In the photo of husband and wife trees up above, the husband is on the left.  Is that upright and rather substantial "vine" in the lower part of the monument intended to be symbolic in some way?  Hard to credit Victorian men with that kind of chutzpah.  But there does seem to be a certain puckish sense of humor among sculptors....

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