Friday, December 5, 2014

Dove and Hammer

I used to keep an archive of every "Tree Shaped Tombstone" I encountered.  That was before I knew just how many there really were.  Now I only photograph the more interesting ones.  And after a while you do start to see patterns.

As I have previously noted, the majority of these monuments are not related to the two "Woodmens" organizations.  But some are.  Here are a couple linked to the MWA, or the Modern Woodmen of America.

First from Eleva Wisconsin.

This has the classic MWA letters on a branch that supports a mallet and a splitting wedge, tools of the woodcutter.

This mallet has lost its handle.

Doves are of course not specific to Modern Woodmen tombstones but they show up quite regularly. This one has the ideal combination of light, lichen cover and artistic flair.

And now another example, this one from Durand, Wisconsin about 40 miles away.

This one is a bit fancier.  Note that it uses two different kinds of stone.  Quite unusual.  There are no names and dates here, those are on smaller subsidiary "stumps" off to the side.

Splitting mallet and axe.  The wedge is just below where the (intact) handles cross.

And a very nicely executed dove.  Sometimes I think tombstones from the same era and fairly close together geographically are the work of the same artisan, but the quality here is so superior that I am sure they were not from the same artist.

And because two might be coincidence, I offer another example from St. Paul Minnesota.  There certainly seems to be a commonality of theme among Modern Woodmen of America tombstones...

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