Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tree Shaped Tombstones - Wabasha Minnesota

As I go here and there in the world I admit that I pull up local maps on my phone and look for cemeteries within easy detour range.  I have probably visited most of them in a 100 mile radius of home base, if one excepts small rural church yards.

When over in Minnesota I drove through Wabasha as the light of a glorious spring day faded.

I did not find many specimens.  Only two in fact.  But both were oddballs....

Here we have a tall thin example.  It has the familiar "rustic cross" on top but the body of the monument is rather in the shape of a chapel covered in branches and twigs.  Notice the nice roof line covered with brown moss.

Across the way we find a rather squat monument.  This is kind of a Laurel and Hardy situation. Again we have a "rustic cross" but this monument has something very unusual to it, something the original artisan and customer could never have expected.  Look closely.

Look at the base of the monument on the right side.  No, that is not some bit of stone carver's flourish, it is the chopped off remains of an actual stump.  Yes, a tree seems to have grown up next to the stone "tree" and wrapped itself around the base.  Lets look closer.

Cemeteries probably have a love-hate relationship with trees of the organic type.  They provide shade and a sense of tranquility.  But if they get out of hand they start pushing the "paying customers" and their markers around.  In this case, remarkably, a good sized tree grew right into the base of this monument without shifting it at all.  This "Oliver Hardy" proportioned gravestone must have a foundation slab to match!

I wonder if the "customer" six feet down was of portly dimensions too?

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