Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Tree Shaped Tombstones - Hammond Wisconsin

As I travel about I do encounter "tree shaped tombstones" with some regularity. I always snap a picture just to make sure I am not missing some small detail that will interest me later, but your average cemetery with one or two examples is simply not "blog worthy".

But once in a  while you find one that is.  Hammond Wisconsin is one such place.  Typical small town in the Badger State, and I must say not in an area where I have found that many "trees" for my collection.  But here I ran across some rather interesting specimens....

Here we have a nice substantial specimen.  It looks to have a GAR star in front of it by the way. But what caught my eye here was the peculiar placement of the horizontal branches.  They seem to be trying to cross over, as if an Ent was trying to cover his eyes.  Lets take a closer look...

On this side we have Melia nee Boink, First Wife of Mr. Bixby.  Also their only daughter.

And here we have Second Wife Malinda and her daughter, presumably with Mr. B.  Odd how the two wives - or is it their tragically dead children? - are reaching out to try and touch each other.

A nice tombstone for "Our Suzy" placed there by her husband and her father.  This one is in really great shape, not a chip off of any of the lilly leaves, very little weathering.  It does not fit with a death date of 1871.  That by the way would also be extremely early for a "tree shaped tombstone", most of which were from the 1880s to around 1920.  I am willing to bet that this was a replacement marker put in place when an earlier monument did not hold up well.

The Hammond cemetery contained several of these Y-shaped specimens.  These are almost always a husband and wife memorial, with one marked on each branch but a common trunk representing marital union.  I think it is both touching, and rather stylish.  Evidently I was not the only visitor to this spot to harbor such sentiments, because a short distance away a familiar form with an unfamiliar color caught my eye.....

Mr. Anderson passed on in 2013, Mrs. Anderson is still with us.  It is so rare to run across one of these modern day tree shaped monuments.  Perhaps they are coming back into fashion?  I did a little looking through catalogs but so far have not been able to find out where these come from.

This example appears to be made of some sort of granite, so perhaps it will not have the premature wear that I see so often on century old examples.  Only time will tell.

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