Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tree Shaped Tombstones - Reedsburg, Wisconsin

I visited Reedsburg on a grey, drizzly day.  My main objective was the Reedsburg Brewery where I had found a detailed account of a brewery cave.  It even gave the distance and direction from the brewery.  I could see on Google Earth a nice cliff face of stone....

But alas, there was nothing to see but a curious grate set into an asphalt parking lot.  If you have to put in a parking lot over a cave complex I guess it can be done.  It must have been hard work.

But at least the local cemetery had a few Tree Shaped Tombstones for me.

When you see a monument made of this softer white stone it is almost always an early one. 1870s in most cases.  The inscriptions do not bear up well so often the dates are hard to read. And of course these short tombstones usually reflect a young life that ended before full growth.

I wonder if the carver was good enough to actually capture a likeness of young Laura.

These taller tombstones with clasped hands are invariably a married couple.  Often it seems to be a situation where one passed away many years before the other.  In that case the renewed clasping of hands is especially poignant.

Tombstones have a tendency to lean and shift a bit, especially when in low lying, wet ground. Or as in this case on a hill side.  You can see that this freshly toppled "Tree" was on a simple base that does not look too sturdy.  Some of the sturdier bases you see are likely retrofitted.  I would like to imagine that this tombstone tipped over of its own accord.  But it is spring and young people tend to be a bit high spirited this time of year.

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