Friday, July 7, 2017

Tree Shaped Tombstones - Escanaba Michigan

Travel out of my usual haunts gives new opportunities to hunt for Tree Shaped Tombstones. Sometimes what you see looks very familiar...but maybe isn't.  Consider a cemetery we visited in Escanaba Michigan.  Nice place, right on Lake Michigan.  

On the way in I had seen a couple of the medium sized tree tombstones with the forked trunk. Now these are usually "official" Woodsmen stones, with the organization's logo just under the fork.  As here:

What was unusual about this one was that it was from the women's auxilliary of the Woodsmen, the Woodmen Circle.  Specifically from Hardwood Grove No. 24!  I had not known they were designated this way.  

So I naturally assumed that the other monument with a similar shape would also be "official".  

Nope.  Cross with IHS at the fork.  And one of those odd blank name plates.

But here is the real oddity.  Check out this complex.

To me it seems obvious that some elements of this are missing.  The bigger monument behind appears to be a joint venture of two families, the Tosignants and the Ethiers. These names turn up in Escanaba histories, and oddly in this cemetery it was pretty common for monuments to be "back to back".  But to which clan did "Mother" belong?

There should be a series of smaller markers but they just are not there.

Mom also was a member of the Woodman's Circle.  The local chapter must have been an active one.

Here is the main monument from the front.  It is of the "rustic cross" variety.  But when you look at it from an angle it gets really weird...

All those odd, knobby projections....

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