Gearing up!

Well the semester is almost over. That said, I will be visiting some out of the way cemeteries and museums to get a look at the changing cultures of both environments.
Having taken museum studies I am now looking at things with a different viewpoint. I hope to share those things with all of you.
One of my projects this semester has been in learning new collaboration methods. I hope I will be able to show how this works and the kinds of results it can produce.

Time to shift gears, just a little.

Well the last few months have been full of school and searching. Researching those in the past poses any number of issues. Can we really piece together the lives that these people had when they were alive, and if we are putting this life on display how do we go about that with giving them the greatest amount of dignity. This semester I am also taking a class that goes into the display question even more. We talk about Native American displays, what is art what is artifact and what should not be on display.
At lunch the other day a friend of mine said, “Do they ever consider how white people are displayed?” Do we think how homo spaiens in general are displayed?
Cemeteries are also displays of a different sort. Funerary art of the past and present.

Finding your family through cemeteries.

When looking through your family tree sometimes you run a ground. No pun intended.
Families have information that may not jive date wise with what you find.
That’s when I try to find a headstone. See if maybe they left us a clue.
I had one that was a particular mess. Some members had him being buried in Neb. and others in Kansas. We after a little digging I found he was in Kansas. Died in Nebraska and taken back to the rest of the family in Kansas. Which as I think about it, that was probably no easy task back in those days. Remember if you find some family says one thing and the other have a different version, there might be a good story there and it’s worth taking the time to find out.

Gravestones or Headstones or tombstones, slabs.

Well they are called all kinds of things but some have a specific purpose.
I came across a book called Stories in Stone by Douglas Keister. He talks about the different styles and types of carvings. So as I started to photograph our local cemetery I keep all of what I learned in my mind being more observant about the uses and meanings on the stones.
My mentioned this to a friend and she posed a question to me.
What about the big ones that cover where the grave is?
Well as i observed some had markings and some did not. I wondered if they did not have anything had it just worn away.
As I found out some of the stone slabs as I called them where called Ledger Stones these rectangular stones often contained information about the deceased. Some Ledge stones also had foot and headstones with them.
Most of them if you look farther back into history had depictions of the person as well as maybe a family coat of arms.
Here it seems it was carried over as a tradition. After much discussion though these may also serve another purpose in area’s of flooding by holding the coffin down in the ground.
It is a shame that the writing on these stones has a tendency to go away. For after records are gone it’s very hard to see who they are, but you do know they are there.
The flat stones come in very many styles, some are slightly raised as above. Some are flush with the ground. Look out for them and see what you find.

Scavenger hunt, sponsored by Graveyard Rabbits

A few weeks ago a friend turned me on to the Graveyard Rabbits blog. I have looked through the articles and the member’s blogs and found them interesting. One of the topics had to do with a scavenger hunt. The list they had is: (The photos I’ve put for examples come from two cemeteries in my area; Greenlawn Cemetery Berthoud, Co. and Mountain View Cemetery, Longmont, Co.)
Fraternal symbol,
Star, note all the ones I found where really hard to see in Photography Still looking.
Four-legged animal,
Military gravestone,
But I found so many more that where fascinating that I thought I should also add them.
These include:
Man and Horse,
Hand made,
So I say to you, take a walk through your local cemetery and see what you find. You could be pleasantly surprised.

Graveyards: Since when is it a dog run?

I recently started contributing to a website called Find a Grave. They try to list all the cemeteries, people in them and have photos of the graves.
I volunteered to get some photos at a cemetery close to where I live. While I was there a couple of women showed up. They let the dog off the lease and proceeded to throw the ball out for the dog to fetch. This went on for awhile. I didn’t really see them paying their respects to anyone. Then they finally packed up and left.
I’m still not sure just how to react to the whole thing. While I was out there I saw others come and visit and take pictures, but I must say that probably the only time I have ever seen a cemetery used as a dog play ground.