Rock of Ages: Grave Concerns

October 29, 2014

Rock of Ages 3: Fieldstone, Sandstone & Slate

Filed under: The Graveyard Rabbit of Alberta — leprechaunrabbit @ 11:05 PM

leprechaunrabbit:

Grave Concerns: Part 3 of Rock of Ages

Originally posted on Rock of Ages: Grave Concerns:

Fieldstone

Fieldstone (front) McGuigan Cemetery, Merrickville, ON

Fieldstone (forefront) McGuigan Cemetery, Merrickville, ON

delaminated sandstone

delaminated sandstone

Fieldstone was a common grave material choice among struggling settlers. The stones were found while tilling or clearing the land. Many were laid unmarked, some sported symbols or the name and age of the deceased.

An excellent example of fieldstone markers exists in Grande Pre, Nova Scotia at the Acadian Burying Grounds. A Herbin Cross commemorates this National Historic Site and the burials there, which are dated between 1680 and 1750. [24]

Sandstone & Slate
During the 1600s, ample supplies of sandstone replaced fieldstones in Colonial North America, because of its durability yet it was still soft enough to carve easily. [25]

Some sandstone markers remained so well preserved that each chisel mark can be discerned in the carving, but the vast majority of these stones delaminated and crumbled into dust. Delamination occurs when moisture gets between the layers that make up the sandstone. As it freezes…

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October 28, 2014

Rock of Ages 2: Social Influences

Filed under: The Graveyard Rabbit of Alberta — leprechaunrabbit @ 7:55 PM

Originally posted on Rock of Ages: Grave Concerns:

Social Influences
During the 17th and 18th Centuries, graveyards and cemeteries looked like dark, gloomy cities of silence. Stones were poorly clustered in disarray — tilted, sunken or broken with tall trees and grasses, brambles and other flora growing between or around them. Some headstones faced west, matching footstones (if they were affordable and survived the environments) faced east and the mounded graves lay between the stone pairs. [14]

Inscriptions on headstones faced west, away from the deceased’s head; and if there was a footstone, its inscription faced east, away from the deceased’s feet. This was done to avoid walking on someone’s grave. [15]

Grave location during this time was tightly crowded and haphazard like a minefield; where the tallest tablets reflected the importance of certain individuals, the smaller ones — their children, and the odd stones in between represented the rest of the family. [16] Occasionally, burials in the…

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October 27, 2014

Rock of Ages – Part 1

Filed under: The Graveyard Rabbit of Alberta — leprechaunrabbit @ 8:34 AM

leprechaunrabbit:

The influences of stones, metals, time, religion and wealth (or the lack of it)

Originally posted on Rock of Ages: Grave Concerns:

Dedicated to Emily, “Gramma Rabbit,” 1905-1975

This piece began as a photo collection [1] of various family gravestones and a few others depicting the different types of stone, presentation styles and usages over the years. My love of art and history, and my youngest son’s fascination with rocks (geology), influenced it into what you now see. Many materials have been used as grave markers, some of the most common and the approximate time-frames they were used are listed here.

Identifying headstone materials can assist a genealogist in better understanding the social status of the decedent and the stability of surviving family members within their community. Sometimes, one’s financial status is also hinted in the stonework. Artistic expression, observed in the carving styles of the stonemasons, also reflected the general scope and religious influences of the community during each time period. But it is not just what is carved into the…

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March 21, 2014

Back To The Beginning: Rock of Ages

Filed under: The Graveyard Rabbit of Alberta — leprechaunrabbit @ 10:14 AM

leprechaunrabbit:

Re-blogging my research paper for new friends

Originally posted on Rock of Ages: Grave Concerns:

Back when I started this blog, I submitted a post regarding gravestones. It was called “Rock of Ages: Grave Concerns” and it was submitted in segments.

I began writing it many years ago. When finished, it was published by the Alberta Genealogical Society (Edmonton, AB) in their quarterly, RELATIVELY SPEAKING.

It described some materials the graves are made from, and the the various types of damage that befalls many of them. I also included a bit of background regarding social pressures, public health concerns and cemetery maintenance.

And yes, I used the same title for this blog and posted my paper as the first set of posts.

In this post, I submit HOBBES Rock of Ages Grave Concerns for reference purposes.  If you find it useful, drop me line.

Liam

The Leprechaunrabbit

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February 13, 2014

Tombstone Coins

Filed under: Poetry, The Graveyard Rabbit of Alberta — Tags: , , , , — leprechaunrabbit @ 4:12 PM

While walking through a national graveyard, well-kept and so preserved;
I asked myself “Why?”
Was desecration I spied?
And closer I went to observe –

An old man, feeble with age, with a handful of coins in his fist?
Stopping to place
A coin on each face,
Of the graves in the morning’s mist.

Quietly, I watched him, put a coin — no two — on another;
He asked, “How would you know?
You were too young to go!”
(Was he talking to me or “his brother?”)

“A splatter of coins ‘pon a flat grave, to you, must be disrespectful;
“But each little token
Leaves a message unspoken,
“‘tween dead heroes and visitors grateful.”

He faced me as I slowly approached him, his face weather-beaten and tired;
“I was your age, I’d guess
When I left my girl Bess,”
Then his words trailed off to retire

I looked o’er the graves he left and noticed not one but three;
Straight in a line
A penny, nickel and dime,
And wondered just what each would be.

“Each penny declares just a visit,” he said, “to a grave regardless of weather;
“And each nickel will tell
A different story as well:
“As boot camp we went through together!

“Now, a dime means we served a posting for a couple of years,” he cried;
“But, if it is there
“Two-bits is more rare,
“It means I was there when he died.”

January 14, 2014

Over Her Dead Body – cartoon funny

Filed under: Genealogy, The Graveyard Rabbit of Alberta — Tags: , — leprechaunrabbit @ 9:37 AM

potato_grave001

November 25, 2013

Back To The Beginning: Rock of Ages

Back when I started this blog, I submitted a post regarding gravestones. It was called “Rock of Ages: Grave Concerns” and it was submitted in segments.

I began writing it many years ago. When finished, it was published by the Alberta Genealogical Society (Edmonton, AB) in their quarterly, RELATIVELY SPEAKING.

It described some materials the graves are made from, and the the various types of damage that befalls many of them. I also included a bit of background regarding social pressures, public health concerns and cemetery maintenance.

And yes, I used the same title for this blog and posted my paper as the first set of posts.

In this post, I submit HOBBES Rock of Ages Grave Concerns for reference purposes.  If you find it useful, drop me line.

Liam

The Leprechaunrabbit

November 20, 2013

QR Codes Belong in Cemeteries

Filed under: The Graveyard Rabbit of Alberta — Tags: , — leprechaunrabbit @ 1:47 PM

I first saw pictures of the little digitized squares when I was still President of the Alberta Genealogical Society three years ago.

I said to myself: “What an odd little thing! It must be a remote way for ground maintenance to contact the Office about grave damages and concerns — like sending a photo through instant messaging on your cellphone.”

I then continued on my merry way and didn’t give the matter another thought, until recently.

Arlington National Cemetery considered the use of these QR Codes. wapo.st/17Mp92W
And unfortunately, voted it down again.

I think it is a wonderful idea to implement because it can promote so much to the general public through education in history and genealogy as well as be used in tourism and routine ground maintenance, as it can track the last time work was done in the area.

If every military stone, including the memorials, had these little boxes, a visitor can walk through the cemetery on a history walk, or society “scavenger hunt” for whatever amount of time that they choose.

I have never been to Arlington, so I will use myself in this example:

I show up on a Sunday morning and the office is, of course, NOT open.
I regret that I know very little about American history or American military history, and due to this, I take a child’s wonder to it all and wander about happily because I know that this linestome library will teach me. West-South-West, I turn up along Roosevelt Drive. A maintenance vehicle slows and asks who I’m looking for.

I answer nowhere in particular and then confess that I have never been before, but am enjoying the history of it all.

“History?” The driver then asks where I have travelled from.

His eyes widen when I answer “Canada.”

The next thing I know, he insists I catch a ride with him, telling me that he knows of a place near the back of the cemetery that I would like to see.

A few minutes later, he carries on his way having dropped me off at the intersect of Farragut, Memorial and Wilson drives.

I decide to walk south along Memorial Drive.

Looking around the trees are massive and resplendant in their colours. They resemble a forest, but anyone can tell this forest is special: each any every tree is unique and symbolic of the people that they memorialize.

Within a moment or two, I find an interesting gravestone of a named serviceman with a star-shaped symbol above his name.

unitag_qrcode_1384982825933

Off-centre near the left side, I spot a QR Code and scan it. Within a minute, I learn this brave young man was posthumously awared the Medal of Honor!

Two minutes later, I read how he earned his coveted medal … single-handedly.

Another two minutes pass, I have read what his unit was outmanned and outgunned; which lead this hero into making the decision he did so quickly and without regret.

I find similar stories from neighbouring QR Codes of sailors, marines and airmen. The information is emotionally moving and draining. One code reveals scanned pages from a sailor’s journal addressed to his pregnant wife and unborn-yet child; but all have photographs of these handsome heroes — or so I was led to believe.

I toddle off deeper into the cemetery’s transquil estate, following the winding trail to still an older segment. It is as immaculate as the area I traipsed before, but the stones appear smaller, darker and a little harder to read amidst the many, shaded trees that appear larger than those that greeted me before.

I quickly notice, not all of these stones are equipped with QR Codes and I wonder “Why?”

And it is more than a few minutes before I find an informative little square. When I do, it is about six graves into the row.
I scan the the tiny image and discover that this gravemarker belongs to a Civil War soldier from the Union!

I learn his name, his unit and his age when he died. I read about the massive injuries he sustained and his unit’s movement during the war. No photopgraphs this time.

I look at the darkening sky and realize I should be going. I follow the roadway and within twenty minutes realize I’m lost!

A metal post holds a sign marked “Section 13″ with a QR Code beneath it. I scan it and a cemetery map opens on my cellphone with the message “You are here!” with an arrow pointing East to the Visitor’s Centre.

Within five minutes, my courteous ride pulls over, again.

“Would you like a ride back to the Visitors Centre, Sir?” he asks.

I nod, and after climbing in ask him how he knew where I was, as I had wandered about for at least an hour since our last meeting

He points to my phone and says, “Every time a visitor scans a QR Code, we know how many visitors are in the cemetery, who they are visiting and where they are within a few feet. Most of your scans were about ten minutes apart earlier on, then they were twenty; and from where your last one was, we figured out you were walking.”

“Oh, that’s neat!” I replied.

“When the Office radioed me and told me what section I had to go to, I knew it was you,” he smiled.

————————————————-
QR Codes will not take away the respect and beauty of Arlington Cemetery, they will enhance it!

I do hope they reconsider.

October 29, 2013

It’s been almost 3 Years since …

Filed under: Poetry, The Graveyard Rabbit of Alberta — leprechaunrabbit @ 1:19 PM

I started this blog! It doesn’t seen that long though 0.0

I will admit, I have not been posting near as often as I should be. Moving, family, health issues and a change in employment have been taking up too much of my time, unfortunately.

I need to dig my photos out of storage (in the basement) and get this running again, but it is going to take a while; so, I would like to share a favourite post (one a month) for the remainder of the year and start fresh in 2014.

My very first post was a poem I wrote, “Amidst Nature’s Splendor.”  It was published in the Alberta Genealogical Society‘s quarterly journal, RELATIVELY SPEAKING (V38N3 AUG2010) as a part of my presidential message to the Society; and then again, online (16AUG2012) with some stunning photographs — taking by a fellow Graveyard Rabbit — of Historic Oakwood Cemetery (located in Raleigh, North Carolina) on the Graveyard Rabbit Online Journal.

Enjoy!

August 13, 2013

I Still Hate Moving

Filed under: Genealogy — leprechaunrabbit @ 7:41 AM

I Still Hate Moving.

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