Sunday, August 26, 2007

Old Cemeteries

I love walking in old cemeteries, the stones are so beautiful. Making gravestones like these is truly a lost art. I always enjoy reading the names and dates on the stones and wonder what each persons life may have been like. You can imagine Patience would have been an appropriate name for a captains wife in a New England seaport in the 1800's.

When I was a little girl we lived on a dead end road with woods behind our house in Kittery Maine. My sister and I used to take walks through the woods to the large town cemetery. There are many small family cemeteries scattered all over town, but we lived closest to the big one. We would walk among the stones and leave little gifts of pine cones or wild flowers that we had picked on our walk on the graves. I loved looking in the windows of the mausoleums to see the stained glass windows. They always seemed so mysterious.

All of these stones are in an old cemetery on a hill that overlooks the bay in Portland, Maine.

The roses carved in relief on this stone were so beautiful, especially with the lacy lichen. You can imagine this family must have really loved this person to create such a unique stone and they would have been a wealthy family to afford such extravagance.

This thin curvy stone is more typical of the very old ones with shallow carved designs. The long rectangular shape is more unusual though. This one is dated 1798.

I love the style of this one. No designs just large type.
This one had lovely Celtic knot patterns carved on it. Unfortunately the top of the cross was broken off and the large stone in front had a large portion of the carving missing.
It looks like I have passed on my appreciation to the next generation.
To see a quilt influenced by some of my walks in old New England cemeteries go here.


  1. Hi Judy,
    I love your photos and handicraft and took the liberty of using some of them on my own blogsite.Please let me know if you object,so I can remove them.
    kind regards

  2. I'm a conservator who repairs damaged headstones (among other things) and I can completely understand your fascination with these markers. I'm constantly amazed when I go into a new cemetery and see the different types of stones and the different iconography used, especially the soul effigies you used in your quilt! It's spectacular!


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