Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Husband and Wife

The grave on the left has what I think are wheat sheaves. Wheat sheaves apparently symbolize a life of plenty given by God.

"Lydia G. Stearns BORN July 29, 1780 DIED May 2 1862. Erected by daughter (illegible) Gregg."
"James Stearns BORN August 30 1774. DIED Jan 14 1854. Erected by his daughter, (illegible) Gregg."

Lovely wreath. Wreath is a Christian symbol meaning victory of achievement.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


It's an unfortunate fact that the mortality rate for children in the past was pretty high.

                                                                      "Ellen M.
                                                   Dau. Of C.H. & E.J. Stephenson
                                                              Died Oct 24, 1904
                                                         AEt 1 yr. 5 ms & 15 ds"

                                                         Simply "Two Children."

            "In Memory of two children, sons of Mr. John and Mrs. Molley Chamberlin."
              On the left side, "Eliot died Jan y (illegible) 1796 aged 2 years, 11 months & 11 days."
                          Right side, "Jonathan died Feb 25th 1797 aged 17 days."

                                                                        "An Infant"

                                                 dau. of Eben(???) and Mary Ann Jones
                                                   April 11 1836 AE 10 mo. 19 ds
                                                   So fades the lovely blooming flower."

                                                                     "Little Harry"

                                                   "......of Thomas and Mary Mould."
Middle heart "Thomas Mould aged 16 months DYED y 1 of August 1681."
Right heart "Elizabeth Mould aged 16 months DYED August y 20 1684."

                         "Mary, dau. of Solomon & Mary Cram, died Sept. 24, 1781 AE. 2 YRS."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Blue Lady of Vale End

I don't profess to know much about ghosts, but I find the folklore and legends surrounding ghost stories absolutely fascinating.

My mother in law took me out to a cemetery in Wilton, NH called Vale's End and showed me a very special grave. It didn't appear to be anything special on first glance, although for some reason it stuck out among the headstones.

All of the other cemeteries I've visited (except Salem, of course,) have been empty except for me. Vale's End had a couple of teenaged boys that came over to examine this particular grave. They saw that I was taking pictures and asked me if I were trying to capture orbs. That kind of surprised me and I replied, "No. So-called orbs are just specks of dust, after all." I was taken off guard and answered rather more harshly than I intended.

Anyway, on to the Blue Lady...

Here is a photo of the headstone of Mary (nee Ritter) Spaulding and Mary (nee Flynn Colburn) Spaulding , the first and second wife of Isaac Spaulding.

The script on the headstone is barely legible. A candle with the icon of the Virgin Mary was placed at the front of the headstone and pennies covered the cement in front of it. Apparently, it's a popular location for various rituals.

Legend has it that the first Mary Spaulding rises from her grave as a beam of blue light and slowly sinks back down. I've read it described as looking like a transporter from Star Trek. No one knows why the Blue Lady haunts her grave, but if I had to put my money on it, I'd say she's upset her husband's second wife was buried on top of her.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Memento Mori

These were taken at a little cemetery in Wilton, NH.

I'm not sure what this symbol means. It appears to be a cross within a four petaled flower, but it could be something altogether different. This is the first one I've seen like this.

This memorialized four people. The sleeping angel means simply death, according to my research. The angel is beautifully done and still looks great.

Possibly English Ivy? English Ivy on early American graves means friendship and immortality. In England, Ivy grew up and often covered graves and apparently, the trend continued here. I think this particular example is lovely and delicate.

Double grave of a married couple. There are two coffins, an hourglass (I think,) and skulls. This one is interesting in that the male memorial looks different from the female (on the right.) The male has wings while the female has flowers.

                                                                "Memento Mori"

Do you know about the first symbol? Leave a comment and let me know what it is.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Welcome To My New Blog

The very first post! Wow!

I recently took a trip to Salem, Massachusetts (yes, that Salem,) and discovered I have a hidden love for gravestone designs. This new found passion has taken up tons of space on my hard drive, but I'd love to share it with you.

This blog will be mostly photos with background information. I'm still feeling out this blog, so hopefully, it will grow over time.

If you notice that most of the photos lack names and dates, there is a reason for this; out of respect for relatives perhaps still alive. I hope you'll enjoy the designs anyway.

On to the very first pictures of this blog... In honor of my first post, I'm posting photos of Salem, the place that ignited this hobby.

The flying skull motif is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I've found endless examples of them and there seems to be no end to variations in this theme.

I believe this one has an angel with a setting sun design. To my understanding, at least three persons are within this tomb.

More variations of the flying skull theme.

I just liked this last picture. The grave to the left struck me as kind of lonely.