Saturday, July 25, 2009

Graven Images

I have a thing for cemeteries, the older the better. I've been wanting to visit this Lutheran graveyard in Manheim, PA for over a year now. I could see from the road that the graves looked old and may have some interesting artwork carved in them, but I never had the chance to stop until this week. When I'm in a cemetery I do not dwell on death as much as I do life. Most of the graves were for people with a German heritage, some were in German, many you couldn't read at all. I wonder what these people did in their life. Did they contract a disease or illness that we have eradicated? Did they have a good life? Arrive here on a boat from Germany? So many stories that will never be remembered. I thought that Manheim's founder Henry Stiegal would be here but I couldn't find him...

This angelic face looks pretty happy.

An interesting stone with a pinkish color to it belonging to Hier Ruhl. I liked the carved flowers. The two rosettes on the corners remind me of PA Dutch hex signs.

The gorgeous carving on this stone has stood the test of time. I like how the face has a body. I don't see this very often.

A man who was in the Revolutionary War. How neat is that?

Here is a man who died when they were 25 years old in the early 1800's. I find it odd that someone who lived so long ago, and for such a short time, still occupies valuable real estate.

You see a lot of these graves with a weeping willow. I like how a real tree is trying to grow in front of it.

I like this photo. A robin, symbol of hope and renewal, in an old graveyard.


jane augenstein said...

Beautiful pictures, Jennifer. I too am fascinated by old graveyards, such interesting information on the stones. And so sad that some died so young.
~Jane and Gilly~

Meghann LittleStudio said...

Very, very neat! I also love old graveyards, though I do sometimes feel as though I can sense an otherworldly presence...not to be weird!
The gravestones were very well carved, and your photos captured the essence very well - as always :)

Anonymous said...

Those gravestones are unique, I've never seen any like them. I've fascinating by them too, but I don't get to visit many.

Bonnie Story said...

Great post... I too think that a trip to a cemetery incites positive thoughts of life and how short and precious it is. Your post today has reminded me of a wonderful book called "Spoon River Anthology" - have you read it? It's a series of messages about (and from) graves about life, and of lives unfulfilled... A message to the living about how important it is to do something meaningful with the life we have been given. Thanks for reminding me of that important little book!!! Wonderful photos.

Jennifer Rose said...

that last picture is gorgeous :D I love old cemeteries, there is so much history to them and they can be such peaceful places to spend a few hours. And the carvings on some of the stones themselves can make for nice ref. photos.

Kathleen Coy said...

Very cool Jen, some beautiful carvings there. Your part of the country has older headstones then mine. Wouldn't it be neat to go to Europe and see REALLY old headstones?

Ana said...

Beautiful captures. I too enjoy cemetries, historical ones take my interest that step further. I used to visit old churches and graveyards as a teenager. It's beautiful to discover antique gravestones, as it shows us the lifes of those who lived, and at the same time connects us with earth and the surrounding environment that we are in. Beautiful blog.

Designs By CK said...

GREAT grave / tombstone photos!

Have a great week.

Chris :-)

Anonymous said...

Nice pics! I love old cemeteries ☺

Blackfeatherfarm said...

I also find them intriguing.I thought it made me a little odd, but apparently I have company! I thought just the other day, I need to go and visit one of the cemeteries to get some photos.
When I was much younger, my family went to New Orleans, and I found the cemetery so interesting. The voodoo queen was buried there. I wish I had taken some photos in there. Instead I photographed the equestrian statue in the square.
I love your photos, great images. Wanting to know the stories of these peoples lives adds to the mystery. It's one of the things I love about my old photo collection. It makes me feel a bit like I'm a keeper of their memory.