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Showing posts from September, 2016

She Comes Home to Rome: Death & Burial of Mrs. Woodrow Wilson

A ll Rome was there to meet her.  With the earliest glimmer of dawn the little city of the hills began to stir – but softly, like the tread of gentle snowflakes.  Long before the sun was up, every road was thronged with travelers from the neighboring farms and hamlets, while every train brought its burden of souls from the remoter towns and cities.  It was a day to be remembered by the youngest child when an aged man or woman, a day whose significance made it a rare forget-me-not in the year's calendar of events.  But, instead of the emblems of rejoicing, the symbols of grief were displayed on every hand…No sound of hammer or anvil smote the air.  Shops were closed…It was Mrs. Wilson's home-coming; and this vast assemblage of friends was here to welcome in silence a returning daughter of Georgia, one whose name was upon a nation's lips:  the beloved First Lady of the Land. [Georgia historian, Lucian Lamar Knight, 1914] Mrs. Wilson was coming home – and she was coming home

Residents of the Cotting-Burke Mausoleum II: Alexander H. Stephens

As mentioned in my previous post about the Cotting-Burke mausoleum at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia, there once was a temporary resident housed there.  That person was none other than former congressman, former vice-president of the Confederacy, and Georgia governor, Alexander Hamilton Stephens. Alexander H. Stephens was born 11 February 1812 in Crawfordville, Georgia.  He is often described as small and sickly.  In fact, in 1843, at the age of 31, he only weighed 96 pounds.  But he had a boldness about him that could not be denied.  Famed Georgia historian, Lucian Lamar Knight, noted Mr. Stephens as being " game to the core ." I think it's safe to say Alexander Stephens was a much beloved citizen of Georgia.  Upon his death in March of 1883, it is estimated that approximately 25,000 people lined the roadways and followed his funeral procession to Oakland Cemetery. Per Lucian Lamar Knight in Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials, and Legends : The funeral of Mr. Step

Residents of the Cotting–Burke Mausoleum: David and Frances Cotting

The Cotting – Burke sarcophagus type mausoleum stands in Oakland Cemetery at Atlanta, Georgia.  It contains a couple of prominent individuals, and also temporarily housed another.  Today, I'd like to share the obituaries for David and Frances Cotting.  He was Secretary of State for Georgia, and she was a "leading social light." They both died of pneumonia, though 29 years apart. Savannah Daily Advertiser (Georgia) Friday, 9 October 1874 -- [via GenealogyBank ] Death of David G. Cotting. Mr. David G. Cotting, who has been suffering for sometime [sic] from a complication of disorders, died on Sunday night.  The immediate cause of his death was pneumonia. Judge Cotting was born in Delham, Massachusetts, on the 28th of September, 1812, and was, therefore, over sixty years of age. After graduating he devoted four years to the study of Greek and Latin.  He moved to Washington, Wilkes county, in this State, where, for a short while, he engaged in school teaching.  He was the

Mortuary Art of Sculptor John Walz, from Savannah's Bonaventure to Macon's Rose Hill

I didn't believe it at first.  But then I found a newspaper article that confirmed it.  John Walz, well known German born sculptor of Savannah, Georgia, was commissioned to carve a statue of Bertha Wolff – and that statue was delivered to and placed in Rose Hill Cemetery at Macon, Georgia. I am deeply in love with Macon's Rose Hill Cemetery .  It's one of the few things I was sad to leave when we moved to the mountains.  But it doesn't get oohed and ahhed over quite as much as Savannah's Bonaventure Cemetery.  Over 100 pieces of mortuary art found in Bonaventure are attributed to John Walz.  To know a piece of art by a sculptor who helped give Bonaventure some of those oohs and ahhs was located in Rose Hill, tickled me pink. Think you don't know John Walz? Well, maybe you do.  One statue he carved out of marble is pretty well known.  If you visit Bonaventure, you'll find directions pointing to it, and you will likely find a few people already there taking ph

Most Lifelike Little Lamb for Mary

"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed…but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect." (I Peter 1:18-19) What's more valuable than silver or gold? A pure and innocent child, without spot or blemish. That's why lambs are in cemeteries.  To represent the innocence and purity of those little lives lost. Proof that Mary had a Little Lamb. (Yep.  I had to go there.) In a cemetery located in southern middle Georgia, the city of Perry, is a tombstone placed for "Little Sissie" – Mary Derrille Culler.  She was a daughter of Dr. & M. S. Culler, who died at the age of just 1 year and 9 months.  The lamb sculpted and placed atop her stone is one of the most lifelike I have ever seen. A tidbit of religious history I found interesting was with Douglas Keister's entry for the Lamb in his book, Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography (2004).  He wro

Come. On. Fall. (Wordless Wednesday)

Anchors and the Virtue of Hope in the Cemetery

I haven't written about symbols in the cemetery in quite some time.  Today, I'm highlighting the anchor . In addition to the "heavy object attached to a rope or chain used to moor a vessel to the sea bottom" definition for the word anchor, a dictionary offers this: … a person or thing that can be relied on for support, stability, or security; mainstay. … to keep hold or be firmly fixed. Unless there is an obvious naval or nautical connection, an anchor in the cemetery generally represents hope .  This symbol can be traced back to the Bible  and Hebrews 6:19 -- Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil. Matthew Henry provided the following commentary on the anchor as a symbol of hope, Biblically speaking: What use the people of God should make of their hope and comfort, that most refreshing and comfortable hope of eternal blessedness that God has given them…We are in this world as a ship at sea

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)