Posts Tagged ‘markers

18
Nov
16

then & now…

cemetery-dufur-ioof-swittersb

18
Apr
16

rollover in the desert…

I dug into it enough to know: two young women, no seat belts, lost control on a curve, dead. Lesson is obvious, but often ignored/forgotten in remote areas.

rollover-death-graves-SwittersB

28
Feb
16

In remembrance….

What some notables have on their grave markers…

old grave marker-Pine Grove Cemetery-SwittersB

11
Jan
15

Cemetery: It was the thought that counted….

If you have followed along with SwittersB, you know I like exploring Oregon’s pioneer cemeteries. The markers make all manner of suggestion to me as I stroll about. Several children passing on the same day or within days of one another (an accident, disease, or worse). Historical names to the area or region are found. Or names that suggest further research and new discoveries.

Often the pioneer cemeteries are maintained by a core volunteers who tend to the grounds, the markers and records. Keeping track of where the graves are can be difficult if the markers are moved or overgrown. Here the markers are propped up against the primary family marker. Who were these people deserving of only a set of initials? Did finances limit the attention to details? Were they outcasts or distant cousins or son and daughter-in-laws? The leaning markers captured my imagination this time. It was the thought that counted at the time to make a marker I suppose. Now they are propped up as a fading reminder. Thank you to the volunteers that maintain this cemetery in the Columbia River Gorge.

cemetery, pioneer, Oregon, Gorge, SwittersB

~

cemetery, Oregon, Gorge, SwittersB, pioneer

02
Nov
14

Cemetery Hill

“Here lies George Johnson, Hanged by mistake, 1882.
He was right, we was wrong, but we strung him up and now he’s gone.”

Mistakenly hung for horse thievery; buried at Boot Hill

Isn’t it odd that we care to know more about a soul when dead than when they are alive? I am a devoted explorer of pioneer cemeteries. I enjoy strolling about obscure cemeteries and seeing if I can draw out poignant images, dramas, tragedies and beauty too.

cemetery-pioneer-Oregon-hillside-SwittersB-photography

26
Jan
14

Cemeteries: What’s In a Grave or A Cemetery?

You may know my penchant for exploring ‘pioneer’ cemeteries. History, nostalgia, intrigue, drama, the visuals all draw me into older cemeteries in my region of Oregon. I realize there is a deeper reality to burials and the means/methods of putting people to rest. But, I came upon the Bridal Veil Historic Cemetery and the historical reality of this little plot struck me.

BV Cem

BVHC SB 2014

It has not had a burial since 1934. It has suffered from neglect……

“The first known burial in the cemetery occurred in 1888, and the last in 1934. In 1958 the cemetery was described as being in “total neglect”, with only four observable headstones. In 1964 the blackberries were beaten back and the first field survey was conducted. At that time, thirty-one stones were discovered, and additional unmarked graves were documented from town records and obituaries. A recent field survey (May 2000) by the Genealogical Forum of Oregon revealed forty-three tombstones, and the locations were mapped. The cemetery has been assumed by Multnomah County and a major renovation took place in October 2000.” (X)

BVHC2 SB

I always admire anyone that attempts to maintain the historical integrity of a location, especially if they have no vested familial interest in the site. Obviously, some went to the effort to salvage this cemetery. Others tried to salvage the town of Bridal Veil as a historical site (an amazing, intriguing history along with Palmer Mill) but eventually the town’s remaining structures were torn down.

Common everywhere, I am sure, is little is taught in schools about local history. What a shame. So much to be learned about values, journeys, ethics, mistakes, successes, failures, life and death. 

BVHC7  SB

BVHC 10 SB

Simple metal stakes probably mark a gravesite…whose is unknown to the casual visitor

BVHC 6 SB

Some graves have a hub of sorts…the satellite family members propped up now…the visitor gets the idea of what was

BVHC SBx

J.M. & C.B. Were their names to long or the spelling confusing to include on the stone? Just initials….better in some way than a metal stake driven in the ground if a marker is to exist at all

BVHC 9 SB

There was one lasting effort at man made beauty

“It is upon such stones that men attempt to permanently etch history so they will not exist in a vacuum; it is the final statement after a lifetime of scratching out divisions upon the ground, over ephemeral time itself, merely to give their short journeys meaning, to tell others “I was here – do not forget me, do not let my brief blast dissolve into nothingness.” Rob Bignell

20
Oct
13

Cemeteries: A Profound Dissertation on Plastic Flowers

Photography at a Cemetery: For me, the older the better. Given my locale, older is pioneer cemeteries that manage graves from the mid 1800’s and forward. Settlers, transplants and adventurers who pushed out West. 

I love the older, less cared for cemeteries because they seem to meld, in my mind, with the history, the rugged times, the harshness of it all.

So, when we go to photograph these spots I prefer views that show a progression of terrain, markers and trees that depict old, weathered, forgotten history.

cem1

Cem natural

But try as I might to take these shots of the perfect blend of old, historical cemeteries, something intrudes that conflicts as much as carnival ride plopped down inside the cemetery…gausch plastic flowers!

cem plastic 2

I mean here is a perfect example of an old, historical grave and plopped down square in the middle of the grave, right in front of the marker are pink plastic flowers. I attempted to use the fence in front to partially block the colors.

plastic flr collageI understand the practicality of bringing plastic flowers to a cemetery, so you only have to visit once a year perhaps…tsk…tsk.

Dead Flr collageI also understand the frustrations of bringing fresh cut somethings to the cemetery only to have them turn into dry floral arrangements.

Cem Dead flrs 5

Of course, you might combine the two: dried floral arrangement + a bilious blue plastic that really stands out against the natural tones.

Ok, I could go to a city cemetery and observe all the plastic flowers, green artificial turf, whirly bird windmills and mylar balloons if I want a funtastic impression of a graveside. Or……

IMG_9873x

Or, I could just stand and contemplate this mound of dirt above the remains of someone named Sophie and contemplate the why’s and how’s.

Little Angel Sophie




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