Monday, November 10, 2014

Graveyard Exploration: Part 1

One of the field trips Ivy and I like to go on is to visit cemeteries.  Where some visit the dead and get depressed or as the boys from Spinal Tap said...
Nigel Tufnel: It really puts perspective on things, though, doesn't it?
David St. Hubbins: Too much, there's too much fucking perspective now.
 I find a lot of inspiration in the stone gardens.  The architecture of the mausoleums, the details on the gravestones, the statues, the features around the cemetery, the names and sometimes the trees.  This cemetery we found in Titusville, PA.  Unless you are from this area most don't know this, but Titusville is the Birthplace to the Oil Industry.  Why do I mention that?  Well, that means there is a good mix of extravagant grave sites mixed with what you would typically find. 

One of the coolest features in the cemetery was this bronze statue created by Evelyn Beatrice Longman.  The first women to be elected a full member of the National Academy of Design.  She was one of the sculptures who designed the Lincoln Memorial.  Above the statue reads:


It is approximately 7' in height and 9' length.  The details are wonderful.  From the rose she cradles in her hand, to the texture of her hair, down to her bare foot slipping out from beneath her gown.

I've seen pictures of Evelyn Beatrice Longman and I'm guessing she used herself as the subject for this statue.

What do you think?  She looks a lot like the statue.

One of the first interesting features I saw in this cemetery was a small wall built around a slab ledger stone.  The inscriptions of the family were written on the wall so there was no headstone or footstone.

As you approached it, this is what it looked like.  The crude, but artistic construction fascinated me.  Even the small set of three stairs leading to ledger stone.

Here were some of the inscriptions.  And I absolutely love that his middle name was Octavius. 

Here's what the ledger stone looked like up close.  The simplicity of the features and the wall really enhance the creepy feel.  I'm glad I didn't capture any spirit orbs in the pictures.  I don't need a ghost ass kicking.

I was able to get a good shot of the entire thing from the nearby hillside.  Tell me that doesn't scream, explore me, I have secrets and something horrible will happen if you do.  A perfect recipe for an adventure.

Then there was this monster of a mausoleum in the middle of the graveyard.  I took a longer shot to show you how big it was.  Hard to get a good perspective, but I would guess it was nearly 20' high.

This building has a lot of great details.  I couldn't get a picture of it, but you can kind of see it on top, but it looks like a window to allow light inside.  Curious.

I really like the details of the doors and the reliefs around the arch.

This is the detail over the door.  I need to figure out what it means.

That's it for now.


  1. Cool. I particularly like that last pic.

  2. I believe that version is Egyptian, the winged solar-disc.

  3. Of course there's a window to let in light. The last thing you need when you awake in undeath is to be fumbling around in the dark.

  4. That's a miniature, mausoleum version of Trajan's Kiosk, one of the Roman-era monuments left at the Temple of Philae complex in Nubia. The winged solar disk with the protective corbras is definitely an ancient Egyptian motif. Absolutely gorgeous to see this Egyptian-revival architecture in America.,_Trajan%27s_Kiosk,_Aswan,_Egypt,_Oct_2004.jpg

  5. Those. Are. Awe. Some.

    Thanks for sharing, Tim. The downside to living out west is that we are largely lacking in cool cemetery architecture like this. There's some, but mostly you wander around looking at interesting names on flat stone. Period.

  6. Great find..I lived there for a few years and never thought of
    checking it out. The way you described it, was almost like being there.

  7. Wrong snakes, I'm looking for two snakes, coming together over a black sun.

  8. Found your symbol here:

    As Peter says Egyptian symbology.

    Wonder if the tomb has connections to a Masonic order, or a family with a Masonic tradition.


    The winged sun is still being used today by groups like the Freemasons, the Theosophists and the Rosicrucians.

    “The Winged Globe is pre-eminently a Rosicrucian symbol, although the Illuminati may lay claim to it, and it may be admitted that it is of Egyptian origin. The Winged Globe is the symbol of the perfected soul making its flight back to the source of its creation in the Elysian fields beyond.”
    -Swinburne, Clymer, The Rosicrucians Their Teachings

  10. I really dig the Evelyn Beatrice Longman sculpture.