Cemetery Art  (2)

Pike County,



This article appeared in the Family Chronicle • March/April 2007. A special Thanks

to the Magazine,  Halvor Morrshead  the Editor & Publisher and the Author

Kathleen Shanahan Maca for allowing its use on the Pike County Web Page.

• Dog — implies a good master, worthy of love

• Dolphin — salvation bearer or souls across the water to heaven

• Dove — purity or eternal life

• Dove flying — resurrection

• Fish — faith, life

• Horseshoe — protection against evil

• Lamb — innocence (especially child)

• Lion — courage, strength

• Owl — wisdom, solitude

• Rooster — awakening, resurrection

• Seashell — life everlasting.

Specifically: Conch — wisdom, scallop — baptism

• Squirrel clasping a nut — religious cositemplation

• Spider web —human frailty

• Swallow —motherhood, spirit of children, consolation

Treestones" are grave markers that actually look like trees. They were most popular between 1880 and 1905,

and were adopted as a symbol by the Woodmen of the World organization for use by their members. Forms

include: Seedlings (life everlasting), stump (life interrupted), stump with ivy (head of family), and trunk (brevi-

ty of life). Other varieties of trees and leaves held their own special meanings.

• Acanthus — a prickly journey from life to death, triumph of eternal life

• Cypress — hope, eternal life (once the tree is cut, its leaves are evergreen)

• Fern — humility, frankness and sincerity

• Ivy — friendship, immortality, attachment, affection

• Laurel — fame or honor

• Mistletoe — immortality

Oak leaves and acorn — maturity, ripe old age

Oak tree — strength or faith and virtue, endurance

Palm branch — victory, rejoicing

Pinecone immortality 

Severed branch — mortality

Weeping willow — lament of loss

     The phases of the day capture sentiments as well.

• Moon — death and rebirth

• Star — divine guidance

• Sun rising — renewed life

• Sun shining — life everlasting

• Sun setting — end of life

Religious Symbolism

The number three usually represents the Holy Trinity of Christian faith (God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

This could be in the form of a three —linked chain (which was also used by the Odd Fellows society), three-

leaved shamrock, fleur-de-lis or triangle. Some religious based icons are shared between faiths, and some are


• Alpha & Omega (first and last letters of the Greek alphabet) — the beginning and the end

• Anchor — hope

Anvil — forging of the universe

Arch — victory in death, passage to heaven

Book — a holy book (such as the Bible), or one's accomplishments in life.

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