Cemetery Art (2)
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
Oak leaves and acorn maturity, ripe old age
Oak tree strength or faith and virtue, endurance
Palm branch victory, rejoicing
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
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
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.