Picture pages, picture pages, having fun with picture
The following are a sample of my extensive collection
of photographs from Connecticut and New York Cemeteries.
CONNECTICUT AND NEW YORK CEMETERIES
eerily-atmospheric, deterioriated Pine Island cemetery behind Lockwood-Matthews
cemetery dates from the early 1700's to the mid-1960's; but some old
family plots ARE still being filled up. Interestingly, nearly 100 mid-1800's
graves were MOVED when a new cemetery opened across town.
of the better-preserved mid-1800's stones
how this tree is growing into the stone, or the stone is growing into
the tree. A very common sight in this cemetery, which suffers as much from
neglect and frost-heave as from vandalism
of the best-looking and most poignant monuments in Pine Island cemetery,
made of metal
Rentsch, a sculptress, created this stone for her family. She died in 1984, and the
Doctor passed in 1991, in another part of the state, which likely explains why their dates were never carved
in. As far as I know, they had no other children, and their large Derby mansion, once a historic showplace (the Dr. was President of the Derby Historical Society for years) has since been repaired and divided into condominiums.
At bottom, an elaborate grave
fence, European style.
French, aged only 23--- the tiny epitaph on the fancy Celtic cross
reads "Say not 'good night', but in some brighter sphere, bid me 'good
morning'." Bottom, the strange collection of stones is explained by the
fact that this cemetery was flooded and disarranged by the torrents of
1955. In fact, some bodies. . . just arent' there any more.
must have been a sale at the tombstone shop that year--- Old Derby
Burying Ground, CT
diversity of styles in Derby, CT's old burying ground, which was used
for 211 years--- On Top is the first stone (1687) and one of the last,
from the 1880's.
old and the young share this rather poor soil (why this site was chosen
as a graveyard), reposing under a variety of angel faces and skulls. Little
Clinga Smith's (an odd name even for this era of now-obsolete Biblical
names) is stark. Nearby, a hasty correction was made on another baby's stone---
heaven forbid that the mother's name came before the father's, even if
it made a scribbled mess that the grief-stricken, poor parents were stuck
stones, different eras, different styles, but all elaborately decorated.
Derby, CT., A victorian-era burial park, still in use. Both the wealthy
and paupers are buried here, not to mention faithful servants.
of a large stone-walled plot for the Mason family. There is a 20-foot
drop behind those columns!
a cemetery is a place where one goes TO die. A distraught caretaker
of this lovely place, driven by intractable pain from an injury, hanged
himself from this tree, using this odd square stone as a stepping stool.
He chose to kill himself on the 82nd anniversary of this obscure woman's
hook, CT--- I presume this young man was a blacksmith. His mother,
who outlived him by 20 years, is buried next to him, and another brother,
who had died 20 years BEFORE him, flanks her other side.
Wells Family grave in Putney cemetery, CT.; "Colonel" Watson Miller's celebration
of self in Riverside cemetery, Shelton, CT. Miller was never in the army,
but apparently ran the Derby Silver Co. with a military bearing. He helped
plan Rte. 110, which runs by the cemetery he also helped to start. Seated
before his family mausoleum covered with his family tree, and entombed
with both his peer-grouped first wife and his VERY young second wife (who
apparently never remarried though she was only in her 30's, maybe to retain
her inheritance?), his will stated that the statue's view of the road must
never be impeded.
often-desecrated grave of Hanna "Cranna" Hovey, guilty, not of witchcraft,
but of making everyone BELIEVE she was. She was a poor widow and a town
charge who used her knowledge of weather, other natural processes, AND the power of suggestion,
to gain more than the little bit people were willing to give her. With the
death penalty for witchcraft long gone, she was pretty safe--- even demands
that she be jailed for disturbing the peace went unanswered. Her only real
friends were her farm animals, especially her favorite rooster. When he
died, she lost her will to live, but not the will to intimidate her superstitious
neighbors one last time. She demanded to be carried by the townsmen and
buried in this pauper-like cemetery (most of the graves are topped by unmarked
fieldstones.) Even though it was a blinding snowstorm, and a mile downhill
from her home, all other methods of moving the coffin broke down, and the
men were forced to carry Hanna as she had wished. This tombstone was erected
by a Monroe, CT historian (though it's actually now just over the border
in Trumbull, her farm was at the top of the highest hill in Monroe.) Her
grave, now so close to the edge of the road that more erosion might expose
what little is left of her remains, is regularly spooked at Halloween by
the teens of the town, hoping for a spectral visit from this unregenerate,
a beautiful Victorian mourning statue in the New Hopewell, NY Dutch
Reformed Church graveyard.
Van Wyck Family, who thought QUITE highly of themselves, it seems,
had this HUGE mausoleum constructed atop a hillock on their extensive lands
in New Hopewell, NY.
Van Wyck property has long since been divided and sold off; the noble
tomb now overlooks a busy shopping center, and behind the likely-staunch
Dutch Reformists, is a Catholic church-school complex.
Some of the denizens of this large CT. potter's field did receive headstones eventually.
One new grave seems to lead into another (actually, old graves were arranged so that
the casket lay behind the stone, so people wouldn't have to step on the grave to read it.)
The other grave with the ship's wheel is for a friend who was in the Navy and nicknamed
Another case of ghostly activity in a CT cemetery? Heck, no, just more solar effects cured when I took
a step to the right.
The mid-1800's willow motif continues: a broken willow on a broken stone, and a still-
youthful willow on a young woman's grave.
graves run right up into the neighbor's house at tiny Trinity Episcopal Church in
of fate pointing heavenward. Some stone fingers, oddly, are pointed downward, whether
as a comment on the deceased's character or just a handy guide, I don't know.