I sometimes have a difficult time taking pictures of rounded tombstones such as this on in the South Prairie Cemetery, southeast of Golden in Adams County, Illinois.

I just wish they would have made it flat.




9 Responses

  1. To me, it looks as though the round stone was might made to be on the ground since it is not evenly spaced on the flat stone.

    • It looks like an afterthought. Maybe the flat stone was placed soon after the death, and the cylindrical stone engraved and placed much later, when funds were available? Those cylindrical stones are fairly common in the oldest Tacoma (WA) Cemetery, usually part of or attached to the top (head) end of a rectangular stone. I was told they were supposed to resemble pillows. I think I’d rather lie flat on most anything!

  2. I’ve seen these before, in my hometown–at least they are above ground. There are entire cemeteries near me with recent headstones (more recent than 1990) that have all headstones set just below ground level. You don’t see any monuments when you look across the burial grounds, have to be right over the stone to photograph it. The headstones are all sinking, very hard to photograph. I have to physically pull the turf away from the stone to get the dates (then crop out my fingers!). Most of the headstones are lovely, with laser-etched portraits, and plenty of symbols, like military, university, religious, hobbies, or pop culture. Green grass or dry grass, it’s all the same–in the way of the information.

    • Many cemeteries require new markers to be flush with the ground because it makes grounds keeping so much more efficient. It would be a nightmare to mow around all the various types of gravestones, especially when they aren’t all placed on a grid. Much hand-trimming with shears would be necessary to keep above-ground stones looking tidy.

      In the old Catholic cemetery where some of my family are buried, there are 100-years-old simple rectangular stones that were originally placed flush with the ground. They have sunken over the years, so that now they are almost out of sight. I suppose an inexpensive wooden casket would rot over time, causing the earth above it to sink. That’s why many cemeteries install concrete vaults around caskets, to keep the grave from collapsing over time.

  3. I call this type of stone “Pillows”, since they look like bolster pillows. The ones I really have a hard time photographing are tree trunk styles.

  4. Our cemetery has a stone that really is a stone. It’s about a foot high and around. And it is just a stone and is engraved

  5. While picture cataloging the cemeteries here in Grand County, Colorado, I have seen many interesting types of markers. They used whatever was available and still do!
    I just take as many pictures as necessary to get the info on them. And It’s a good thing too, in a few years they won’t be readable.

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