At a local cemetery in a section reserved for veterans. There is a funeral home on the grounds whose phone number differs from ours by one digit. We have had several phone calls over the years from some really sad sounding people.
We traveled down to north Texas. We had a little time to kill so we parked in a cemetery. (No I didn’t go geocaching.) I took some photographs of some of the gravestones. I love old graves. They often reflect a hard life.
A dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit or the messenger of God.
I see a lot of hands like this on graves. Using the old Google it seems that it can symbolize a last goodbye. It can also symbolize a passing of a spirit to heaven with a previously deceased spouse holding the hand of the recently deceased to help in the process. You can tell who died first by looking at the cuffs. Here it looks like the husband died first and is holding the hand of his wife as her spirit passes into heaven.
The hand pointing upward represents the ascension to Heaven. Myself, I plan on having a geoache near where I am buried. My finger is going to pointing to where it is hidden.
A Book represents a Bible, used to indicate a very devout person, sometimes it used for ministers.
A lamb used a lot on children’s graves, and in old cemeteries there are lots of children’s graves. The lamb represents innocence.
Perryman Cemetery at 32nd and Utica is Tulsa’s oldest private cemetery. It was laid out in 1848 by the Perryman family. The Perrymans were mixed blood Creek Indians and held positions of leadership in the Creek Tribe and early day Oklahoma. The Chronicles of Oklahoma has an interesting article from 1937 about the History of the family.
The cemetery was a family plot and there are lots of Perryman names on the gravestones. The last burial in the cemetery was in 1941. The Tulsa Historical Society has owned and maintained the cemetery since 1971.
Only about 50 people are buried on the property. Apparently the graveyard was originally bigger than the present fenced area. The speculation is that there are bodies buried in the yards of some of the nearby residences.
Very interesting to me is the grave house over one of the graves. It is only about a two feet tall. I’ve seen many similar structures in eastern Oklahoma at very old cemeteries. I wish I could tell you that I have definitively determined why some graves have them and what the significance is, but I can’t. I have not found what I consider to be a good source of information. I have read a lot of what I consider to be speculation. Some of what I read says that the houses were merely to cover the grave and keep the rain off. Other sources though indicate that the houses are houses for the grave occupant’s spirit.
In the meantime the cemetery is a nice place to go and ponder the meaning of it all. More information can be found in an interesting post from the Forgotten Tulsa blog.
I really love exploring cities and towns including where Tulsa where I live.
Earlier this week I went to Rose Hill Cemetery here in Tulsa to look for a geocache and found the above monument. Dedicated to the “Veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic.” The Grand Army of the Republic was basically the Union Army during the Civil War. Well that’s good, there are lots of memorials to the veterans of that war, both Union and Confederate. This one was a little different though.
This was dedicated in 2008, 143 years after the war ended. (It ended as far as the Union is concerned. Many of my friends who live in the South, are still fighting the “War of Northern Aggression.” But I’m getting off track.)
So my interest was piqued. “Who would spend the money, time, and energy on such a project.” I mean, it is a really nice memorial, about nine foot tall and made out of granite and landscaped.
So I turn to my best friend Google and find out that it was three organizations. The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. They got together, raised some money and got a monument built in a far forgotten corner of an old cemetery. I think that’s cool. I think remembering is important.
It turns out that of the 35,000 people interred at Rose Hill Cemetery there are about 35 Union Army veterans. It reminds me of one of my favorite Bible stories: The Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel. The passage is:
“So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.”
(Ezekiel 37: 7-8 NIV)
I loved that passage as a kid and still do. I could see a whole valley of dry bones as they came together. Legs and arms popping into place, the skeletons rattling as they stand up and look around for their missing parts. And then the ligaments appearing then the skin. Somebody ought to make a movie.
Check out my friend Baloney for more pairing of text with images.
Oh, yes I almost forgot, yes I did find the geocache.