Mt. Nebo Faces

In Carlton, Alabama there’s Mount Nebo Church – it’s pretty much in the middle of the forest, and it’s not very easy to find (if you’re interested in going, email me: ginger AT deepfriedkudzu …dot… com – I have the directions saved).  This is the road leading up to the church:

At the end of the road is a gate, so you’ll need to leave your car there to walk up to the cemetery and church.  

The cemetery has some interesting monuments:

But the thing that makes this place so special is that some of the monuments have death masks.

The monuments were done by Isaac Nettles, Sr. 

This monument is for his wife.  I think her name was “Korean”.  The faces that appear here are not of her but of their three daughters:

It’s a little hard to make out, but it says “Mother was born Jan 1894 (???) died July 6, 1933”.  I may have not made that out completely correctly but I think that’s it.

Another monument Mr. Nettles did at Mount Nebo is this one:

It’s another that’s hard to make out, but I think on the left side it says “Angel”, across the top “Ezella”, and on the right “Nettles”.  

There are a couple of other monuments Mr. Nettles was supposed to have done that I could not find.  I think that this one …but I’m not sure at all… might have been one of his creations.  I hope-hope-hope this was not a victim of vandalism:

The way Isaac Nettles did these death masks is that he had the people – while they were still living – press their faces in a box of sand.  From that impression he would pour concrete and use paper and wire to make the finished mask.

The monuments have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Last year, the county newspaper had an article about a man’s dog digging up a bust similar to the ones at Mt. Nebo.  There may be more in other parts of the county that just aren’t well-documented…

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