I wanted to repost this 2009 cemetery visit from because I was going back through some images from that month and was so taken with how artistic some — many — of the monuments here are. Also, there’s a really terrific white bronze monument:
One of the really terrific things about these white bronze (zinc) monuments is how much detail stands out, even after all these years (this monument is for someone buried in 1885).
The monuments are hollow and could be customized, as they were ordered via catalog with a variety of motifs.
Below is the option called ‘The Last Voyage’ (page 12 of the catalog) and the company could even make a large one of these appropriate for the entrance to a cemetery, at dimensions of 3’10” x 5’4-3/4″ and offered the option to gild the raised portions with gold, even. It was the work of Archibald McKellar.
These white bronze monuments were only made between the 1870s and WWI; the factory at that time was converted for war munitions, and after the war made other non-ferrous objects. That Bridgeport CT plant closed for good in 1939. There were other companies making things in white bronze, but apparently only this facility in CT made grave markers. More about zinc sculptures here at Smithsonian.
Identifying these quickly is really pretty easy: in the older part of a cemetery with monuments earlier than 1915 or so, look for the ones that retain this nice coloring and detail — they’re so good about staying ‘clean’ even though the company would sandblast the stampings to give more of the look of stone and would sometimes even do a stamping to purposefully look like the monument was made from stone.
Elsewhere in the cemetery, more traditional monuments:
Death loves a shining mark. It is truly said, and seeks the brightest victims for his dead. The gifted mind, the youthful form with all the grace of nature seem the first to fall. T’was thus with Evelyn, pure without alloy; gentle and kind, she was her parents’ joy. Daily devoted to her Savior’s cause, secured in her, obedience to His laws. Let those who loved her sorrow not in vain for G-d will surely raise her up again. By his degree the fatal shaft was hurl’d to take her spirit to a brighter world.
This was for Sarah Evelyn Watkins, daughter of Dr Samuel Watkins and Martha W. Vaughan, born March 12, 1831 and died September 14, 1852
Actually, while we’re on it, here are some pics from the Riverview Cemetery in Demopolis AL — it’s about :20 from Dayton, and also has some really incredible monuments:
Here are the Library of Congress images of the Glover Family Tomb from 1934 — and drawings for the ornate metal fence/gate around it.
This is the gate for the Enners plot. This is a Robert Wood ironwork fence from Philadelphia. An image of the foundry here. The inscription in the middle is: Mrs H.F. Enners Demopolis ALA. May 1875
Henry A. Enners was born August 19, 1834 in Osnabrueck, Germany (which is gorgeous) and died March 14, 1874 at Demopolis. In the 1860 census, he’s listed as a planter with $12000 in real estate, $33000 personal estate. I only just noticed this, but his wife Harriet is several years older than him: born in 1818, in South Carolina. In 1860, he had 280 acres improved, 120 unimproved. Four horses, six donkeys or mules, eight milk cows, four oxen, 20 other cattle, and 30 pigs. In a year, the estate amassed 1000 bushels of indian corn; 46 bales (400lbs ea) of ginned cotton; and if I’m reading the federal census non-population schedule correctly for the following page, 5 bushels of peas; 50 bushels of Irish potatoes, 600 bushels of sweet potatoes. With the disclaimer again that I’m hopefully reading this correctly, the slave schedule in 1860 lists 31 slaves under his name, 16 of whom are female, in six houses; in age they are from 65 to 5yo. In the 1870 census, he’s listed as a merchant with $22000 in personal estate belongings, and the real estate box is empty.
By 1872, he’d gone into business with Morris Mayer, and they set up shop in a two-story building on the SW corner of Washington and Walnut St downtown. If I have the compass set correctly, here it is:
And this is the Bird monument. I knew Jim Bird who has the amazing art environment in Forkland would do something special for his wife: