What a Rush!

My fifteen minutes of blogging fame are over.

Thank you to everybody who stopped to “like” or comment. Special thanks to all of you who decided to follow “I Dig Graves.”

I love sharing my passion for all things burial, but it’s especially great exchanging thoughts with all of you.

My blog’s not only a place for me to show off all the great cemeteries I’ve found, but a place to learn, from you, about other fabulous spots around the world. 

Your comments got some excellent speculation going about why people put little fences around graves.

Marking territory was the most common thought followed closely by fulfilling an impulse to continue protecting lost loved ones. I think both of those are true.

The best explanation for the origins of the practice came from VLS. She postulates that it all started when folks buried their families out on the prairie. “Oh give me a home…where the buffalo roam…where the deer and the antelope play.”

If you didn’t want a cow or bison leaning on the tombstone that you’d put a lot of care and money into, you put a fence around it. This idea made a great deal of sense to me and explained why the practice is most prevalent in the Southwestern U.S. Thanks, VLS!

I’m not a genealogist, though I admire those of you who are up to the challenge. I’m not a photographer. Mostly I just point and shoot in beautiful places. But for reason’s I’ve never been very good at articulating, cemeteries provoke and ground me at the same time.

I invite you to share your fascination too.

Grave Site Fences

I’ve wondered, and maybe you have too, why people put little fences around graves.

I understand fences around the cemetery itself. You’ve got to define the property somehow. But what’s up with the little grave-yards?

I’ve never seen them in the Northeast or Midwestern United States, but they’re common when you travel south and west.

The closest things I’ve come across in the Midwest are these symbolic front steps leading into a family plot.

  I’ve seen gorgeous iron work, beautifully laid stone, concrete, wood, brick, and even humble piles of rocks. Is the point to keep something out or keep something in?

Or is it just a need to fully claim the space?

Sometimes the fence is more substantial than the grave marker.

Virginia City, Nevada

Do you live somewhere where it’s traditional to fence in the family plot? I assume the practice was brought over from Europe or maybe up from Central America. Any ideas?