My vacation itinerary always includes a cemetery or two…or three. Sure, I love checking out the art scene in a new city, historical sites, shopping and eating. I’m a foodie too, definitely. But you see an entirely different side of a place when you visit its graves, don’t you think?
On my recent trip to Seattle, I did my usual vacation prep and Mapquested cemeteries in the area. There are about six, but with the coffee and the chocolate and the glass museums and the history and… did I mention the chocolate? I only had time for Lake View. What a jewel!
Lake View was established back in 1872 and sits up on Capital Hill northeast of downtown Seattle. One of those cool, old neighborhoods that just oozes character has grown up around it so it’s a bit of a twisty trek to get there. But worth it! The monuments are a great mix of styles, old and new, East and West.
A murder of crows claims the cemetery grounds and every monument in them. The birds are smart and wary and hard to get a decent picture of, but their raucous chatter never stopped.
So, for a short visit to Seattle, I’d put Lake View, the EMP Museum (AWESOME), the Chihuly glass museum and all the European sipping chocolate you can sample on my list of must-do’s. Anybody have any other suggestions for a Seattle trip? I definitely want to go back. I know that Jimi Hendrix is buried in Greenwood Memorial nearby. Anybody been there?
My fifteen minutes of blogging fame are over.
I love sharing my passion for all things burial, but it’s especially great exchanging thoughts with all of you.
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.
I wouldn’t say this is my best shot photographically speaking, but it’s one of my favorite tombstones. I wondered as I looked at it from several angles whether someone had pruned the bush into these massive black wings. There were no clues that I could see. Maybe in the summer glorious leafy wings sprout from the stone. Or maybe the illusion only works with bare branches. I’ll have to go back and see.
Give me your best shots!
I’ve seen some great tombstones on blogs out there lately. If you’ve taken a graveyard photo that you’re particularly proud of, post a comment and tell me where it is. I’ll try out the “reblog” button.