More funeral home matchbooks

More matchbooks

Some Friday fun – more matchbook covers from funeral homes. Thanks to BTG fan, JoAnne M for sending these along!

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Filed under Odds and Ends

Please don’t do this


Weed whackers, wire brushes, and bleach–these are three things that should never touch a headstone, regardless of how temptingly fast it might be.  Instead, take a little time research how to properly clean headstones, and you won’t regret it.  Check out this before and after photo from using a simple washing solution.


Want more information on general cleaning tips? Here’s another website detailing how to clean gravestones, monuments, and stone sculptures by Jonathan Appell. Here’s one that details what NOT to do.

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Filed under Damages

So what came first? The tree or the headstone?


All too often, volunteers come across old military headstones that are either broken, unreadable, or have become part of the local greenery. If that’s ever happened, here’s a link in the that can help answer some of the questions on how these can be replaced.



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A herb garden patchwork quilt for Louis

Gardeners Patchwork Quilt

So for the past several posts, I’ve showcased traditional stone carvings and symbols. Well here’s a modern twist for you.

Seriously, if this guy was the gardener this headstone claims he was, that garden must have been quite a sight to see.  The patchwork quilt of herbs headstone (click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see the detail better) is located in Soquel Cemetery, Soquel, CA.

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Filed under Snapshot Stories

Off the beaten paths at Highgate

I’ve posted any number of photos from Highgate cemetery, but I think this video sums up quite nicely just how crowded and overgrown the place is. Yes, there are lots of footpaths winding here and there throughout the place, yes, it is quite easy to get lost if you’re not careful, and yes, there are sometimes strange people wandering around back there.

One time, I was about 20 feet into one of the minor, overgrown paths (like the one seen at 6:01 in the video) in pursuit of a particularly gorgeous angel statue, only to be interrupted by someone dressed in full goth black who seemingly emerged from out of nowhere. I probably scared him as much as he scared me but still…

Another thing to keep in mind is, unlike the videographer, you really should keep to the paths because the ground by the sites can be quite unstable. I’ve walked past several sites where I could see quite far down into the burial area.

Having said that, do be sure to check out some of the neat symbols in the video (clasped hands, flower carvings, the book at minute 8:15, etc.)

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Filed under General

Symbolism 101 from the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History

I stumbled across this video that just shouted out for sharing with you all. You will NOT believe some of the carvings that are out there.


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Broken dove


Another symbol frequently used to mark a child’s grave was the dead dove. And in this case, a small stump of a tree was also used to emphasize a life cut short.

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Filed under Symbols