Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Favorite Cemeteries....

Cindy and I long ago fell in love with the practice of checking out cemeteries in the towns and cities we visited.  No, no---there is nothing sinister here.  Visiting a cemetery gives the visitor a chance to gather the culture and flavor of the community.  There is always a palpable theme in the air as one progresses from one section of the graveyard to another, and from one headstone to the next.  One comes away from a tour of a community cemetery with a definite "feel" for the culture of the town.

While we have loved touring many, many cemeteries in many different places over the years, the following are at the top of our list of favorites:

Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky
This cemetery is without a doubt the most unique we have ever seen.  There are so many different types of headstones and designs.  The area is pastoral and serene, but filled with history and creativity.  Some famous grave sites include:
Beautifully Serene and Haunting
---Saundra Curry Twist...This fashion model was killed in an automobile accident.  The statue over her grave reflects a sensual, peaceful, eternal presence.  I have never seen anything like it

Founder of KFC
---Colonel Harlan Sanders...The founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken is buried with his wife

My Favorite Poet
---Madison Cawein...My favorite poet, known as "The Keats of Kentucky", published over 30 volumes of outstanding verse.

Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia
Overlooking the historic James River, this cemetery is the final resting place of 25 Confederate generals, including JEB Stuart and George Pickett.  The ancient oaks and hardwoods stand guard over the Southern dead.  It quietly and majestically projects a spiritual presence.  Some famous grave sites include:
Jefferson Davis
---Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America

Iron Dog Stands Eternal Guard
---Iron Dog, the loyal guardian stands eternal watch over the grave of a child

Lee's Brilliant Cavalry General
---JEB Stuart, brilliant cavalry general in Robert E Lee's Army of Northern Virginia

Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana
Located on 555 acres in Indianapolis, the cemetery is the third largest in the United States.  It is a pastoral setting of beautiful hardwoods and rolling hills.  Among its residents are 14 US senators, 14 Indianapolis mayors and 11 Indiana  governors.  The day Cindy and I visited here, we saw a red fox cavorting among the headstones.  A few of its famous sites are:
Public Enemy Number 1
---John Dillinger, gangster and bank robber from the 1930s, finally gunned down by police

U. S.President
---Benjamin Harrison, US president

A Most Beloved Poet
---James Whitcomb Riley, poet extraordinaire.  Known as "The Hoosier Poet", Riley wrote in a homespun dialect style that captivated the reader.  Interestingly, he occupies the most prominent grave site in all of Crown Hill---the highest point, with a spectacular view of the city of Indianapolis.  This location reflects the enormous respect the citizenry had for him at the time of his death.


  1. This post sure brings back the memories! I remember how nondescript the stones were of John Dillinger and his parents which was next to his. Anyone strolling by these two would not have given them a second glance ... but what history behind someone named "Public Enemy Number One".

  2. Yes, Clint & Cindy!
    I love those places too!
    I remember that last year I have been in Paris only to see Père Lachaise Cemetery and the Grave of Jim Morrison .
    I will make a post, also, someday!
    Please have both, a wonderful Sunday!

  3. This post is so cool! They are beautiful places! There is one in my town where the people who lived in our house in the 1800's are all buried. It's nice to visit their graves, makes me feel connected!

    Great shots!!!

  4. Thank you, DW&D. The more I think about it, I could almost do a blog completely dedicated to cemeteries.