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Marking the Graves

Marking the Graves

(p.147) Chapter Eight Marking the Graves
Gone to the Grave
Abby Burnett
University Press of Mississippi

There was little access to professionally carved tombstones in Arkansas until after the Civil War. By the 1870s itinerant carvers, moving from town to town in search of work, made and signed tombstones that employed the popular, well-understood mourning symbols of the day (lambs, doves, flowers, anchors, hands, etc.). The lives of two carvers (one female) are examined. Certain types of grave coverings (now rare), are found in the Ozarks, including gravehouses, false crypts (often coffin-shaped) and necked discoids. When granite replaced marble markers the industry changed, too, now having professional monument yards and imported stone. The chapter also discusses epitaphs, white bronze (zinc) markers, the use of photoceramics and the widespread popularity of distinctive Woodmen of the World tree trunk markers.

Keywords:   Gravehouse, False crypt, Discoids, Tombstone carvers, Photoceramics

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