Greenlawn CemeteryTuesday, May 10, 2016
I'm trying hard to get back into the habit of taking weekly drives to fun destinations, like the giant basket, and field of concrete corn cobs, Knox County Poorhouse, Story Book Forest, numerous cemeteries, and more! It's a lot harder to find new places now that I've been doing this for a while so I'm having to dig deeper and most of the time, drive a lot further. Last week I wanted to find a new cemetery to check out so I did some browsing around Find A Grave and ended up discovering Greenlawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus is a little bit of a drive for me, just over two hours, but the cemetery looked promising.
Greenlawn Cemetery was founded in 1848 and covers over 360 acres. It's the final resting place for over 150,000 people. It's probably in the top five largest cemeteries I've visited. It's also probably the most confusing. Most cemeteries have a few main roads throughout, and even if they're large you never really seem to get lost. Greenlawn, on the other hand, was almost like a maze. I ended up in the same few spots multiple times while trying to navigate my way around. I'm certainly not complaining, it made for a fun day!
A lot of cemeteries have a headstone that kind of becomes their most popular "attraction". Cleveland's Lake View Cemetery has the Haserot Angel, Chestnut Grove Cemetery in Ashtabula has the train disaster monument, and Greenlawn has George Blount. Seen directly above, below, and at the very beginning of this post. Georgie, as he is lovingly referred to, was born on Sept. 26, 1867, the only son of Eli and Sarah Blount. Mr. Blount owned the American House Hotel, where George slid down a banister and crashed into a heavy iron stove hearth. He died a week later. All these years later, locals still take care of Georgie. His headstone is one of the most visited in the cemetery, and apparently always decorated. When I visited the ground surrounding his headstone was covered in small trinkets and toys, and his hands were full of pennies. In the winter it's a regular occurrence for him to be "decorated" with a hat and scarf (which can actually damage a headstone since they hold in moisture)
Little Georgie's grand headstone was beautiful, no doubt, but I think my favorite of the day still has to go to Tommy with that incredible bed monument. He was only eight months old so the bed isn't very large but my goodness, it's detailed. I took so many close up photos trying to capture all the details, including the ruffles on the pillow, and tassels on the mattress. The artistry that goes into some of these headstones really just blows my mind.
Aside from these two, there was still tons to see! A cemetery this size is no doubt packed with amazing things. I'm sure there is so much I missed, especially since there was a section I was avoiding all together due to funeral proceedings. I did manage to find tons and tons of symbolism though. Here are few of my favorites featured in this post, see if you can spot them for yourself...
century plant - represents immortality; everlasting life.
clasped hands - farewell to Earthly existence and God's welcome in heaven.
hand with heart - charity, used by both Odd Fellows & Masons.
lamb - innocence, often found on the gravestones of children.
willow tree - perpetual sadness or mourning
My final thoughts on Greenlawn? Definitely worth the drive!