Monday, September 26, 2016

Garden of Stone

It may be autumn on the calendar, but summer was hanging on with both hands this weekend in Memphis. It was blazing hot Sunday when I picked up my friend Dawn for a visit to the historic Elmwood Cemetery. Neither of us had been there before despite years in the Bluff City.

According to the website, Elmwood Cemetery is 80 acres, and the whole thing, from the beautiful entrance bridge to the cottage office, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

And as it turns out, Elmwood is also an official bird sanctuary and arboretum. If I knew nothing else, that would be enough for me!

The sun was shining, birds were singing, and the sound of a close train whistle set the mood for exploring.

Elmwood offers guided tours, audio tours and more, but since it was Sunday, Dawn and I were on our own.

The cemetery is the final resting place for some of Memphis's well-heeled and politically powerful, including former mayor E.H. "Boss" Crump...

...and those who could not be healed, including victims of the city's multiple yellow fever epidemics in the 1800s. There is a specific section of the grounds devoted to those who died, but we didn't find it Sunday.

There is an entire half of the cemetery we didn't get to cover, but no worries! I think we're up for another trip!

Here's a look at some of the cemetery's bold and beautiful headstones, markers, mausoleums and vaults:

These oval markers were a little jarring when we spotted them in smaller sizes (photo: Dawn Murphy)
"Help the others first." (photo: Dawn Murphy)
Ms. Etta Grigsby Partee (photo: Dawn Murphy)
Humes Mausoleum
Howard Mausoleum
The Howard Mausoleum has amazing color and texture
Ms. Sally Dockery Banks and what I can assume is her beloved pet
Samuel S. Rembert patented a cotton harvesting machine in Memphis. He also has an amazing epitaph.
Joanna Leigh and Julia Spaulding 
Towering beauty
Family plots were divided by short stone walls carved into ivy patterns 
There are many Confederate soldiers buried at Elmwood Cemetery, including this fellow 
Herman Frank Arnold had "the original score of Dixie" carved into his grave marker
Haunting lady watching over the Falls gravesite

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