I love cemeteries. Either you love them too, or you think I'm weird. There isn't much in between. I've always found them to be peaceful and fascinating places. Back in Utah I used to take friends around on cemetery tours in the fall and tell stories about all the interesting people. Now that I've moved I'm cut off from the familiar names and traditions I know. Near my home in Denver is a large cemetery named Fairmount, and last week I spent an afternoon wandering through. Apparently it's a popular thing to do because there were many others walking or biking along the lanes. There was even a group of people sitting next to a grave playing the guitar and singing.
I was also joined by a bus from a retirement center. The bus slowly drove around and stopped in front of a monument. Then a minute later it would drive around the corner and stop again. No one ever got off, but it slowly made the rounds as each person inside must have had a turn giving directions.
It was a beautiful fall afternoon. The weather was perfect.
According to the Fairmount's website, the 285 acres was opened in 1890.
Designed by German landscape architect, Reinhard Schuetze, the layout incorporates sweeping vistas in broad curved lanes thus creating a beautiful and serene park like setting.Brett, is this the type of work you want to do?
It does, indeed, have sweeping vistas and some very curious monuments. There is also a different section for every religion and affiliation you can think of. There is a section of physicians, of veterans, of Catholics, of Greeks, of Jews, of Elks. If you belonged to it, you could be buried among it. Here are a few of the more interesting things I came across.
Most unusual monuments, in a contemporary art sort of way.
The inscription ad astra per aspera is Latin for "through adversity to the stars".
(The white building in the back is the mausoleum. It's huge!)
Furthest Distance Travelled to be Here
Most Melodramatic Carved Image
Most Apropos Decoration
Idea I'm most likely to steal
If this were Utah it would be red rock.
Most Cliche, but Still Touching
Coolest Headstone Calligraphy
The Most Poetically Over-wrought Inscription
It's a little hard to read but it's by Tennyson.
"Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,Most Appropriate Landscaping
and slips into the bosom of the lake."
Best Name - Ever!
Most Intriguing Offerings
At the base of the candle is a pile of coins. Does anyone know the meaning behind this?
Coolest Religious Offerings
Most of the Jewish headstones were covered with rocks.
Best Carved Name
Cheesiest Amateur Poetry
Best Inscription and Carving Combination
Most Overly Sentimental Sentiment
If Tears Could Build a Stairway
And Memories Were A Lane
We Would Walk Right Up To Heaven
And Bring You Back Again
I wish I knew some of the stories of the people buried here. I bet they are fascinating.