I am interested in Photographing the older Headstones in Cemeteries and searching for the old and abandoned and forgotten Cemeteries in Leeds County. The most interesting of these Stones date from the 1800s. Some of them are true works of art and most have stood the ravages of nearly two centuries. Many have high relief carvings of symbols, all of which have a special meaning. Example:
Willow Tree = Meaning Sorrow
Dove = A live Dove means at Peace = A dead Dove means a life cut short.
Chain with a broken link = Family unity broken
Clasped Hands = Without sleeves, shaking hands with God. Clasped Hands = With sleeves, with one of ruffled, represents Unity in Life or Death.
Hand with finger pointing up = Gone to Heaven. Hand with finger pointing down = God reaching down for the Soul.
Children's Gravestones usually have a fully carved resting Lamb or flowers, usually Roses, that have a bud that's been broken off meaning a life cut short.
Many of the people from the 1800s came to this area from a far away country. This is usually recorded as well as the time they had spent on this Earth in the number of Years, Months and Days.
Some of the Epitaphs are sad, some funny and others warn us of our own Mortality. There is an 1852 gravestone in the Toledo Church Yard that has an epitaph that reads:
Remember friends as you pass by, As you are now , so once was I. As I am now so you shall be, Prepare for Death to follow me.
There is also a Child's Gravestone at the Oak Leaf Cemetery with an Epitaph that simple says:
"Gone To Be An Angel"
All of these Gravestones are attributed to the Craftsmanship of the Local Stone Carvers. Some of these never Signed their work and their names may never be know. Below is a list of some of the Stone Carvers names as they appear on many of these Stones:
A. Greer - Eastons Corners G. F. Moore - Napanee C. B. Leroy W. M. Church - Merrickvile Leroy & Gould - Brockville H. F. & Son - Brockville Williamson[?] - Gananoque C. Allyn - Delta D. R. Cameron H. Fulford - Brockville C. R. Kilbourne - Brockville L. le Carle C. G. Alquire - Farmersville (Athens) C. G. A. Farmersville (Athens) W. R. Moore - Elgin W. Corbett - Smiths Falls Fulford[?] & Bro. - Wolford J. Davies - Perth Fulford & Church - Eastons Corners de Carle Sc.