ancestryink fisherman

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Slight Absence...

I have missed quite a few Maritime Mondays.  Life has been good and busy lately and in fact, with the completion of my local mariners writing project, I will admit to taking a little time away from dead folks and old records to be out and about enjoying life in a slightly different way!

However, in my ambles, there is always an irresistible cemetery to explore.  As I venture further out onto the Cape towards Provincetown, I am getting a good sense of the most prominent families that had settled in the area so long ago - sea captains, small town citizens, et al.

Last weekend, I visited the Swan Lake Cemetery of Dennisport.  Yes, this lovely old and very atmospheric cemetery (perfect for Halloweeners) sits on "Swan Lake."  Across the street is the cemetery annex, hosting newer burials.  But the original cemetery with overgrown grasses, crows, and burials dating back to the early 1800's, proved pretty interesting.

Here are a few photos:

This monolithic granite stone (center) is for the Wixon family.  The Wixon name was only etched at the bottom of the monument and the sides remained glassy and reflective.  The crow seemed to know how to stage a scene:


The  next stone is unique.  Elijah Small must have been a local mariner and his final voyage from Australia to Hong Kong is etched forever in this ornately carved stone.  Quite beautiful.  There is something very touching about the "No Tidings."  How often this was the case, when a mariner was lost at sea.

Elijah Small 1834 - 1874

Those knowledgeable about marble gravestones may
understand the green coloring.  Normally I
would assume this is a discoloration due to
copper, but unless there are copper posts within
the monument, there is no evidence of it from
the outside. 

"And the Sea Gave up the Dead Which were in it."

Following is a view of the cemetery on the hill, just as the light broke through the clouds:

Swan Lake Cemetery
Finally, at the far left of the cemetery facing into the woods, stood this tomb.  I have never before seen the words inscribed above the beautiful old door:  (click to see a zoomed image)

"Receiving Tomb  1880"

Here are some of the local surnames in the Dennis/Yarmouth/Chatham area:
Thacher (no second "t")

It was interesting to discover that many of these family names are plentiful both in Maine, and on Martha's Vineyard.  And yet not so commonly found here in Falmouth, MA.

Happy Fall to all!  Cemeteries are the best places to do some serious leaf-peeping, so don't forget to visit one or two in your travels.

No comments:

Post a Comment