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Memorial Day

May 25, 2008

Little Sunshine and I took advantage of the sunny weather to take some pictures of our local cemetary dressed up for Memorial Day.  We still do a fair amount of communal grave decorating here–especially for Memorial Day, which also marks the reliable beginning of spring weather for us.  We didn’t stay long, though, as the many graves of babies and small children began to tell on Little Sunshine’s spirits.  Like many Western towns, we were at the mercy of severe epidemics well into the 20th century, and our cemetery shows the sweep of diphtheria and influenza in particular, as well as the regular childhood diseases, milk sickness, tuberculosis, polio, and the rest.

One fascinating thing about our cemetery is the number of fancy faux bois tombstones for members of the International Woodsmen of the World lodge.  The Woodsmen were a combination lodge and insurance society.  They’re still around–and they sport a nice diversity statement on their website–way to go, Woodsmen!  But their lasting legacy here in Moscow is these terrific gravestones.

Here’s another view:

And a different grave:

I’m going to have to do another entire post on fauxbois, and why I think it is the coolest thing ever.  But for now, happy (?) Memorial Day to you all.

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