Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Sunday Excursion to Thornrose

Sunday, I decided to head into our town and tour Thornrose Cemetery. I have lived in this area all my life, and except for attending a funeral or two, I had never explored this cemetery. What a surprise!




Thornrose was established in 1849 and is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year. In 1849, the city bought 12 acres of land outside the city limits. Now the cemetery encompasses over 30 acres of land inside the city limits. Architect, T.J. Collins, designed many of the cemetery's features including the gatehouse pictured here.

There are extensive roads and paths that wander through the entire site.

This statuary surrounded by an annual garden was dedicated in 1901. Can you see the garden hat and gloves?



Next was a fairly recent memorial dedicated to the town's firefighters.

Before starting down mausoleum row, this stone caught my attention. The gentleman interred here must have been a dog lover although the ravages of time have caused the muzzle of the dog to break off.

Several prominent families erected mausoleums. The doors are just beautiful.

I should have gotten a close up view of the lion head door knockers on this one. Who would want to go in?

This one has a tiny stained glass window on the back side. A few of the stained glass panes show damage.

Stones of all shapes...


designs...engraved with flowers...


and colors.

This stone marks a former governor of Virginia.




I thought this was an interesting engraving...

But this was my favorite of the day. A sheaf of wheat is in the center of the stone,



and I'm not sure what is coming out the top. Close inspection looks like an aloe plant!


Visitors can cross a bridge or climb a tower to overlook the surroundings.


But what captured my eye on this Sunday were the memorials to the children.

A little lamb...

an angel with wings...

our little Sally...

another angel...

heaven's sweet dove...

and another sweet lamb.



Revolutionary soldiers...


and canon to mark the Confederate mass plot in which over 1700 Confederate soldiers are buried atop the hill.This serves as the marker for all 1700.



A flag-draped memorial...


and a tall spire to mark another war hero beside a family mausoleum.


Places to stand and view on a hillside...



or places to sit and contemplate.

Are the famous buried here?

The newest structure to be built is the Four Seasons Mausoleum and Columbarium.

Inside is a statue of Staunton mourning her dead.


On the way out , here is another view of the tower and bridge.


So many stories; so much beauty; another visit to Thornrose is in the making.

Please visit Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for more on Outdoor Wednesday.

9 comments:

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Some of the stonework in those old cemeteries are amazing!

Martha said...

What a beautiful cemetery.

Becky K. said...

I love to visit old cemeteries. This is a beautiful one. There is something fascinating about reading the stones and knowing that those families put a lot of thought into what they wanted the world to remember about their loved one.

Have a great day!
Becky K.
Hospitality Lane

JLS Hall (Joysweb) said...

I love touring old cemeteries - I find it very peaceful and reassuring, somehow. Of course, the children's graves are always very sad, but they do usually have some of the most interesting stonework. Beautiful photos.

Stacey said...

What an amazing place. Old cemeteries are beautiful.

Mrs. P. said...

Works of art. Thanks for sharing. I agree that old cemeteries are beautiful.

Lynn said...

Whenever we are traveling about this country or others, I always visit the cemeteries.
I don't know why I like them.
Macabre I guess.

Light and Voices said...

I enjoyed your pictures of a cemetary. ta ta for now.
Joyce M

Mary said...

Fascinating. Thanks for taking us on a tour of the cemetery. The memorial shaped like a cylinder was fascinating. Could he have been a beer drinker :-).