Monday, April 30, 2012

Homemade Memorials

So this past weekend I made a trip to the Butler Creek Cemetery, nestled in the hills just North of the community of Sulpher Springs. I had never been up toward that direction and, WOW! was it beautiful!!
Trees and plants of all kinds dot the landscape, creating a beautiful setting for this quaint little cemetery.

Butler Creek Cemetery
Aside from the beauty surrounding the cemetery, I was in awe of the number of homemade memorials that had been placed throughout and will focus this post on those memorials.

You see, mankind has had an emotional and historical need to remember the loved ones it has lost and the history it has made since the beginning of time. Of course we have evidence of this today with ancient monuments such as the Great Pyramids and their hieroglyphics, Stonehenge, and many, many more.
This need is inherent and human nature is to ensure that the need to remember is met.

While there is no material (to our knowledge) that will stand the test of time in the cemetery as long as or as well as granite, some families choose to create homemade memorials from other materials for several different reasons. Perhaps the family has experienced financial hardships that keep them from purchasing a granite memorial for their loved one. Or, perhaps their loved one worked in a certain area of skilled trade and the family simply wanted to remember them with something they had made. Whatever the reason, the important thing is that their loved one, whether they were cremated or traditionally buried, has been remembered and memorialized

This memorial (to the right) appears to have been derived from a cross-shaped tree branch. It has been whittled smooth and features the gentleman's name "Jim" where the arms cross. It is set into the ground with some concrete.

You will notice the little vase to the side of the monument has become separated from its base. Over the years I have heard countless customers describe the lengths they have gone to to fix a broken vase and, unfortunately, most of those remedies do not work.
Folks have tried Gorilla Glue, shoe glue, some kind of adhesive caulk, hot glue, the list goes one. However, if you want to re-attach a vase to a base, the only solution that truly works and holds up over time, is to use what we call "vase tape". If you need some, drop by the store and I will give you some.
If your vase has cracked, busted or otherwise broken, there is, unfortunately, no way to fix it indefinitely. The best solution if that is the case is to completely replace it.
This cross memorial (to the left) is actually one of my favorite homemade memorials in BCC and appears to have been chiseled from native stone.
The metal butterfly in the middle is actually wired to the memorial and looks like it is in pretty good shape.
The "sunburst" design back behind the cross has been beautifully done as well.
Although beautiful, I was unable to locate the name of the deceased on either the front or the back; Perhaps the inscription has weathered away.
This double marker (to the right) features a VA marker (free-issued by the US Government for Veteran's who had honorable discharges from any branch of the military) that has been inlaid into a concrete border that doubles as a memorial for his wife. The neat thing about this monument is 1) they used a colored concrete, which helps it become more visible from the ground and 2) they were really ingenious in their use of resources.
It isn't uncommon to have a family come in who has noticed that a homemade headstone has become difficult to read. In these cases the family will typically choose to leave the homemade memorial in the cemetery, undisturbed, and place a flat granite marker in front of it that lists the individual's name, dates and any other important information.

We hope you have found this post both informative and interesting. Please contact Emerson Monument Company if you have any questions or a need that we can assist you with.

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