Tuesday, April 23, 2024

#AtoZChallenge - Taphophilia

 #AtoZChallenge 2024 letter T

Welcome to Day 20 of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge!

My theme this year is things that entertain / inspire me. 

Today is Taphophilia.  There are many different definitions, but this is basically the deep interest of cemeteries & headstones. 

So I am a taphophile.  Or "tombstone tourist".  I see some places describe it as an "unnatural" or "morbid" attraction to cemeteries.  I don't think so.  I enjoy going to cemeteries because they're peaceful.  I enjoy the art and history that goes along with them.  And judging by the number of Facebook groups I see out there, I'm definitely not the only one out there!

I've never been scared at a cemetery, either.  There's been a few little things that have happened, like one time I was out with Sis1, very early in the spring.  The only thing growing was a bunch of daffodils (which don't have much scent) on the other side of the small cemetery.  We were looking at some stones when I suddenly caught of whiff of perfume as if someone walked past me.  There was no breeze and neither Sis1 or I had any on.  So I feel that the someone was maybe thanking us for stopping by to visit.  Other times I've been drawn to certain stones, where I feel the need to stop for a moment and wonder about their lives. 

I do listen to gut feelings.  If I get the feeling to not touch something - I don’t!  I was recently at a cemetery in Ohio and went to pick up a small stone that was laying face down… stopped right away and left it.  Another time I was at the cemetery that belonged to a “Home for the Feeble-Minded” and made sure I thanked everyone out loud for the visit and asked that no one followed us (Sis1 was with me).  

Here are a few of my favorite stones. 

Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston SC
Post Cemetery, Mackinac Island
The earliest burials likely date to the mid-1820s.
One of only 5 in the world authorized to always fly their flag at half mast - 
due the sheer number of unknowns.  Of 108 burials, 69 are unknown. 
Sacred to the memory of Col John Patterson, aged 52 years
Mary Young, his daughter, aged 19 years and 6 months
Charles Young, son of Mary Young, age 18 months
James Batcholer, aged 17 years
John Morris, aged 8 years and 9 months
Relatives of the above. 
All born at Philadelphia, state of Pennsylvania and fell victims 
within a few days of each other to the yellow fever of 1801 at St. Mary's, state of Georgia.  
This marble is erected my Francis Young and Lewis Levy, sons in law of Col John Patterson. 

Oak Grove, St Mary's GA
Col Patterson was a Revolutionary War vet.  
I visited this cemetery for the first time in 1992 or so and this grave always stayed in my mind.  So when the Spawn's dance team went to Nationals in Orlando in 2018, we flew into Atlanta & drove the rest of the way, just so we could stop here and pay our respects. 
Woodlawn Cemetery, Detroit
The Polar Bears Memorial, White Chapel, Troy MI

Oak Hill, Pontiac MI
Congregation of Moses Jewish Cemetery, Kalamazoo MI
Miss Myra is one of those who I felt drawn to. 
Mountain Home Cemetery, Kalamazoo MI

I haven't seen too many veteran stones with ships on them.  

The Queen City was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the Civil War and used as a gunboat to patrol the Confederate rivers to prevent trade.  In June of 1864, she was disabled by 2 regiments of Confederate cavalry and blown up.  Henry appears to have been 14 when that happened. 

Do you enjoy cemeteries?


  1. I do enjoy cemeteries and like you find them a peaceful place. I think that visiting a cemetery with thoughtfulness and consideration honors the dead in their sacred, final resting place.

  2. I enjoy cemeteries... they are peaceful, and I also enjoy the gravestones. Have you been to Bonaventure Cem. in Savannah Ga?

  3. There is so much history in cemeteries. They are undervalued and deserve more respect.


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