Sunday, August 22, 2010

Albany Rural Cemetery - Elsie's Grave

The Albany Rural Cemetery is filled with monuments to young children. 19th-century infant and child mortality rates were high and, even among affluent families, it wasn't uncommon for children to die of illness well before adolescence. Their monuments are usually small and often decorated with lambs or doves or likenesses of sleeping infants.

This poignant monument, which bears the name Elsie, stands on a hill not far from the Cemetery's main entrance on Broadway and features a little girl's boots and a straw hat complete with carved ribbons. The hat is propped at the base of a branchless tree trunk, a popular Victorian symbol of a youth cut short by death.

1 comment:

  1. That's so sad, but at the same time, so beautiful. The symbolism of the life cut short with the tree trunk is poignant. The little shoes and the hat are heartbreaking.
    Cemeteries tell so many stories.