Time travel as close as your local cemetery.

Sunday’s Cemetery 12

May 10, 2015 / by davidwalton

DSC06819Cemeteries. Every city has one. They are mysterious, historic, haunting and, to me, fascinating. I developed a fondness for cemeteries as a boy.

Now whenever I’m out of town, I always make it a point to visit a cemetery. To me, they are better than any mountain range, skyline or other popular tourist attraction. They are hidden treasures containing a wealth of information about communities and the people who lived there.

Chances are you have visited a cemetery at some time in your life to pay your respects to a family member or friend, and perhaps you too appreciate the stories represented among the tombstones and monuments.

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Unusual as it may seem, you won’t find any traditional headstones in White Chapel Memorial Gardens.

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Bench markers are allowed for cremated remains.

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The military monument honoring our men and women in uniform adds a nice personal touch to the grounds at White Chapel.

My travels take me to all over the South and Midwest, so I have decided to start documenting my cemetery visits with a series of photos in a new Sunday feature.

This week’s cemetery is White Chapel Memorial Gardens in Barboursville, WV.  I used to pass by this cemetery frequently when I would travel to Charleston, WV on business. It’s quite noticeable from Interstate 64E.

What makes this cemetery, which opened in 1952, unique from all others I’ve visited over the years is it only permits flat markers. That’s right, no upright headstones. Not that there’s anything wrong with such a rule but it looks unusual seeing so many artificial flowers poking up from the ground. The cemetery’s website touts the property as being “located on peaceful flat grounds.”

Beside the flat markers, there are bench markers for cremated remains as well as mausoleums. The cemetery also features a splendid area that pays tribute to our military veterans. Life-size statues of men and women dressed in full uniform are strategically placed and all of the military branches are represented by flags flying overhead.

Have you ever visited a cemetery with any unusual characteristics or rules. If so, I’d like to hear from you.

Until next time….

2 thoughts on “Sunday’s Cemetery 12

  1. RayJ says:

    My maternal grandmother and great-grand parents (and many other family members) are buried in a small cemetary off Rt. 64 in Barboursville. It is largely the Cyrus family (yes, distantly related to Bill Ray) and dates to when WV was actually VA. Interesting that you would be in that area. Both sides of my family (and me, too) are from that general area.

  2. davidwalton says:

    Pretty cool to have famous relatives such as Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus. West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky have many similarities – hills, hillbillies and quaint family cemeteries. Next time I’m in the area, I plan to visit your grandparents’ cemetery on Route 64. Thanks for the comment.

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