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.
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….