History :: Miscellaneous Markers
Miscellaneous Markers PDF Print E-mail

Of course, less elaborate markers with traditional symbolism, though not as numerous or dominant on the landscape, dot the cemetery as well. This indicates that Hollywood was used not only by Jackson's wealthy citizens, but also by families of moderate means and who exhibited less ostentatious tastes in funerary art than some of the families whose markers are described above. One example is the two-foot high double arched marker for Liberty and Susan Weir (died 1891) [Section E, Lot 76]. An open book, often indicating a deceased teacher or the Christian ‘Book of Life', is carved in relief within a recessed circle in the upper one third of Susan's side while Liberty's side features clasped hands. The clasped handshake motif holds various meanings ranging from goodbye to friendship.


                                     Weir Liberty 2                                                                   Photo by Cristie Wright


One of the oldest motifs in funerary art, and the one used most frequently for a child's grave, is the lamb, signifying death of an innocent or a sacrifice. Three nice examples at Hollywood are identical fifteen-inch-high round shoulder rectangular tablet tombstones, each topped by a lamb carved in full relief, marking the graves of three children in the Young family who died before reaching age two. (1912, 1914, 1916) [Section E, Lot 36].


                                        Young Barbara C

                                          Photo by Cristie Wright


Unexpectedly, the cemetery also holds at least one folk art grave marker, the double, rectangular tablet style marker made of concrete for John and Gertie Rhodes (died 1943 and 1966, respectively)[Section H, Lot 29].  It is approximately three feet wide, one foot tall, and three inches deep, set on a flat base rising two inches above ground level, and has hand incised block lettering. The ‘N' in John is a backward, mirror image letter form.  This substantiates the fact that at least a few persons outside the wealthy upper class were buried at Hollywood.


                        Rhodes John                                             Photo by Cristie Wright         


Hollywood's landscaping and "modern" design was especially attractive to Jackson's wealthy and upper middle class in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century; therefore, the cemetery represents the town's Gilded Age. It also physically embodied the ethos of Jim Crow segregation then shaping the landscape of the South, with its restriction that the cemetery was reserved for whites only. With its abundance of artistic grave markers, designed plan, and landscaped grounds, Hollywood Cemetery retains its integrity as a high-style Victorian cemetery. Its site, setting, and stylish monuments continue to evoke a sense of its past as the city's premier burial ground for whites during the cemetery's period of significance. When its history and the contributions of people buried there are considered along with its funerary art, Hollywood Cemetery exudes historic and artistic significance and merits placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

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