Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cemetery Sunday: Hardee Chapel Cemetery with bonus Video Visit

This is a small cemetery in Greenville, NC. It's located off 10th Street, one of the busier streets in town, but it's barely visible from street level since the cemetery is located on a small rise or hill. The steps up to the cemetery are steep and narrow, constructed from cinder blocks with steel pipe for a handrail. The cemetery is particularly interesting for the variety of grave markers present, the earliest markers of John Hardee, his wife, and his son, are the earliest in the cemetery, and quite possibly the earliest surviving markers in the county. They are black New England slate with some unusual iconography. John Hardee and his wife's markers have a sun motif - a rising or setting sun.
sun_motif

Sorry about the quality of the image - it's hard to get a clear picture of slate, especially when the marker is in the shade. You can at least get an idea of the Sun motif. Whenever I see this particular motif I'm reminded of a (possibly apocryphal) story about George Washington. It seems he was seated in a chair that featured a sun carving on the back. He would comment that he had spent some time deciding if it were a rising or setting sun and had decided it was a rising sun appearing over the new republic.
Anyway, back to Hardee Chapel. As I said, for such a small cemetery it has quite a collection of markers. You can get a glimpse into most styles in this small cemetery. There are 3 slate markers, John Hardee's and his wife's grave both share the same sun motif.
Slate marker

john hardy's marker

Their son's grave has a different motif:
dual symbols on slate

The winged hourglass and cherubim isn't entirely uncommon, but I have not seen a grave where the two occur on the same marker anywhere else in NC. He was relatively young when he died, in his 20's. His marker details his life, unfortunately I was not able to transcribe the lettering as it wasn't legible the day I was in the cemetery. Sometimes it takes several visits to get all of a long inscription - the light, moisture, and everything else has to be just right!
Moving along in time from the colonial, there are a few markers that are either a compressed sandstone or weathered marble:
sandstone or marble

Along with late 19th century/early 20th marble:
Marble marker

And finally 20th century concrete and granite:
concrete slab

Modern granite marker

As a special treat, this Cemetery Sunday is combined with a Video Visit! Check out the video below for more details of the cemetery and the markers in it, along with a glimpse of the surrounding neighborhood!



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2 comments:

Emily Greene said...

The Hardee headstones are interesting. The wife is older and the husband a lawyer. I'm sure there's a story to be told about those two.

Steel Fabrication said...

Thanks for the additional information! That was great!