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Historic Cemetery Symbols: Fairview Cemetery in Gainesville, Texas

Children inside a scallop shell (photo by Tui Snider)
Children inside a scallop shell (photo by Tui Snider)

Graveyard Symbols in Fairview Cemetery, Gainesville, Texas

I’m playing hooky this week! Rather than talk about one particular historic cemetery symbol, I’m going to talk about a historic graveyard that I visited last week.

If you’re on my weekly newsletter, or you’ve seen me elsewhere online, you’ve probably heard me talking about how excited I was to be giving my Historic Cemetery Symbols presentation at the Santa Fe Depot in Gainesville, Texas as part of the Hill House Manor Paranormal Expo sponsored by ASAP Entertainment.

The entire event was a blast and a half, and my talk went well. People seemed interested and I learned some really interesting things from audience members.

Afterwards, a man named Greg asked if I’d visited Fairview Cemetery, which was right up the street from us. When I said no, but I knew from checking it out on that it was *huge,* he offered to give me and my husband a guided tour of some of his favorite graves there.

Here are a few highlights from our tour (you can see more graveyard photos by clicking this link to my Facebook photo album for Fairview Cemetery in Gainesville, Texas.)

Unusual half-carved stone (photo by Tui Snider)
Unusual half-carved stone (photo by Tui Snider)

Unusual Half-Carved Stone:

If you saw my graveyard symbolism post about the meaning behind half-carved stones, then you will notice that this one has some interesting differences. That circle in the center, for instance, with the name “Light” in the middle. There was nothing engraved on the other side of the monument, so I assume that “Light” is someone’s surname. We were in a rush, however, so I wasn’t able to find out much more than that.

I love this epitaph! (photo by Tui Snider)
I love this epitaph! (photo by Tui Snider)

Playful Epitaph from a Black Sheep:

I love this epitaph, don’t you? I can’t help but think that I would have enjoyed knowing this fellow. I wonder what he did to become the black sheep in his family. Did he come from a extremely strict clan, or did he do something particularly eccentric? To me, the best epitaphs make you curious about the deceased person’s life. (Here are a couple posts I wrote about epitaphs: E is for Epitaph, and Epitaphs for the Living?)

This tree stone is *not* a Woodmen of the World memorial (photo by Tui Snider)
This tree stone is *not* a Woodmen of the World memorial (photo by Tui Snider)

Tree Stone that is *not* a Woodmen of the World:

Here in Texas, nearly every tree stone that I come across is affiliated with the Woodmen of the World, a fraternal insurance group. I will be writing about the Woodmen of the World in an upcoming post, but what made me excited about this particular monument is that it is *not* for a Woodmen of the World member. Tree stones were a popular motif in the Victorian Era, and I came across a few in Gainesville, Texas at Fairview Cemetery.

Once again, to see more from photos from  this road trip click this link to my Facebook photo album for Fairview Cemetery in Gainesville, Texas. Until next week, happy travels!

Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism:

I am currently writing a field guide to historic cemetery symbolism. Each Tuesday, I share a small snippet from my upcoming book. It’s my goal to create a handy-dandy pocket guide for taphophiles, genealogists, ghost hunters, and anyone else interested in the historic graveyard symbols that have become forgotten over the years.

Which symbols are you curious about?

Let me know in the comments if there is a certain symbol that you are curious about. Also, if you would like to know when the cemetery symbolism guide is available for purchase, scroll down and sign up for my newsletter! I look forward to hearing from you!

Want to read more like this?

To read about more weird, offbeat, and overlooked places, check out my best-selling travel guide:
UNEXPECTED TEXAS: Your Guide to Offbeat & Overlooked History, Day Trips & Fun Things to do near Dallas & Fort Worth

For ghost hunting hot spots, check out my best-selling travel guide to haunted places:
PARANORMAL TEXAS: Your Travel Guide to Haunted Places near Dallas & Fort Worth

For a strange-but-true tale of Texas history, check out this bizarre piece of West Texas history:
The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber



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No matter where you live in the galaxy, Tui's books can take you on a FUN adventure!
No matter where you live in the galaxy, Tui Snider’s books can take you on a FUN adventure!

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Tui Snider

Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in North Texas travel, cemetery symbols, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!”

Snider’s best-selling books include Paranormal Texas , Understanding Cemetery Symbols, and 100 Things to Do in Dallas - Fort Worth Before You Die.

Snider has several more books in progress, and enjoys connecting with writers and readers all over the globe through social media, her newsletter and her website:

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