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Category: Historic Cemeteries

Win Tickets to the 2017 Aurora Alien Encounter #Texas #UFO #con

April 22, 2017: Aurora Alien Encounter UFO Conference Did You know a UFO crashed in Aurora, TX in 1897?  The City of Aurora and Vortexas invite you to come and celebrate the 120th anniversary of this bizarre event  on Saturday, April 22th, 2017 for the second annual AURORA ALIEN ENCOUNTER!   What is the Aurora Alien Encounter? This exciting UFO Conference commemorates a strange event which occurred on April 17, 1897 when a UFO crashed in Aurora, a small town north of Fort Worth, Texas.  After the crash, an alien body was recovered and buried in the local cemetery! I’ve written about…

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What Does a Sunrise or Sunset Symbolize on Headstones?

This week’s cemetery symbols topic: Just like several other cemetery symbols posts on my site, this one was inspired by graves I saw in Aurora, Texas. Today I’ll be answering the question: “What does a sunrise or sunset symbolize on a headstone?” Is it a Sunrise or a Sunset? When you see a sun on a headstone, the first thing you might wonder is, “Is this a sunrise? Or is this a sunset?” The answer is yes! And by ‘yes’ I”m not just being a wiseacre. What I mean is that this is a dual symbol. It actually represents both a sunrise…

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Historic Graveyards: What Does a Cube Symbolize on a Headstone?

Cubes are not merely decorative It’s easy to overlook the meaning behind simple shapes on historic headstones, and even to assume they are merely decorative. Sometimes, of course, that is the case. After all, a cube is not all that complex or particularly exciting to look at. Even so, when featured at a gravesite, there is often a symbolic meaning behind it. I recently came across this particular cube while exploring the historic graveyard up in Aurora, Texas and decided this week’s cemetery symbols post would answer the question, “What does a cube symbolize on a headstone?” What does a…

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The Quirky Grave of Anthony Bascilli in Thurber, Texas

Anthony Bascilli was a quirky guy! One of the most mysterious burial sites in historic Thurber Cemetery is the grave of Anthony Bascilli (1855 – 1932.)  Even in life, Anthony Bascilli had his quirks. According to Jeff Walker at the Texas Tabernacle blog, this Hungarian immigrant sometimes amused himself by getting drunk and tossing off half-sticks of dynamite while strolling the back roads of Thurber, Texas. Bascilli worked in Thurber’s coal mines, so I suppose access to dynamite was easy. And you’ve got to get your jollies somehow, right?   Anthony Bascilli’s elaborate burial plans What really sets Anthony Bascilli apart from other…

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Historic Texas Graveyard: Thurber Cemetery 

This week’s feature: Thurber Cemetery The following is an adapted excerpt from Unexpected Texas, my quirky travel guide to offbeat and overlooked day trips near Dallas and Fort Worth: This week’s featured graveyard is Thurber Cemetery. Part of what makes it such an interesting place to explore is the unique history of the area, so here’s a brief overview:   More than a Smokestack These days, Thurber’s 128-foot brick smokestack is the only thing most people notice as they whiz through this ghost town on their way to Abilene. It’s all that remains of the power plant which, in 1895,…

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Memorial Day’s Surprising Origins

Memorial Day’s Surprising Origins Did you know that Memorial Day began as a remembrance for Union soldiers who lost their lives in the American Civil War (1861-1865)? After World War I, this federal holiday was changed to honor all men and women who lost their lives in any US military conflict. Before that, Memorial Day was all about the north. Decoration Day Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. The word “decoration” refers to flags and bouquets with which citizens decorated the graves of fallen soldiers.  This name wasn’t changed until after World War II. Why is Memorial Day in…

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Barefoot Mailmen of Florida

Join me for an A to Z Road Trip! I’m taking you on a road trip with me by sharing travel photos for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. So come along as we explore some of my favorite offbeat, overlooked and just plain interesting places in Texas… and beyond! Today is letter B: Barefoot Mailmen of Florida Florida’s treacherous terrain One reason southern Florida remained sparsely populated for so long is because of its dense undergrowth. Even today, most public parks feature raised wooden boardwalks through the woods for visitors rather than mere trails. Boating, walking and swimming mailmen…

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Cemetery Roundup: Quirky Graves, Headstones & Epitaphs

FREE Cemetery Symbols Guide: Would you like a FREE guide to historic cemetery symbolism? If so, click the image below: April Fool’s Day fun… at the cemetery? Since it’s April Fool’s Day, thought I’d share a round up of some of the more playful interments I have come across while researching my upcoming book, Messages from the Dead: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbols. In fact, this afternoon on the Para Mysteries show, Teal Gray and I will be chatting about these quirky graves, as well as recent archeological finds pertaining to Hell Hounds lore. Tune in or catch the…

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Ashes of the Alamo Dead

Join me for an A to Z Road Trip! I’m taking you on a road trip with me by sharing travel photos for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. So come along as we explore some of my favorite offbeat, overlooked and just plain interesting places in Texas… and beyond! Today is letter A: Ashes of the Alamo Dead What happened to the Alamo dead? A sightseeing trip to San Antonio, Texas isn’t complete without a visit to the Alamo, however, few tourists realize that the remains of the Alamo soldiers are kept in a church a couple blocks away.…

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Texas UFO Expo: Aurora Alien Encounter

April 16, 2016: Aurora Alien Encounter! Did You know a UFO crashed in Aurora, TX in 1897? VORTEXAS and the City of Aurora invite you to join us on Saturday, April 16th, 2016 for the first annual AURORA ALIEN ENCOUNTER! This exciting UFO Conference commemorates a strange event which occurred on April 17, 1897 when a UFO crashed and an ALIEN body was recovered and buried in the local cemetery. Even after more than 100 years, this incident still stands out as one of the most extraordinary UFO cases of our time! Come enjoy a conference at Aurora’s local MD Resort…

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Para Mysteries: Mortsafes & Caged Graves

FREE Cemetery Symbols Guide: Would you like a FREE guide to historic cemetery symbolism? If so, click the image below: Historic Cemetery Symbol of the Week This week’s Historic Cemetery Symbol post is about mortsafes and Resurrectionists. The topic was inspired by my friend, Teal Gray, when she told me about the mysterious Caged Graves of Catawassa. In fact, Teal and I will be discussing everything in this post during a one-hour radio show, as you can see in the graphic below:    Historic Cemeteries: Who were the Resurrectionists? These days, people often make arrangements to donate their body to science…

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Historic Cemetery Symbols: Monkey Grave at an Upscale Restaurant

2 Graves at an Italian Restaurant? Voted #3 in a list of the Top 10 Iconic Streets in the USA, Worth Avenue is an upscale shopping street in the resort town of Palm Beach, Florida. So why are there two graves on Worth Avenue – one for a monkey and the other for a dog – tucked away in the courtyard of an Italian restaurant? Jazz Age eccentric: Addison Mizner It all starts with Addison Mizner (1872-1933) a quirky architect who settled in South Florida in 1918 after having lived all over the world, including China, New York, Guatemala, Alaska, and…

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Historic Cemetery Symbols: Disgraced Widow’s Revenge

The Tale of Annie & Sidney Saunders For Valentine’s Day, I bring you this tale of a lovelorn widow tormented by malicious gossip, who used her husband’s grave to set the record straight: In the late 1800’s, Sidney Saunders was a wealthy grocer and saloonkeeper in Monroe, Louisiana. Like any successful businessman, Mr. Saunders had detractors. In his case, many townspeople suspected that the bulk of his fortune came from illegal channels, including brothels and gambling. But the gossips really had a field day when Sidney Saunders left on business and returned with Annie E. Livingston on his arm. Although they claimed…

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Historic Cemetery Symbols: Why these Men are Literally Chained Together in Death! #history #cemetery #symbols

Strange and unusual historic grave in Jefferson, Texas For this week’s Historic Cemetery post, I’m sharing the story behind a grave marker that is quite strange and unique. In fact, I’ve never come across a similar arrangement. If you have, please let me know! East Texas Frenemies Although they lived roughly 80 years before the word was coined, it’s hard to think of a better example for the word “frenemy” than the lives of Jesse Robinson and Bill Rose. The two men lived in the east Texas town of Jefferson, where Bill Rose ran a blacksmith shop. As for Jesse Robinson,…

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Historic Cemetery Symbols: What do Daffodils Represent?

Historic Cemetery Symbol of the Week Last week’s post was about the symbolic meaning of lambs, which are quite a common sight in historic cemeteries. This week, however, I wanted to talk about the symbolism of something less commonly seen on cemetery headstones: Daffodils. What do Daffodils symbolize? Just because it’s a bit rare on headstones, doesn’t mean this gorgeous blossom lacks symbolic meaning. Since they are some of the first flowers to bloom each spring, daffodils are the birth flower for those, like me, who were born in March. In fact, spring has many symbolic associations, such as new…

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Historic Cemetery Symbols: The Meaning of Oak Leaves & Acorns

FREE Cemetery Symbols Guide: Would you like a FREE guide to historic cemetery symbolism? If so, click the image below: Oaks – America’s National Tree Oak leaves and acorns adorn many tombstones in historic cemeteries in the USA, but even today, oak trees are appreciated and admired for their many special qualities. Not only were they voted America’s favorite tree, but in 2004, the U.S. Congress signed a bill making the Oak America’s National Tree. So what make the oak tree so special to Americans? For one thing, the oak is the most widespread hardwood tree in the USA, with…

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Historic Cemetery Symbols: What does the DAR emblem represent?

FREE Cemetery Symbols Guide: Would you like a FREE guide to historic cemetery symbolism? If so, click the image below: Historic Cemetery Symbol of the Week: the DAR emblem This week’s Historic Cemetery Symbol of the week is the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) emblem: Daughters of the American Revolution symbology: When you see a Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) emblem on a grave, it means that the woman buried there was a member of this service organization. The only way to be accepted as a member of DAR is to have direct lineage to to an ancestor who…

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10th Annual Saints & Sinners Tour in Fort Worth, Texas

Oakwood Cemetery’s Saints & Sinners Tour What do you get when you combine live theater, regional history, and a beautiful Texas graveyard? Why, the Annual Oakwood Cemetery Saints & Sinners Tour, of course! Yes, folks, the North Fort Worth Historical Society has knocked it out of the park again – and by “park,” I mean beautiful historic grounds of Oakwood Cemetery. Each year, members of the North Fort Worth Historical Society choose notable figures from Oakwood Cemetery’s residents to “bring to life” through well-researched performances spaced throughout the grounds. (To read about last year’s cast of characters, check out my photo…

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History, Haunts & Legends Paranormal Conference in Jefferson, Texas

What is Jefferson’s History, Haunts and Legends? History, Haunts, and Legends (HHL) is a one-day paranormal conference held in Jefferson, Texas twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall. Jodi Breckenridge, who leads the Jefferson Ghost Walk, created this event in 2006, and it has steadily gained momentum ever since! Historic Cemetery Symbols Talk I’m so excited to be giving my Historic Cemetery Symbols presentation at History, Haunts, and Legends on November 7, 2015. I absolutely love the town of Jefferson and have been dying to attend HHL, but it’s just never worked out for me in…

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Historic Cemetery Symbols: The “Vein of Love” & the Meaning of Left and Right

Symbolic Meaning of Left & Right For this week’s Historic Cemetery Symbols post, we explore: The Meaning of Left and Right, and the Vein of Love! Left and Right on a Headstone Married folks often share a headstone, and when they do, most of the time you will notice that – as you stand facing the monument – the wife’s name will be on the left, and the husband’s name will be on the right. In the same vein (pun intended, but you’ll have to read the rest of this post to get it!), if you’ve ever attended a traditional Christian…

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