April A to Z Challenge 2020: It’s that time of year! Every April, bloggers around the world make posts for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to make friends online. Here’s my post for today:
[The following is an adapted excerpt from my book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols. I hope you enjoy it! Also, full disclosure: that’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy stuff after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.]
So many fraternal organizations!
In the 1800s there were over 2000 different fraternal organizations and clubs across the USA. Back then, you wanted to belong to as many as you could. Why? Many of them provided social services to their members. Some of them had death benefits that included cemetery plots and headstones.
In Fort Worth, for instance, members fo the Bricklayers International League of America were entitled to a burial plot and headstone in the prestigious Oakwood Cemetery. I was so puzzled the first time I saw their emblem. It was a new one to me!
As you can see, one year the local historic group (NFWHS) included Bartenders Row in their annual Saints and Sinners Tour. It was fascinating to hear him tell us what life was like serving up drinks down in the rowdy Hell’s Half Acre section of Fort Worth.
Does your cemetery feature any professions?
Even so, bartending was considered a respectable profession in those days. Oakwood Cemetery also has a section known as Bricklayers Row. As you can see from the photo, this area features some fancy brickwork.
Take a Virtual Cemetery Tour with Me:
I recently paid a visit to Euday Bowman’s mausoleum, Bricklayers Row, and Bartenders Row in Fort Worth’s historic Oakwood Cemetery. Would you like to come along? If so, click here to see the video.
Does your local cemetery include any areas dedicated to specific professions?
Learn more at my Historic Cemetery Podcast & YouTube Channel:
Do you have questions about headstone symbols? Drop by my YouTube channel and let me take you one some virtual cemetery tours! You can also tune in to my 30-minute historic cemetery podcast on the first Tuesday of each month: Tombstone Tuesday with Tui Snider.
READ MY BOOK: If you enjoy historic cemeteries and want to learn more, check out my book: Understanding Cemetery Symbols. It’s available on Amazon in paperback and ebook form.