victorian cemeteries


Van Alstyne Cemetery. Van Alstyne, Texas. Fall 2016.

I’ve spent a lot of time in Cemeteries around Texas. A LOT of time. I’ve occasionally seen pictures of the deceased included on the headstone, but this is the first actual Post Mortem baby photograph that I’ve come across. 

By the late 1800′s photography was becoming more and more common and popular, however it was still enough of a luxury that most individual families didn’t own their own camera. For this reason, there were occasions when someone would die before there was a convenient opportunity to have them photographed. This was particularly true of children. 

When this happened, families found themselves with no photographs to remember the departed by… Their solution to this problem was to have the deceased person photographed before burial. In this instance, poor little James Lucas passed away when just over a year old in 1898. The parents had his photo taken and transferred to a china/ceramic disk afixed to the front of the headstone. 


The old Western Methodist Cemetery on Cherry Steet in Chillicothe, Ohio. It was abandoned when the church it was attached to closed. The city condemned it in the 1880s. The graves with stones were moved to Grandview Cemetery. The burials which were unmarked or had missing stones were interred in a mass grave on the edge of the cemetery. The “old hpsital” occupies the land now. The broken stones were sold for scrap, so locals occasionally find one when re-doing their sidewalks.

Stereoview scene of three children and a translucent angel posing around a tombstone titled “The orphans at their mother’s grave,“ 1889. By Melander and Brother.

Source: Library of Congress.