A field guide
Old cemeteries are fascinating to survey, and old grave markers — with their wealth of symbols and carvings — can be inspiring or confusing.
If an upward-pointing finger on a grave marker means the deceased is in heaven, does a finger pointing down mean the opposite? Does an anchor mean a connection to the sea? What about crowns, doves, arrows, lambs, roses, and the multitude of other symbols and decorations found in Midwestern cemeteries?
The authors are dedicated cemetery explorers who have devoted years to their studies of Iowa and its people — living and dead.
Loren N. Horton was senior historian of the State Historical Society of Iowa. His interests include the social history of the nineteenth century, particularly funeral and burial customs in England and the United States. In addition to writing poetry and history, Horton has written plays and is presently at work on a mystery novel.
Michael D. Zahs is a historian and educator who has a lifelong devotion to preserving cemeteries and celebrating the history of Iowa.
116 pages, illustrated in color