Shaw Cemetery - Bath, Ohio

It's the first Sunday in October, which means it's time for another installment of Cemetery Sundays, where I grab my camera and roam local cemeteries, documenting the richly ornate tombstones and epitaphs contained within.

As I continue to shoot this series, I have really begun to focus on tombstones from the 1800s (luckily, most cemeteries in the Northeast Ohio area have stones dating back that far). Their ornate shapes coupled with the detailed, calligraphic epitaphs make for beautiful photos, something that you just can't get with the traditional marble tombstones of today. 

I look forward to doing this each season, as I have really come to appreciate the time alone, quietly walking around a cemetery free from distraction. It has become a nice weekly escape to document something that isn't normally considered beautiful by the average person. 

So let's kick off a new season of Cemetery Sundays. Enjoy!

One of the cool things about moving to a new home, especially MY new home, is that there is a new, entirely unexplored expanse of cemeteries to photograph in the immediate area. A quick Google Maps search revealed an unexpectedly large list of cemeteries very close by, and on an initial scouting run I noticed that most were very small, local plots dating back to the 1800s. Perfect targets for this series!

The first cemetery I decided to shoot was Shaw Cemetery in Bath, Ohio. I had passed by frequently since moving and had noticed many older-looking tombstones within the grounds. I got up just before dawn, grabbed my camera and went to work.

The strange thing about this cemetery is that it also has a predominant sign attached at the entrance reading "Moore's Chapel." Yet, there was no structure outside of a small maintenance shed anywhere on the grounds. I couldn't figure out what this chapel was...

Luckily, a quick online search revealed that the original land was actually two separate plots. One was a plot originally acquired from the Shaw family (their daughter was thought to be the first person interred here) in 1836, and the other was a plot in which a Methodist chapel had been built, the major benefactor of the build being Oliver Moore, giving the cemetery its alias name.

So now the dual-name conundrum has been quickly solved and the only thing left to do is sit back and enjoy (and maybe even get inspired by) Shaw Cemetery. Or Moore's Chapel Cemetery. Whichever you prefer...

The cemetery grounds, just before dawn...

Shaw Cemetery. Or Moore's Chapel. Either or.

The marker of Nathan Thorp, soldier in the Revolutionary War.

The only reason that I took the photo above was to officially claim right here and now that the next band I'm in will DEFINITELY be called "Stoton & Philena."

Be sure to stop by again next Sunday (and every Sunday in October) to explore another cemetery in the Cemetery Sunday series!



Lady M said...

Stoton and Philena are great names. I love the way many of these have gone wonky. I marvel at all the different shapes and thicknesses - lots of inspriation for tombstone building.

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