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29 October 2008 @ 11:40 pm
Oaklawn Cemetery tour, Tampa Florida  
Sunday I went to a 'gothic cemetery walk' at Tampa's oldest cemetery, Oaklawn, established in 1850. It was wonderful! Our guide, Maureen Patrick of the Tampa Historical Society, dressed in Victorian-era widow's dress and gave the tour as Miss Prudence Fipwhistle, born 1844 and died 1899. Here are but a sampling of the pictures (and there's a LOT! Click on the pic to zoom in :)

Ms. Patrick's outfit was simply EXQUISITE. Although it was nice outside, she must have been baking in it!

One note - the newer, square graves actually replaced the original wooden ones. There were more, but the Historical Society replaced ones that were legible.

Also, there is a section of the cemetery that appears to be empty, but is actually a mass grave that was dug for the victims of yellow fever, as there was an epidemic back in the 1800s.

Maureen Patrick as 'Miss Prudence Fipwhistle' - she was just wonderful!

This is the mass grave where the victims of yellow fever were buried...

All through the cemetery were these huge oaks laden with Spanish Moss...

An empty mausoleum...

Inside the mausoleum...

There was a section of the cemetery that marginalized members of society were buried. This memorial to them was erected in 1978.

One of the graves that used to have a wooden marker. Also, this is one of the few cemeteries that actually have gravestons signifying 'pirates'.

Adam's story was especially sad - he was accused of murder, but evidence was largely circumstantial. He was hanged anyway, due to city politics...

The last stop on the tour was a story about a prominent businessman who was in love with an African American woman. She was at first his slave, but after emancipation became his cook. She was the love of his life. Their friend, and entreprenuer, John Jackson, had this epitath engraved:

It says: "Here lies Wm (William) Ashley and Nancy Ashley: Master and Servant, Faithful to each other in that relation in life, in death they are not separated. Stranger, consider, and be wiser. In the Grave all human distinction, of race or caste, mingle together in one common dust."

This was one of the most beautiful gravesites. Sadly, the lovely statue you see, which is supposed to signify hope, was damaged with a sledgehammer by vandals...

A close up of Valeria - she died of typhoid fever.

Some other shots of the cemetery:

There are lots more pics, but I'll post more tomorrow. Or, provide a link to my Myspace album :)
Current Mood: accomplished
radicefamilyradicefamily on May 25th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
just beautiful pictures! thank you so much for sharing!