The Vilulah Cemetery has a nice selection of Victorian monuments. I’m sharing a few random examples.
James Bigbie was one of the founders of Vilulah, and served on the committee which chose the community’s unusual name. He lost an arm during service in the Mexican-American War.
J. E. was the son of James N. and Louisa Jane Grant Bigbie. This stone was broken at one point and repaired with different material. The open hymnal is a variation on the more commonly seen open or closed Bible.
The weeping willow is a well-loved Victorian cemetery icon, usually signifying sorrow and sadness.
A lamb symbolizes the purity and innocence of youth and is pervasive in Victorian cemeteries, as infant and childhood deaths were quite common.
The dove is among the most enduring Victorian cemetery symbols, and is said to be carrying the soul of the departed to Heaven when flying. In this case, it marks the passing of the infant daughter of J. J. and M. L. Dawson.
I’ve not been able to identify this symbol. Dan Fogelson suggests…it might be peacock feathers…used to symbolize the resurrection and eternal life (male peacock grows new and more beautiful feathers year after year).
Mrs. Gilmer died just a few weeks before her 100th birthday. I’ve been unable to locate a first name for her but she was undoubtedly a beloved member of the Vilulah community.
I believe this grave marking to be a memorial for the infant son of Robert Edward Lee Ingram (19 October 1865-22 September 1891), whose more formal headstone is located adjacent to this plot. The field stones were likely gathered nearby. The elder Ingram himself died at the age of 25, so I would guess this child was born and died sometime between 1885-1890.
Could the symbol on the Frances Fuller headstone be peacock feathers…used to symbolize the resurrection and eternal life (male peacock grows new and more beautiful feathers year after year)?
Dan, it does look like peacock feathers, now that you mention it.