I happened to find myself in Calvary Cemetery on a crisp cold January morning, tasked with recording data of gravestones, I finished scribbling down some notes before taking a moment to enjoy the golden rays of the sunrise fall over the view of U-Village. Cemeteries can be some of the most peaceful, beautiful places in our sprawling metal and glass cities. They are very much tied into human antiquity, while the city is built up and torn down around, the heavy stones stand strong in the cemetery, every one a signature of a life passed on.
After reviewing the compiled data, it is evident that human life ebbs and flows throughout time. No one period of time had the same style or type of stone, each stone holds information of who is buried there, who they loved and who loved them, what was going on in the world at the time, and so much more. The spike of deaths from 1920 to 1950 stands out very clearly in the histogram below, why this influx of burials during this time? Well, WWII and the adverse effect it had on the world is the clear answer, however other leading factors may have included; influenza, tuberculosis and a number of other diseases. It is quite interesting the way local graveyards show signs of world wide events.
The following chart accounts for frequency of gravestone material types compiled from our class data. It reflects the frequency of death as well. During the 1940s it is interesting that there is a small spike in cement, which might account for the large amounts of burials happening in the 1940s and possibly the inability to afford higher-end stones for a portion of the population.
Frequency of gravestone material types at Calvary Cemetery