Death and Society

Calvary Cemetery is a rather old one in Seattle and possibly has been here since its very inception. As I had imagined, the most common epitaphs and messages were things like Beloved Mother and Beloved Father and here and there a quote from the Bible, after all this cemetery used to be a Catholic exclusive one. Many were former veterans usually from World War II some of I. One individual was what I believe to be some sort of nurse or doctor based on the caduceus symbol on her marker.
The seriation in my data was primarily focused on the type of grave marker used and looking at what kind of markers were most popular in each period of time over 5 year increments. There were particularly many deaths between 1935-1945 in particular which coincided with the end of the Great Depression and American entry into World War II. This conclusion came from the fact there were so many small block markers, which were the vast majority of what I saw at the cemetery. Monument markers bearing multiple family members were at their peak in this moment as well. Based on the economy at the time, I figured that these were the most affordable options at the time based on the small size of the markers and sheer frequency. Monuments would have an economic advantage of being shareable by many members. Some of which I saw had no death date meaning that person was still alive and would be added later. There were relatively few veterans from what I expected but it is possibly they were mainly in veteran cemeteries instead. It should also be noted that most of these vets survived the war. A larger portion occurred the depression and were possibly because of illness and age.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *