St. Marys Oak Grove Cemetery - The Angel
Note the detail on the Angel's remaining hand.
All Photos taken by & © by Tara D. Fields 1999-2004.
The Angel of Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Marys is one of our most well known grave markers. Sitting near the center close to the Bartlett Road entrance, she watches over the graves of two people: Frank M. Paige (1859-1893) and Camden Mason Sheffield (1869-1897). In a walking tour of the cemetery, Eloise Thompson mentioned that C.M. Sheffield was originally buried at Sheffield Cemetery northwest of Kingsland. His wife was not happy with this situation, so in the middle of the night, without the knowledge of Mr. Sheffield's immediate family, she had his body moved to this spot. It was some time before his worried father found his son's new resting place.
I [Tara Fields] do not know what the connection was between these two young men but I would assume they were friends, cousins, or some such.
Regardless of the Angel's age, the care taken in her design and the attention to detail is still evident. The picture to the right shows that her finger nails and the wrinkles around her knuckles are still evident.
Carved at the base is the message: "Awaiting the Resurrection."
Unfortunately, the Angel has not escaped damage. The fingers on her right hand are missing, some of her right wing has disappeared, and there is some overall deterioration.
In some ways, her weathered appearance just makes her even more appealing to those who gaze up at her.
With any luck, her considerate continence will continue to watch over her charges for many more years to come.
"Gone But Not Forgotten"
I don't consider this interest morbid. The families of these people went through time, effort, and expense in an effort to leave a reminder of their loved ones. In fact, one of the most common phrases found on stones is "Gone, but not forgotten." Here's my contribution to the memory of our ancestors.
When photographing the Angel, I went a little shutter happy. Not being able to decide which photos to post on the web, I decided to put all of them up. After all, it IS my domain! :-)
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