Grave Marker Symbols and Wrought Iron Fences
by Billie J. Rightmire

Grave Marker Symbols
The Lamb is the symbol of Christ and is one of the favorite and most frequently used symbols in Christian art for little children.
A sheaf of wheat or a shattered urn was used for the aged.
Variations of the Weeping Willow reflects the sorrow of those left behind.
The upright Cypress - reflects hope. The evergreen leaves of a yew - eternal life.
Doorways and Gateways on stones reminded viewers that death is the open door to afterlife.
Grapes and their vines, vines and flowers represent Christ. Ivy because it stays green all year signifies immortality, eternal life. Lilly of the Valley is one of the first blooming flowers of the year and the beginning of Spring. The fragrance and whiteness of the flowers symbolize the Virgin Mary.
A Rope - signified eternity
A Rising Sun - to indicate resurrection.
Angels or wings of an Angel - wings themselves are the symbol of divine mission.
Clasping of Hands - may be interpreted as a handshake as saying “goodbye” to a loved one.
A Dove carrying an Olive Branch - is to show that God had made peace with man. The Dove also symbolizes the Holy Ghost. It first appears in the story of the baptism of Christ. (John 1:32)
The emblems of fraternal organizations indicate the membership of the deceased as the Three Links represent “Friendship”, “Love”, and “Truth”. (Symbols used by the Odd Fellows Lodge in their rituals.)

Wrought Iron Fences
The few people who could afford to erect an iron fence know they would have earthly immortality established in the decorative and symbolic design of the fence. A few ornate fences can be seen in the Genoa Cemetery.
The Star Fence - represents symbolic simplicity. This simple design is found in the Genoa Cemetery. One fence on the Southwest side of the Genoa Cemetery depicts the Weeping Willow and the Lamb.

Fences found in other Cemeteries: A Star in the center of the opening is the symbol of divine guidance or favor. The Star of the East that guided the wise men to Bethlehem and remained in the sky over the manger where Christ was born.
The Shell and Fleur de Lis fence - is the scallop shell that is generally used in Christian art to signify pilgrimage.

Epitaphs: An inscription on a gravestone in memory of the person buried there. A composition in prose or sometimes in lengthy verse is written as a tribute to a dead person.
Memorial: The information carved on the gravestone is meant to help people remember that person.
Memorial Day: In memory of the dead servicemen of all wars. Small American Flags are placed on the grave sites of those servicemen and flowers are arranged on all graves.