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Posts Tagged ‘Riverside California’

This week I’m going to honor my very own Grandma Nellie with her headstone as my “Headstone of the Week.” The reason I selected her is because I just celebrated the marriage of my grandson to a beautiful bride, and my grandmother was a beautiful bride! These two brides a few things in common, as you will soon see.On Saturday evening, 31 March 2012, Stephanie Ages became the bride of Nellie Viola Niess Sherman’s great-great-grandson, Michael Foster. She was a lovely bride in a beautiful ceremony. She had her friends and relatives attend her, as bridesmaids and maid of honor. Nothing was lacking in the ceremony or reception. . . . and 98 years prior, the groom’s great-great-grandmother had a similar ceremony on 16 September 1914. She, too, was attended by a maid of honor, and four bridesmaids, that included both relatives and a BFF (although the term would be foreign to her!)  in the perfect wedding ceremony with the perfect reception. Details of it were written up in the Washington Post on Thursday, September 17, 1914:

 The marriage of Miss Nellie Viola Niess, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin A. Niess, and Mr. William Francis Sherman took place last evening at 8 o’clock in the First Congregational Church in the presence of a large company of relatives and friends.  The pastor of the church, the Rev. Jay T. Stocking, officiated.  The bride was given in marriage by her father, and wore a gown of ivory brocaded crepe de chine made with a court train.  Her veil, which was of tulle, fell from a cap of lace and orange blossoms to the edge of the train, and she carried a shower bouquet of lilies of the valley, orchids, and bride roses.  Mrs. Jarvis Goodwin was matron of honor, and her gown was of pale pink satin and lace.  She wore a cop of pink tulle and carried a basket of pink roses.

There were four bridesmaids, each of whom wore a gown of crepe de chine in the pastel shade to form the colors of the rainbow.  Miss Hattie Montgomery, of Baltimore, was in pale green; Miss Martha Niess, of Pennsylvania, in pale mauve; Miss Dorothy McElwee in yellow, and Miss Elsie Small in pale blue.  They all carried standard baskets of asters tied with chiffon ribbons to match their gowns.

Mr. Charles Graves was best man, and the ushers were Benjamin Harlan, Mr. Edwin N. (sic) Niess, Mr. Carl Joras, and Mr. Edwin Kavanaugh of New York.

The ceremony was followed by a reception at the home of the bride’s parents, 61 Rhode Island avenue, after which Mr. and Mrs. Sherman left for their wedding trip.  They will be at home after November 1, at 20 W street.

Out of town guests here for the wedding included Mr. and Mrs. E.H. Niess, grandparents of the bride; Mrs. Louis Houseal, Messrs. Louis and Robert Houseal, Mrs. Julia Kern (sic), Miss Fannie Laverty, and Mrs. Sarah Luxen (sic), all of Harrisburgh(sic), Pa., Mr. James Montgomery of Kansas City, Mr. Samuel J. Montgomery and Mrs. Hildeman of Baltimore, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Lehman and Mrs. Saide Leham (sic) of Camden,  N.J.

This is probably where the similarities will end, however. Times have changed and expectations differ in the 21st century. My grandmother was expected to fit into society, have Bridge parties as her mother did, belong to the DAR, and all the proper societies. Stephanie, on the other hand, plans to continue her schooling and be a supportive wife of a husband serving his country in the US Coast Guard.

Grandma Nellie’s life took a turn for the worse as the Depression affected the family and a downward spiral sent the family first to New York City, then San Francisco where the only available jobs could be found. Her “Papa” continued to write and spoil his Nellie who eventually spent her waning life engulfed in that terrible Alzheimer’s disease. We called her, affectionately, “Grandma Forgetful.”

She died in Riverside, California on 30 April 1976 and her ashes were sent to Shippensburg, Pennsylvania to be placed in the same grave with her mother. A small ceremony was held with about 10 people present and she was laid to rest with flowers placed on her grave. Until I moved to Pennsylvania, I doubt that anyone remembered her or her mother on those special occasions such as Mother’s Day or Memorial Day. We remember her each year with fresh flowers even though she didn’t remember us for years before her death, thanks to that dreaded disease.

We remember her as a beautiful bride, a talented artist and most of all a loving and caring grandmother.

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Rehoboth BeachMemorial Day is to some, the holiday that signals the start of summer. Planters are weeded and flowers are planted. Perennials adorn hanging baskets and plans are made for our three day weekend. Beach umbrellas spring up and sand castles are built.  Cookouts, trips out of town for picnics with friends and family are nice, but the day is much more than that.

Memorial Day celebrations are often thought of as flag waving parades and speeches at cemeteries but before that it was called “Decoration Day.” May 30th was set aside to decorate graves of those who had served their country. Over the years the day has evolved from a movement in a small town in New York into a national holiday, then a three day weekend and finally a day where we decorate the graves with flowers and flags for our loved ones who have gone before, whether they were in uniform or not.

We seldom give thought to those new citizens who do not have husbands, fathers or brothers that served our country.  What do they do?  Do they appreciate our flag waving and speeches about wars on foreign soil?  If it was their homeland that the war was on how do they feel?  I’ve thought about this since I was born in an area WWII was fought in (Hawaii), I was raised in another area that saw tremendous loss of American lifes (Guam) and my son married a beautiful person who is of Asian descent.  Her family is just as proud of their heritage as we are of ours.  They are also proud of being Americans, even though their own countrymen sent them into the hot desert to live during the conflict.

They remember their ancestors on several occasions during the year, O-ban being one and Memorial Day another.  The pictures below are of a Memorial Day ceremony in the 1950’s.  Prayers were offered at each grave by a member of the Budhist clergy as some knelt in prayer and others bowed their heads.

The women decorate the graves of the members of their community in the Asian section of Olivewood Cemetery.  This beautiful cemetery was once segregated with the Asians and Mexican Americans buried at the bottom next to the road and railroad tracks.  Families gather as a member of the Budhist Clergy joins several men kneeling in prayer at each headstone.Gathering together as a community to honor our ancestors and families is a tradition we all share, each culture in a different way. The important thing is we remember our ancestors and the contribution they made so we can live the life we have today.

Enjoy your Memorial Day, but take time to remember and honor those that have gone before us, whether it be in a time of war or as a special person in your life.

Happy Memorial Day!

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Arnold My headstone of the week was found on a recent visit to Riverside, California. The headstone of Rev. Arnold can be found at Evergreen Cemetery in that city.
I have always been attracted to the unusual, and this falls into that category. This doesn’t appear to have been stamped from a mold now does it? It’s almost as though the perfect rock was found and the scroll and wording was carved from that rock, and then the rock shaped into the perfect monument to honor Rev. Arnold.
I think it’s beautiful and that’s the reason it is
Linda’s Headstone of the Week for Week #46.

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Hinze

I found the most beautiful, intricate monument/gravestone on my last visit to California. It is located at Olivewood Cemetery in Riverside, California. The elaborate design and carvings set this apart from other headstones in it’s area and the reason it is

Linda’s Headstone of the Week; Week #30

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Lancaster Pennsylvania’s Graveyard Rabbit Linda took a one week trip to California to see family and to get a few things from Mother’s home before the sale . While in California she had the opportunity to meet Graveyard Rabbit Diane and we hopped from graveyard to graveyard and then strolled through each of them!  

We started at “Diane’s Cemetery,” Sunnyslope in Corona, went on to Sherman Indian School Cemetery and ended up at Olivewood Cemetery in the heart of Riverside.  At the second graveyard, Sherman Indian School Cemetery, we recorded our visit and I am now sharing it with the rest of you bunnies out there.  Diane has already written a blog on it, and may even write another after this visit . . . hmmmmmm-m-m-m

We’ll start with Diane:

Graveyard Rabbit Diane

Graveyard Rabbit Diane

Is it just me, or does it seem odd that this beautiful monument is at the back gate and not facing the arch and wide gate on the street side?

Graveyard Rabbit Linda

Graveyard Rabbit Linda

Bunny Linda may not be as tall and photogenic as Bunny Diane, but rest assured nobody could have enjoyed herself more!  We both saw different things in the Cemeteries, looking at the same thing.  I’ve come to believe maybe we should always take a buddy with us to get a another’s perspective when we hop from place to place ~ what do you think?

Old headstone, nail and new headstone.

Old headstone, nail and new headstone.

All of the headstones were alike and none of them had a name on it, with the exception of some that I’ll mention later.  In the front of each one of them was what appeared to be a rusted nail, with the head the size of a penny.  (Look hard in the above picture, you’ll see it!)  I tried to clean off the top, thinking perhaps they were numbered, but without a brush or some cleaning agent, I was unable to do it ~ simple spit on the end of my finger didn’t cut it!  The nail was between what remained of the original headstone and the new headstone.  What do you think the nail was?  Diane and I’d be interested . . . 

Example of the new, uniform headstone

Example of the new, uniform headstone

There were a few headstones with names on them and they were either in front or in back of the generic, uniform headstone.  My personal opinion is that the family placed them, so their child’s grave is marked.  

A view of the graveyard

A view of the graveyard

 These two pictures (above and below these two paragraphs) are two pictures that show the uniqueness of this cemetery.  Some of the graves have been forgotten over the years, with children separated from parents by miles and states, and others have not been forgotten with stones and plastic flowers, to keep the color alive!  

You’ll also notice an arch of rebar around one of the older headstones in the right front of the above picture.  Scattered throughout the Cemetery, there were several of these.  Some of them still had the cement from the old headstone attached.

Rememberances

Remembrances

My favorite photograph of the day shows the spirit with which we embraced our hopping.  My new bunny buddy was kicking dirt off of one of the nails, but to me, she appears to be dancing!  For this reason, I’ve called this picture ~ “Dancing on a Grave!”

Dancin' on Your Grave!

Dancin' on Your Grave!

I’ve found a new friend and know that when I go back to California (and I go several times a year to visit family) I have a playmate!   Keep that Blue Bug fired up and ready to go, Diane!

 . . . so many cemeteries; so little time!

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