Saturday, July 31, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF ERIC G. FISHER, JR. - St. Paul's Union Church Cemetery, Fleetwood, Berks County, PA

This is a lovely tombstone memorializing the loss of a young man who died too young. Notice the more modern type of tombstone, with color artwork and a curving shape. Very nice indeed. This man must have loved cars, as his tombstone depicts him driving what I think might be a Ford Mustang. Notice also the cameo of him, which is also becoming more and more popular on modern tombstones. Lastly, you can tell from this tombstone that it is visited often, as evidenced by the many tributes laying in front of the stone.

Friday, July 30, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF THOMAS JONES - Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, PA

This tombstone is not so unusual (ha ha), but it represents the type of tombstone that genealogists love because the information is very specific. The fact that Mr. Jones' birth and death dates, as well as his exact age at death down to the day, enable genealogists to go and research to find records that verify this information. Definitely a win-win situation.

New pictures coming beginning tomorrow, so please continue to visit and talk up Daily Tombstone Photo.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

HESTON - DE LONG MONUMENTS AND GRAVES - Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, PA

What more is there to say than that these are stunningly beautiful monuments. They are very detailed and were a pleasure to photograph.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MONUMENT & TOMBSTONE OF HENRY & AMANDA TRAGLE - Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, PA

This monument caught my eye as I wandered Charles Evans Cemetery. The lettering is, honestly, downright creepy, but very uniquely carved. This is definitely not the kind of monument you see in abundance, however, there are several in the vicinity in this cemetery.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

MAUSOLEUM OF WILLIAM H. LUDEN - Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, PA

William H. Luden, famous for his Luden's Cough Drops and other candies, made a name for himself in Reading, PA. The business was eventually absorbed as part of Hershey Foods later in the 20th Century. Luden, however, is not buried in this mausoleum. In fact, I do not think any of his family are buried in the mausoleum. Luden moved from Reading to Philadelphia and is buried there. What a waste of a beautiful mausoleum!

Monday, July 26, 2010

MONUMENT AND GRAVE OF DEAN C. O'BANION - Mount Carmel Cemetery, Hillside, Cook County, IL

Dean O'Banion was a rival of Al Capone. His business was bootlegging. However, his job in the legitimate world was running one of Chicago's biggest flower shops. It was in his own flower shop that some of Capone's men came to see Dean one day in 1924. Dean thought they were there to order flowers and as he extended his hand to shake theirs they responded by shooting him to death. Needless to say, Dean's funeral had probably the biggest floral tributes of any gangland funeral before or since and was the standard by which all gangland funerals would be judged. The grave is simple, but with a very tall and obelisk that is nicely crafted at the base with the family name and a cross.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

UNREADABLE GRAVE HOUSE - Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

This is a unique above ground grave house that marks the graves of a gentleman and his wife. Unfortunately, the elements have worn away much of the lettering making it very difficult to read. I think the surname is "BARER" but I am not sure. This is a fine piece of funerary art. Laurel Hill Cemetery is full of wonderful unique graves in all shapes and sizes.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF LILLIE RORK - Aulenbach's Cemetery, Mount Penn, Berks County, PA

There is no doubt that this woman was definitely a wife - the word "WIFE" is huge! The death date of 1917 could also signify a death related to the influenza pandemic of 1917-1918. This is a very nice stone and a fine testament to excellent workmanship as well. The stone is still as readable today as it was 93 years ago.

Friday, July 23, 2010

MAUSOLEUM OF SAM GIANCANA - Mount Carmel Cemetery, Hillside, Cook County, IL

Sam Giancana was a Chicagoan well known for his ties to organized crime. He wielded considerable power in the world of organized labor as well as in entertainment and politics. For instance, when Giancana opened a hotel in Chicago known as the "Villa Venice," he booked none other than Frank Sinatra and his famous "Rat Pack" to attract patrons. Further, many people still believe it was Giancana (working through the Teamsters and with Ambassador Joseph Kennedy) who was responsible for the election of the Ambassador's son, Jack Kennedy, to the Presidency in 1960. Little did Sam know that Jack's Attorney General and brother, Bobby, would launch an all out crusade against organized crime in the United States. Unfortunately for Sam, after he got out of jail in the 1970's he was assassinated. I guess his former friends feared he might flip and become an informant, or perhaps we was being punished for helping get Jack and Bobby into power. Sorry for the second photo being so hard to see. Sam's crypt is the one in the middle. How I wish it were easier to photograph the inside of mausoleums!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

TOMBSTONE AND GRAVE OF MARTHA ELLIS - Rose Hill Cemetery, Macon, Bibb County, GA

It really pains me to see sick children. It breaks my heart to see the graves of children, especially ones with loving and heart-felt tributes from family. Martha's grave is one of the most visited at Rose Hill. There is a beautiful statue of Martha as well as a very loving epitaph from her mother, father, brothers and sisters. The grave itself is marked with the simple words, "Our Baby." This is probably one of the most beautiful memorials I have ever photographed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF TOMMY DORSEY - Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, NY

This is a very classy stone and monument to a monumental man in American music. Tommy Dorsey led the way in the Big Band era along with a whole host of other artists. He was a pioneer in Jazz and his music continues to influence Jazz performers all over the world. If you have never heard a Dorsey record than you are really missing out on good music. Before he made it famous with his own big band, Tommy had a smaller group known as the "Clambake Seven," and some of that group's recordings are absolutely fantastic. My favorite is, "The Music Goes Around and Around." I love how the trombone is featured on Tommy's stone and if you are wondering what music is shown, it is the first few notes of Tommy's theme song, "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF JAMES G. UBIL - Aulenbach's Cemetery, Mount Penn, Berks County, PA

This is a very nice stone . The flowers and tie are very detailed and you can see how the "At Rest" was engraved if you take notice at all the small holes outlining the letters. It almost seems as if the words are literally "at rest" against the stone.

Monday, July 19, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF WILLIAM B. - UNKNOWN SURNAME - Aulenbach's Cemetery, Mount Penn, Berks County, PA

The years and nature have not been too kind to this stone. As you can see, weather and the elements have virtually wiped away the inscription of the stone. All I could get was the gentleman's first name and middle initial, "William B." There is also inscribed a "Co" for a company he served in and there is a Union "GAR" marker next to the grave, which tells us this gentleman fought in the Civil War. There was also other information inscribed on the stone, probably an epitaph or maybe possibly some detail as to William's military service. The picture on the upper part of the stone caught my eye as I walked and I could not resist snapping a few photographs. I am guessing the picture is of a Knight or warrior in battle, signifying "William B.'s" military service.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

TOMBSTONES AND MONUMENT OF ROBERT B. & SOPHIA CHURCH - Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, PA

This is a beautiful monument that I happened upon while walking through Charles Evans Cemetery in May. I love the detail of the monument and also of the Angel, who seems to be on guard and waiting for the souls of Mr. and Mrs. Church.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


"Machine Gun" Jack McGurn earned his name as a ruthless enforcer for Al Capone. Some believe that it was McGurn who was one of the gunmen of the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre on February 14, 1929 that wiped out most of George "Bugs" Moran's gang. However, there is proof that it was other assassins of the Capone outfit. Regardless, though, remnants of Moran's gang believed it was McGurn who partook in the massacre because at a few strokes after midnight of Valentine's Day, 1936, on February 15, 1936, McGurn was gunned down at a bowling alley in Chicago.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Hello all! Sorry, but I will not be posting for 4 days as I am heading to Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains for a conference. Posts will resume on Friday, July 16. Thanks again for following the Daily Tombstone Photo blog!

TOMBSTONE OF T.G. WOODS - Confederate Cemetery, Spotsylvania, Virginia

I do not think this soldier is related to Tiger Woods, but who knows? This is a very simple Confederate grave in the Spotsylvania Cemetery. The battle of Spotsylvania as well as the nearby battle of The Wilderness was hell on Earth for Confederate and Union soldiers. In the battle of the Wilderness, for example, many soldiers perished in fire because the woods where the battle was taking place caught fire and quickly consumed a large area of land including any soldiers within it. These soldiers deserve our utmost respect.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

TOMBSTONES - Eden Cemetery, Mount Desert Island, Hancock County, ME

With only a little more than a month to go before my wife and I make our yearly sojourn to join family in Maine, I was in the mood to post some pics of the Eden Cemetery on MDI (Mount Desert Island). I am looking very forward to photographing more cemeteries on MDI next month and will, of course, post pics here on the blog. In fact, my Mother-in-Law has already picked out a nice cemetery to photograph and we are working at identifying other cemeteries on the island to photograph as well.

Friday, July 9, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF JOANNE JUDITH MAYER - Aulenbach's Cemetery, Mount Penn, Berks County, PA

This is a beautifully done flat stone with a wonderful poem about the woman buried beneath it. It is sort of hard to read but I think if you click on the second picture and zoom in a bit you should be able to read it. A very moving tribute indeed.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF EDWARD FICK - Aulenbach's Cemetery, Mount Penn, Berks County, PA

This is a very sweet monument to a little baby boy. This stone sits by itself on the end of a row. I especially like the detail of the rose on top of the stone and the symbol below the surname.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF JOSEPH GIUNTA - Mount Carmel Cemetery, Hillside, Cook County, IL

This is a magnificent stone. Joseph Giunta was a Capone associate who, unfortunately, was killed by Capone with a baseball bat. He definitely got on Al's bad side.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF FRANK NITTI (NITTO) - Mount Carmel Cemetery, Hillside, Cook County, IL

Scarface Al's right-hand man was Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti. He ran things in Chicago for Capone while Capone served his short stint at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia and was also instrumental in Chicago's gangland scene after Capone was convicted and imprisoned for Income Tax Evasion. Nitti committed suicide in 1943. Ironically, he is buried about 75 - 100 yards from Al.

Monday, July 5, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF AL CAPONE - Mount Carmel Cemetery, Hillside, Cook County, Illinois

OK, sorry I was about 24 hours late in resuming posts to the blog, but we are on track now. My first objective upon arriving in Chicago (after checking in and hitting the restroom, of course) was driving out to Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, IL, right outside of Chicago, to photograph the graves of Al Capone, his associates and some of his enemies who are all buried with him in the same cemetery. Al's grave is near the Roosevelt Ave. entrance to the cemetery and was easy to find because there were other visitors to it. Al is buried with his parents, sister and other relatives. This was not his original grave. He was originally buried in another Chicago cemetery, but his body was disinterred and re-interred in this location. As you can see from the tombstone, visitors have left coins and a small bottle of booze. These were all there when I first photographed the grave. When I came back later, all the coins were gone. I hope cemetery maintenance staff removed the coins and not some souvenir hunter, but I cannot be sure. This is a popular site visited by many.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Hello to all and thanks for continuing to follow the Daily Tombstone Photo. I have been in Chicago the past week for a conference (and some fun) and have not been able to post. Well, I am happy to report that posting will continue tomorrow with pictures from Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, IL, just outside of Chicago. This is the cemetery where Al Capone and his friends and enemies are buried. What a magnificent cemetery! It is definitely in my top 3 cemeteries of all time! I am looking forward to sharing the photos with all of you and wish you a wonderful, peaceful and blessed 4th of July weekend! Remember, Freedom is not free. Thank a soldier the next time you see one for his/her service. We would not be able to blog and do all things genealogy if it weren't for our brave men and women in uniform.