A Look at Headstones and Monuments Through Time

A Look at Headstones and Monuments Through Time

October 25, 2018

Throughout the ages, people have celebrated life and committed people to memory in a variety of interesting ways. Different cultures over the years have memorialized their lost loved ones in unique ceremonies since the earliest dawning days of human civilization. Some of the world’s most iconic structures, including the Taj Mahal, Westminster Abbey and the Pyramids of Giza, are all outstanding burial monuments that serve as places to commemorate the lives of some of history’s most interesting figures.

The history of headstones and monuments is diverse, fascinating and exciting. Locally, much of the Eastern United States borrowed the majority of its burial traditions from cosmopolitan England and western Europe. Here is a brief history of monuments in Phillipsburg, NJ:

  • Early burial plots: In the earliest days of the American colonies, there were no churchyards or graveyards. Most people buried their loved ones in small family plots behind their property. These small backyard burial sites were frequently marked with wooden or stone monuments. Most early burial plots are today lost to time, though some remain. Eventually, churchyards became the standard site of burial, though backyard plots persisted as late as the early 1900s in western states.
  • Slate stone colonial graves: In the colonial era, slate stone grave markers were the most common type of monuments in Phillipsburg, NJ. At first, these carved stone markers were only available to members of the upper and merchant classes. As craftsmen advanced their trade, however, stone markers became available to people of virtually all social statuses. Because the slate stones used to produce these graves was softer and easier to carve, monuments from the colonial era often didn’t hold up to the rigors of time.
  • Victorian era: As the Victorian era dawned and industrialization swept across the American northeast, more elaborate memorials began to proliferate, and cemeteries began to appear throughout the region. Cemeteries, as opposed to graveyards, aren’t attached to a specific church, though many of them maintained religious affiliations. Thanks to their well-kept grounds and beautiful, park-like spaces, cemeteries became the sites of public gatherings and picnics. People also began paying more attention to the symbolism incorporated into their monuments in Phillipsburg, NJ.

Modern grave markers are made primarily of granite—a hard, durable rock capable of withstanding the tests of time. Most people today are commemorated in cemeteries, instead of graveyards. Additionally, alternative burial methods are becoming more and more popular for people of differing religious and ethnic backgrounds. Regardless of your beliefs, it’s easier than ever before to invest in a quality memorial that honors who you are.

Today, the Phillipsburg Memorial Company specializes in providing modern, high-quality monuments in Phillipsburg, NJ. We’re proud to provide each of our clients with beautiful, lasting memorials that they can use to commemorate their loved ones and honor and advance their legacy. If you’re hoping to learn more about the types of monuments we offer, or are looking to invest in a quality monument that is in line with the legacy of your loved one, reach out to one of our friendly, knowledgeable representatives today.

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