It’s rare to come across a type of grave Sweetums and I haven’t seen before but we found some unique ones on our trip to Dahlonega, Ga., in December.
It was rainy and cold for most of our trip but we had read about “slot-and-tab” or “box” tombs unique to the area and decided to visit Mount Hope Cemetery just blocks from downtown.
The markers, as the name suggests, are put together using pieces with tabs slid into pieces with notches. The boxes formed are empty, with the bodies buried underground.
According to Dahlonega.org, they “can only be found scattered throughout a small portion of north Georgia, south east Tennessee and southwest North Carolina.” However, people have told me there are some examples in Alabama. The tombs date from the 1840s through the 1880s.
So why the design? Dahlonega.org said: “One idea is that before stock laws were passed, animals or livestock were able to roam free throughout the countryside. Families would shudder at the thought of their recently departed being trampled on or dug up by roaming critters.”
Most are made of soapstone, at least in north Georgia, where it is common.
Have you seen these monuments? Tell me the county, state and name of the cemetery, if you can. I’d love to see some. Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, check out these photos from Dahlonega, followed by links to some other posts about cemeteries and funerary art.
- This Key West Cemetery has some of the world’s strangest epitaphs
- This fascinating cemetery has both seashell and cast-iron grave covers
- Fascinating abandoned chapel, monuments of Nashville’s Mount Olivet Cemetery
- Myrtle Hill Cemetery: Gorgeous monuments overlooking Rome, GA
- The beautiful cast-iron fences of Maple Hill Cemetery