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Statues And Graveshelters And Grancer The Dancer Too

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Okay! More graveshelters. First, in Magnolia Cemetery in Greenville, Alabama is this remnant of a graveshelter. The Library of Congress has this image of how it appeared back in the '30s:


The cemetery also has some Victorian cast iron monuments (many more of these type can be found in Pioneer Cemetery in Greenville):

This statue of Reverend F.W. Ward (1857-1925):


These monuments were all painted with a coat of white house paint:

This is the graveshelter at the Fort Dale Cemetery (also in Butler County), and the LOC also has a photograph of it from the '30s. In their pic, there are a few more graveshelters here, but they are gone now.
Tin roof, wood structure, dirt surface.


...ah, I just had to include this when we were on our way toward Enterprise. It's a pic we took of the 1940s post office mural (made possible by the Treasury Dept Section of Fine Art, sometimes just called 'the Section') at the post office in Luverne by Arthur Getz, who also created 210 covers for The New Yorker.
Beautiful.

Okay! This graveshelter is at Bethany Methodist Church on County Road 533 in New Brockton:
Shingle roof, wood structure, pea gravel surface. The roof of the shelter is painted haint blue to keep the wasps out.


At the New Home Cemetery in the Basin Community, near Elba on County Road 413:
Terra cotta roof tiles, fully enclosed brick structure, sand surface.


In Alberton, on AL Hwy 134 at New Life Baptist Church:
This is a 'swept cemetery' as people have taken care to try to keep the surface clean from grass growing by applying sand and pea gravel.

Shingle roof, wood structure, sand surface.


Now this is something *really* different. It's in the Harrison Cemetery in Kinston, and is the monument for William "Grancer" Harrison (1789 - 1860), known as 'Grancer the Dancer'.

From what I've been able to find, he was a plantation owner whose slaves referred to him as 'Grand Sir' which, shortened, became 'Grancer'. He had a dance hall built for the weekly Saturday night events he put on, and was well-known to put on a good time. He's even featured in KTW's 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey because there's a legend that he can still be heard playing the fiddle, calling out square dances and doing jigs in his clogs.

When he planned for his funeral, he asked that he be buried in his bed, wearing his dance clothes.

And so...
...his monument, in the shape of a bed.

There was a legend that he, being a rich man, was buried with gold, and in the 1960s his monument was dynamited by...well, thugs. No gold found.

Because the story is so famous in the area, the monument has been rebuilt and re-vandalized several times. Here's one pic from a few years ago.

...and years & years ago, it seems that it used to be a graveshelter! I found this pic from around 1960 and this one from about 1970.

So interesting.

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