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Edith Wharton's Dogs, Where Horses Should Be, and Ft. McClellan Has One Too. Plus: Murals And A Snake Effigy.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Flavorwire had a story last week about Edith Wharton's dogs and the pet cemetery she had for them:

Literature has its dog lovers: John Steinbeck wrote about traveling with Charlie, Virginia Woolf found comfort in dogs throughout her life, preferring mixed breeds to purebreds, and Emily Brontë was so fond of her dogs that she used to sketch pictures of them. Perhaps you’ve seen Grasper, from life, her portrait of the small Irish Terrier the family owned when the eldest of the famous sisters was a teenager.

But Edith Wharton’s love of her dogs really eclipses all others. Her passionless marriage to her husband, Teddy Wharton, may have had something to do with the fact that Wharton’s dogs served as both her companions and her children — but her love for her canine friends went deeper, even, than that.

Also last week there was a story about the owner of a pet cemetery in Iowa who was in legal trouble for burying horses, when according to the state, they are post-mortem 'solid waste' and must be put in a landfill of some sort.  From USA Today:

But states like Iowa might not be keeping pace with how Americans believe their pets should be treated — even after they're gone, said Donna Shugart-Bethune, executive administrator of the International Association of Pet Cemeteries in Atlanta.

"People treat pets like their family," she said, and they want the same burial services "they'd want for their human family members."

(since the story, the cemetery owner lost his appeal)

Even at Fort McClellan around Anniston, there is a pet cemetery set up decades ago:
Fort McClellan Pet Cemetery, Anniston AL

Fort McClellan Pet Cemetery, Anniston AL

Fort McClellan Pet Cemetery, Anniston AL

Fort McClellan Pet Cemetery, Anniston AL

An aside about Fort McClellan: the POW murals at Remington Hall there were painted by German prisoners during WWII, and a couple of years ago the murals were put on The Alabama Historical Commission and the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation's 'Places in Peril' list. A document with photographs of the murals is here.

Also, there's a 196-foot-long snake effigy at Ft. McClellan, and a talk given by Dr. Holstein from JSU about it is available here.  Another piece from the Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science:
In 2007, JSU staff and volunteers began the investigation of the Skeleton Mountain Snake Effigy, lCal57. This serpentine stone pavement and several other associated stone features were mapped in detail and photographed. It was apparent that the stone structures required a considerable amount of labor to construct and that the serpentine pathway was well planned in order to maintain its relatively uniform size. It also appears the effigy may not have been totally finished by its builders, since the probable "head" is somewhat detached from the serpentine "body". Based on comparable data from other prehistoric stone wall sites in the Southeast, and ethnographic data documenting the importance of the serpent symbolism in Native American art and mythology, ARL researchers believe prehistoric peoples constructed this stone structure sometime during the Woodland or early Mississippian time periods. Likewise, they believe a small horseshoe-shaped structure, a linear stone wall, and the detached head were constructed by the same prehistoric populations...


Below, from our visit to the eagle in Putnam County, Georgia, which has been made into a state park:

Rock Eagle Mound, Putnam County GA

Rock Eagle Mound, Putnam County GA

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