Ashes to ashes: Ashland's cemetery

Editor's note: This article is from Hannah Guzik's blog Writing About Writing.

A blogger who writes about graveyards just stopped by Ashland's cemetery and wrote about some of the headstones and monuments there.

Here is a sampling from the Blessed Dead blog:

"It's obviously a well loved place, filled with headstones of odd shapes and sizes with names that feel like they belong in 1920's silent films. The grounds were filled with trees, flowers and tidy mowed grass. We both felt really welcome there. There were a ton of flickers and crows in the trees, trilling and cackling above us. People were walking their dogs along the paths. I loved the fact the Madrona tree in center of the cemetery was commemorated with a plaque — it was Ashland's tree of the year in 2006. You've got to love a city that honors trees each year.

"One of the headstones was just a huge, rounded stone with the names carved into it. Another had some gorgeous stained glass. And another was absolutely astonishing — on the top was a brass whale tail sculpture and just beneath it was the phrase "Goin Deep." Written at the base was the following quote:

"'This stone is in tribute to all living creatures, that have suffered and endured Man in his quest to control.' — John C. Westerfield

"What a wonderful monument. I hope that if I choose to be buried that I can come up with something as lovely as this."

To read more of Hannah Guzik's blog, log on to about writing.

I think the town's name basically requires it to have a nice, woodsy, mysterious cemetery. Also, I find it interesting that in some ways, cemeteries do allow people to live on, at least in the minds of others. Even though visitors, such as the author of the Blessed Dead blog, may not know any of the people buried in Ashland's cemetery, they may find themselves imagining what the people were like, using clues on the headstones.

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