Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument #2   22 comments


According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word “monument” traces its origins back to the late thirteenth century, meaning

“a sepulchre,” from Old French monument “grave, tomb, monument,” and directly from Latin monumentum “a monument, memorial structure, statue; votive offering; tomb; memorial record,” literally “something that reminds,” from monere “to remind, warn” (see monitor (n.)). Sense of “structure or edifice to commemorate a notable person, action, or event” first attested c.1600.

The two featured monuments below were crafted by 37-year-old W.G. Sloan, a naturalized citizen, formerly of Canada, for Jonathan and Polly Tuggle. Here is what Cameron, Missouri’s official website says of these monuments:

Many of Sloan’s enduring monuments are notable. The 28-foot tall Tuggle Monuments in Packard Cemetery were manufactured in 1887 by Italian artisans in Vermont, shipped by rail to Cameron, and hauled to the cemetery in a log wagon pulled by a steam engine. Farmer Jonathan Tuggle’s will specified that $10,000 be spent for monuments for himself and his wife, Polly.

I must say that for a town of 9,933 (2010 census), these monuments are quite stupendous. I’ve lived most of my life in large, capital cities and I’ve never come across anything quite like these.

Tuggle must have been quite a farmer to have been able to set aside such a large fund for these monuments in the late 1800s. According to Dave Manual’s inflation calculator, $10,000 in 1887 would be equivalent to $243,902.44 in 2013. I can’t even begin to imagine spending that much money on a monument today. Can you?

Comments are welcome.

Link back to Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

You’re welcome to come visit my Barns! Barns! Barns! photostream in flickr where you can upload your own photos of old barns, farm houses and other related items.

©2013 Cris Coleman All Reserved Rights

©2013 Cris Coleman All Reserved Rights

©2013 Cris Coleman All Rights Reserved

©2013 Cris Coleman All Rights Reserved

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22 responses to “Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument #2

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  1. very cool (and nice for a second take) – I like how you have the tree hanging i the first photo – adds some nice interest – and softens the feel -

  2. Now why didn’t I think of that! Great shots Cris, we have so many old cemeteries nearby, many with monuments like these. To think that a farmer would have such a monument is incredible. He must have truly have been one heck of a farmer.

    • I agree. Thanks. I’ve not been able to find out anything about him other than what I posted. I’ve almost talked myself into going into Cameron and Maysville (county seat) to see what I can find out about them. I don’t know how far back the local paper goes, but the publisher might know something about them. I’ve never seen any so tall as these ones.

  3. Perhaps he wanted to spend so much on the monuments there was very little left for his children? (if he had a strained relationship with them), or more likely, he wanted to leave his mark, and be remembered or at least ‘seen’ to be remembered. Interesting post.

    • Thank you. It does beg a story, doesn’t it? I haven’t been able to find anything about him, at least on the Internet, other than what I posted. If I were ambitious, I could probably go to Cameron and ask about. But I’m not that ambitious. LOL That’s a 17 mile trip. The country records are some 15 miles away. I’ll use one of my dad’s famous (and tiresome) quotes: “Let’s not and say we did.” :)

      • mmm, the fact that you can’t find anything might lend more to the story of a single relatively unknown man wanting to be noticed by future generations??? Do you think?

        • I would say he definitely wanted to be noticed by future generations, for sure. No doubt about that. There’s probably stuff about him—old newspapers, assuming there are any, courthouse records of all kinds, and so forth. It’s just that with most farmers in the nineteenth century, I imagine, they just went about doing their business and staying out of people’s way. Someone with that much money was sure to be noticed by someone of that era, I would think. I ought to call Cameron paper and see if they know anything about him. Perhaps I could write up a story about him, if I could find enough information. I was asst. editor at a small town newspaper for four years before they fired me for insubordination because the new jerks that took over the newspaper didn’t like being told off, for some reason. :) I’ll bet someone’s already written up a story on the guy. I mean, he’s just begging to be noticed. LOL

        • Ditto. :)

  4. Woah! Those are quite the monuments for farmer Tuggle and his wife! Reminds me a bit of visiting Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, except there, the monuments were for the country’s wealthiest and mod elite!!

    • I would consider $10,000 in 1887 to be quite wealthy, if that inflation calculator is accurate. That’s over a quarter billion dollars in 2013 money spent on tombstones!

      I saw someone’s Monument entry from Central or South America somewhere where all the tombstones were quite fancy and all were buried there, rich or poor. It was quite impressive. Very lovely tombstones, although they were much more than that.

  5. Those are impressive – both in size and workmanship! Nice entry.

  6. Pingback: The everyday monuments we live in and travel through around the world « psychologistmimi

  7. Beautiful images – very majestic statues. Not easy to capture so they keep their greatness, well done.
    Thanks for the visit and the nice comment. Happy Easter to you.

    • Thank you right back. When I first saw these monuments from far away, I thought they were some kind of gateway to a special section of the cemetery. I was very surprised to find out what they actually were. I appreciate your comments and visit. :)

      • Personal I like to walk around on cemetery … it gives me some inner peace, even if I’m not believer as such.
        I don’t think any cemetery in Sweden has something like that … we are very low key. Nothing big and fancy.

        • I’ve never seen such a sight myself other than this one. I also like to visit cemeteries, although I haven’t done much of late, other than take photographs of headstones that people have requested of me for genealogical purposes.

          • I have never taken photos from a cemetery, because I never thought about taken the camera with me. I will do so in the future. In New Orleans, I totally forgotten to even visit their famous cemetery – St. Louis Cemetery, how could I forget that … something I regret. They have the most interesting burial “palaces” and headstones.

          • The reason I even got photos of these two monuments is that a friend asked me to get some photographs of some tombstones for a presentation he was making for a genealogical conference in Kansas City, MO. So I did. There were a lot of interesting headstones in this cemetery, including some that looked like tree trunks cut off about five feet high. It seems the older the cemetery, the more interesting tombstones one is likely to find.

            I might just post some more of the interesting headstones I found just for the fun of it—to please myself. LOL But then, again, everything we post is to please ourselves, isn’t it? :)

          • Yes, but also to please our visitors – I think that is the main reason … at least for me.
            Something interesting for them to see .. maybe something different to what others has chosen for the challenge.

          • That is the computer highlight of my week, other than posting to my own blogs, being able to spend two or three hours looking at other people’s takes on the challenges, all of which I do not participate in, however. Sometimes I just don’t have a take on a particular challenge, or sometimes I’m just lazy. :)

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