Monday, January 18, 2010

Wreath distribution in the two cemeteries north and south of Madison's Speedway Road

South of Speedway Road
These two Madison cemeteries date back to the mid-19th Century, when the city of Madison bought a single parcel of land spanning what's now Speedway Road. The city retained the land to the south for Forest Hill Cemetery, and sold the northern section to the Diocese of Madison for use as a Catholic cemetery that's now called Resurrection Cemetery.

North of Speedway RoadForest Hill is hillier and has more trees (the high ground was also used as a Native American burial site). Resurrection Cemetery is flatter and has fewer trees. But this time of year, the biggest difference between the two cemeteries seems to be the distribution of holiday wreaths. The newer sections of Resurrection Cemetery contain numerous wreaths, most of which seem to have come from the same supplier, each having a large red ribbon and three large pine cones. In contrast, there are fewer wreaths in Forest Hill. They're more scattered and there seems to be a greater variety of designs, as if they came from different places.

Curious what accounts for the difference. Anyone know?


Anonymous said...

You say that the wreaths are in the newer sections of Resurrection. Perhaps that's the answer. A call to Cress or Resurrection's caretaker would probably answer this quickly.

Citizen Reader said...

Newer section is a good guess; perhaps Resurrection also offers some sort of fee-added service with their plots (so much for wreaths placed on graves for first few years or something).

Are there Catholics in Forest Hill Cemetery? I am Catholic, and I know we differ a bit from Protestants in really attaching importance to prayer for the dead. Maybe we're more into decorating and venerating grave sites as well?

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

I think it is most likely that there is little space left for new graves, mostly just small spaces to bury ashes, in Forest Hill. (I know this from having purchased a plot a few years ago). Many of the graves there are historic and would no longer have family to tend to them. It is a lovely place to go for a walk and look at Elvehjem's art deco monument or LaFollette's or Frederick Jackson Turner's.