Sunday, October 30, 2011

Haunted Cemetery

This weekend, my husband Terry and I decided to go into Chicago to visit the famous Graceland Cemetery. Terry had never been there before, and the last time I went was over 20 years ago.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland was established in the 1870's as a replacement for the cemetery in Lincoln Park, which, with it's proximity close to downtown Chicago, was causing people to worry about water contamination and epidemics. Most of the buried were moved to Graceland, in what was then a suburb called Lake View, and soon it became the final resting place for Chicago's rich and powerful elite.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

The grounds are laid out beautifully, and we spent several hours looking over the beautiful monuments and stones. I'll save some of it for my next post, there was just so much to see!

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Today, I'll focus on the unknown people, who may have been well-known in their day, and maybe wealthy, but are unknown to me, and most are not on the official map you can pick up at the cemetery indicating which graves to visit.

I'll begin with the grave of Dexter Graves, early settler who brought the first colony to Chicago. His grave was moved from the old cemetery. In 1909, famed sculptor Loredo Taft was commissioned to create this monument entitled "Eternal Silence" at his gravesite.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

I loved the monuments that depicted natural elements, like trees. I would love to have a monument like this when I die!

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

The animal monuments were touching, and sad because most were in poor shape.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

There were many beautiful ladies, but few angels, as we didn't see any wings.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

This tomb was amazing. We loved the snake on the door, the beautiful angel, and the sphinx. Peter Schoenhofen was a brewer with a sense of humor!

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

There were some beautiful doors gracing a lot of the tombs.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Here's a fellow that thought you might want to sit down and take a break.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

We saw many monuments with Masonic symbols.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

This one was whimsical!

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Others were sad.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

And some just struck me as beautiful.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Some were pointing toward the heavens.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

And some of the structures were very classical and lovely to look at.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Most of the sandstone monuments were in poor shape. I guess it doesn't weather as well as the marble or granite. Now, the edges and inscriptions have been almost obliterated.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

I saved the best one for last! This is Inez Clarke, 1873-1880. Her monument is beautifully carved, and is now encased in a plexiglass box for protection. For years, people have wondered about little Inez. There were stories she died tragically, and that her ghost haunts the cemetery. In more recent years, some researchers have claimed that nobody named Inez Clarke is even buried in Graceland. Read about the mystery and what I believe to be the true story of Inez here.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

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Have a Happy Halloween! Next week, I'll post the more famous and magnificent monuments of Graceland Cemetery!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Clayson House Kitchen

Clayson House table
Clayson House kitchen table

Last February, I blogged about my kitchen and the plans I have for it here. Then in March, I started removing the vinyl floor covering here. Well, the floor is still in progress. I didn't work on it all summer, but this fall weather has me hoping to start up again, if my knees will cooperate!

Today, I decided to walk over to our local house museum, the Clayson House, for some kitchen inspiration. The overall look is what I would strive for, with a lot of wood everywhere. Wood wainscoting, door and window trim would really enhance my kitchen.

Clayson House kitchen light

The ceilings at the Clayson House are at least 10 ft. and mine are 8. Although I would have loved a fixture like this, I settled for a different style that doesn't hang so low.

Clayson House stove

Clayson House kitchen ice box

And although I would love the look of an old stove and ice box, my current oven and refrigerator will have to stay. I'll just try to pretend they're not there!

Clayson House sink

The dry sink shows more of the beadboard look I want to achieve.

Clayson House kitchen

Clayson House kitchen

The museum kitchen wasn't really set up the way it would have been used. Because it's a museum, there were more tsatskis on display than a working kitchen would have out all at one time.

Clayson House kitchen

Although, part of the charm of these old kitchens is how things sit out on open shelves. I love the scale and the blue graniteware!

Clayson House kitchen clock


And my kitchen clock would look so much better sitting on a shelf with a lacy cloth like this!


Clayson House kitchen

My neighbor has one of these wall-mounted coffee grinders and actually uses it.

Clayson House kitchen

My coffer grinder is more like the one above, and is only decorative. Notice the nice spice boxes and the copper clothes boiler. Laundry was done in the kitchen. Clothes were boiled, wrung out, starched, ironed and pleated, and hung to dry.

Clayson House kitchen

This looks like maybe a wash tub for the baby? I'm lucky I don't need to do my laundry or bathing in my kitchen!

Clayson House kitchen

I like the oil lamps with the iron wall brackets. I have one, and plan on using it when the kitchen is completed.

Clayson House kitchen

A cherry stoner. People back then probably thought they were living the good life, with all the fancy contraptions at their disposal. They proudly displayed any modern devices they owned. Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out places to hide my food processor, coffee maker, etc. in order to make my house more "Victorian." Something not right about that, huh?

Clayson House kitchen window

There's something so simple and elegant about glass bottles on a windowsill.

Clayson House kitchen

The fake pie was a nice touch. I love looking at fake food. But it made me realize that I should bake more often. And I believe I will, in the dream kitchen I'm slowly creating for myself. And although my oven will be modern, my food refrigerated, and the ingredients bought at a supermarket, stepping back in time in my own kitchen will be the secret ingredient that makes everything taste better.
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