Thursday, July 21, 2011

Flaming torches, inverted

If you love cemeteries, it is hard to drive past one without stopping. So recently, when I was driving to Marion to check out a couple of “famous” gravestones,1 I spied a small country graveyard and quickly pulled in. (No, those were not my tires squealing at the unexpected stop.)

The monument for Barbara Augenstein (d. 1865) and George F. Augenstein (d. 1877) was the first to catch my eye. It was leaning and had obviously been repaired. First I noticed the carving of child and lamb. Then I saw a less common element: Upside-down torches. Inverted torches are commonly understood to be symbols for an extinguished life—and I do not often see them around here.

Wife of,
G. F. Augenstein
Mar. 23, 1865.
72 Y. 2 M. 21 D.

son of
G. F. & H.
Feb. 8, 1877.
5 Y. 9 M. 11 D.


Until you look at the dates of death, you might guess that Barbara is the mother of young Geo. F. But she died before his birth. Could she be his grandmother? According to, she is.

Augenstein Cemetery is nicely documented on Ninety-one burials are listed and nearly all of them have photographs. Some have bios and family links as well.

1 The Merchant Ball at Marion Cemetery and the Gypsy Queen grave at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Augentstein Cemetery, Marion County, Ohio

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