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Andrew Hogenson 3/26/2013 Archaeology 107

Happy Homestead Cemetery


For this assignment I went to the Happy Homestead Cemetery in South Lake Tahoe. I went to this Cemetery because when I tried to find a historical cemetery close to my house there was none. This was the first time for me being in a cemetery in a very long time so for me it was a little of an experience. The cemetery that I went to was along a road with a fence around the out side. The cemetery had a total of four entrances and they all went about three quarters into the cemetery. The gravestones where surrounded by grass and tries. The cemetery also had no chapel on it but there was an office and a workshop for any problems that may come up at the cemetery. While walking around this cemetery I noticed that it didnt have a great division in ages of people laid to rest. There was about a total of about 100 years give or take about 15. For this assignment I ended up just trying to find a diversity of graves which was hard due to the fact that mostly all of the graves where flat tombstones placed in the ground with a few that had headstones that which where placed out of the ground. There was also a Memorial wall located at the back of the cemetery near the parking lot. Though all of the gravestones where flat on the ground there was a very good planning of the cemetery. All of the graves where lined up in rows but the direction of the gravestones changed depending on where it was located to a path.

Out of all the grave stones that I looked at the biggest one was located near the middle of the cemetery which was two and a half feet tall and three feet wide. It was made out of a granit slab with a cross carved into it. Though this is the tallest gravestone in the cemetery it didnt have the most detail in the carving. The gravestone that had this was placed in the ground near the west side of the cemetery. It also had flowers around it from a loved one that placed them there at some point in the last few day. The carving on the gravestone was two birds holding a ribbon and crosses on the lower corners of it. In the middle it had the persons name and dates of life with a message from the family on the bottom. It was two feet four inches wide and one foot eight inches tall. Another type of gravestone that was located in this cemetery was of people laid to rest right next to/with each other. On there grave stones they had both of the names of the people laid to rest. Though both of the people might not have died yet they had the dates on one lover and then the birth of the other. The date of the living lover will be added later at a future date. These gravestones where a little bit wider then the rest, this being due to the fact that they had two manes on them. Though the width was longer the height was about the same on all of them. These grave stones ranged anywhere from two feet nine inches wide to four and a half feet. The last type on gravestones that I located in this cemetery, where the ones that where placed on the memorial wall. There where still a lot of open places for people to be added to this wall but in some cases that could be good. That means the people meant for the wall are still alive and kicking. In the construction of this wall there were a total of six sided both front and back with grave stones on them. These grave stones are one foot by one foot big and have the name of the person with the date of their life. On some of these there was also a folder for flowers and flags.

In this cemetery there was a large amount of graves but there didnt seem to be many of different shape or size. The style of these gravestones didnt change much either. The only thing that changed was some of the writing and pictures but the overall style stayed the same throughout the cemetery. It was a great assignment for me to do because it allowed me to see the way people say their loved ones. They all had a different feel to the gravestones. I would love to try and get to a historical cemetery some day so I can see the diversity of gravestone in this world but that will have to be for another day.

For this assignment I didnt use any written notes. All of the notes that I took where placed on my cell phone in a notepad. I cant extract the files and upload them to this paper but I do have pictures of the cemetery that I took of the gravestones.

Cemetery layout with the numbered location of the gravestones was placed on an areal view of the cemetery. I have a hand drawn layout of the cemetery but I was unable to find a scanner to put them into my computer to past on this paper.

The pink lines on this areal view of the cemetery are wooden fences. The rest is labled on the picture above.

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If you would like the notes that I took, I can always type them out for you and send them in another E-mail.