Famous Graves #2-Doc Holliday
In September 2015, Austin and I were married and decided to honeymoon in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Of course I was looking forward to spending time with my new husband, but I was also quite excited about seeing a pretty famous grave that just happened to be in Glenwood.
Doc Holliday’s was the grave I wanted to find. He is buried in Linwood Cemetery, a relatively small graveyard hidden within a treed area up Jasper Mountain. We would have to hike a pretty steep trail up to see it, but it was worth it!
Once we got to the cemetery, it took us a little bit of time to find the marker (he is believed to be buried somewhere in Linwood, but no one is for sure the exact location)…we were mesmerized by the other graves, many of which are from the nineteenth century. Linwood Cemetery, also known as Glenwood or Pioneer Cemetery, is also the final resting place of Wild Bunch gunslinger Kid Curry (Butch Cassidy’s gang).
Born John Henry Holliday on August 14th, 1851, Doc grew up in Georgia, then moved to Pennsylvania where he received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the age of 21. He was told he had tuberculosis shortly after starting his dentistry practice, and moved from town to town in hopes of slowing the disease.
Doc Holliday was known for his gambling ways, quick temper, irreverence for the law, and of course for getting into gun fights. Ironically, he was a good friend of lawman and frontiersman Wyatt Earp, whom he helped to capture another outlaw and also famously saved Earp’s life (remember that one card-playing saloon scene from Tombstone?).
He eventually made his way to Glenwood, Colorado, where he hoped the natural hot springs would help relieve the symptoms of his tuberculosis. He finally succumbed to his illness on November 8th, 1887 at the age of 36.
Here are a few pics we took of the trail and his grave marker while at Linwood Cemetery:
If you want to learn more about Doc Holliday and his famous grave, these links may be of interest:
Also check out the 1993 film Tombstone, featuring Val Kilmer as Doc. The movie does a memorable job at chronicling his adventures as well as his relationship with Wyatt Earp (played by Kurt Russell).
Funeral Fashion, Yesterday & Today
Throughout the decades, fashion has evolved throughout society, and funeral society is no exception. In the olden days (circa 1800s-early 1900s), when someone died, much attention was placed on what the mourners wore, much more attention than they receive today. In fact, “mourning attire” was all the rage back then.
Following a death, it was not uncommon for all-black outfits to be worn for an extended period of mourning. A good example of this:
Queen Victoria (1819-1901)
Britain’s Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, shared a love story for the ages. When he died quite unexpectedly at the age of 42, Victoria fell into a deep depression and never fully recovered. She famously wore black for the rest of her life (almost four decades) as a symbol of her sorrow.
Note: Believe it or not, much of today’s fashion trends come directly out of the Victorian Era. During her reign, British and Americans alike emulated her style, setting fashion standards for the rest of the civilized world. It’s no secret that Victoria was the first to wear a white gown for her wedding, setting that standard…and some say that she is also the reason wearing all-black funeral clothes became mainstream.
To understand modern funeral fashion, we first need to take a look at modern funeral etiquette. What is appropriate to wear to a funeral today? While much is dependent on the culture surrounding the funeral in question, generally, dark colors are still the way to go. Black, navy, dark violet, and dark greens are all appropriate options, especially when one is unsure of what to wear. But, as always, fashion trends are changing.
As time goes on, some families are now choosing to opt out of the traditional dark, sad clothing. Some even request that those who attend the funeral of their loved one avoid dark garments and instead go for bright, colorful looks (for a celebration of life or homegoing rather than a funeral). That said, conservative dress is usually still deemed appropriate for the modern funeral service, no matter the color choice.
As today’s funerals continue to drift away from the traditional order of solemnity (featuring the usual visitation and subsequent order of funeral and burial), and more into the realm of personalization, we will inevitably see more changes in funeral fashion trends.
Famous Graves #1-Poe
Last week, Eulogies by Aubrey shared a blog post on The Grave of Johnny Appleseed (see http://www.eulogiesbyaubrey.com/blog/the-grave-of-johnny-appleseed#/). It was shown a lot of love, so today we bring you the very first installment of our new “Famous Graves” series! Come back soon to learn about more famous final resting places from all over the world.
The Famous Grave of Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer and poet who led a sad and, some would say, eccentric life. Known for such haunting writings including “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Raven,” “Annabel Lee,” and (my personal favorite) “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe’s rise to fame was unfortunately posthumous. The genius of his writings only began to truly seize the nation, and inevitably the world, years after his death.
While the exact cause of Poe’s death is not known, it is said that not long before he died, he was seen out wondering in the cold, looking dazed and acting hysterical. He was taken to the hospital, but succumbed there to his mysterious ailment. He was only 40 years old when he passed, and interestingly, there is no certificate of death on file nor any medical records available. He last words were reportedly “Lord, help my poor soul.”
Edgar Allan Poe was originally buried in an unmarked location, behind Westminster Hall in Baltimore, following a small funeral in 1849. In 1875, he was exhumed and his body moved from the back to the front of the churchyard, with a large monument erected in his honor. In 2009, a memorial service worthy of his legacy was held in Baltimore, complete with eulogists and even a wax effigy.
Poe's second and final resting place, Westminster Hall in Baltimore
The Poe Toaster
For over 70 years, an unknown person paid respects at Poe’s original grave site every January 19th, to mark the writer’s birthday. Known as “The Poe Toaster,” the cloaked man would simply arrive at the site at night, pour a glass of cognac and raise it in the air as a toast to Poe, and then disappear. Whoever he was, his annual visits ceased in 1998, presumably following his own death.
Cenotaph marking Poe's original burial site, and where The Poe Toaster paid his respects.
In 2016, the Maryland Historical Society appointed a new “Poe Toaster” to continue this beloved tradition.
If you would like to learn more about Edgar Allan Poe and his famous grave, below are a couple of links that may be of interest to you.
That’s it for Famous Graves #1! We hope you enjoyed reading today. Stay tuned for Famous Graves #2, coming soon!