Woodmen of the World was a fraternal society formed by the conveniently named Joseph Cullen Root, who wanted to form a group that would "clear away problems of financial security for its members," in a time before Social Security, when life insurance could actually be a threat to people's lives. How do you expand your membership and ensure members pay their dues? Lodge initiation devices, initially created by Ed DeMoulin and his brothers, Erastus and Ulysses, whose workshop became known locally as the Goat Factory. And tree-trunk shaped headstones were a nice benefit for members who had passed. They're parts of Goat Rituals and Tree-Trunk Gravestones: The Peculiar History of Life Insurance [Via Presurfer] [more inside]
For a mere $65, headstone maker Quiring Monuments will add a QR barcode to a cemetery headstone and run a linked web site for five years. A Seattle cemetery manager says he is considering adding the codes to historical monuments and even trees.
The Gravestone Girls collect and reproduce aged New England cemetery art without damaging the original stones. Not able to attend any of their classes? In the meantime here are some do's and don'ts about collecting rubbings, via the Association for Gravestone Studies.
BBS Sysop, RIP. In 1987 Don DeLapp Jr died and his family maintained his BBS in his honor. In December, Don Senior died during an operation. Their BBS is immortalized on Don Jr's headstone.
Bobby Fuller was a Texas based rock and roll singer best known for the immortal rebel anthem "I Fought The Law,". Considered by many to be the heir to Buddy Holly as the king of Texas Rock, he built on Holly's style with songs like the aforementioned "...Law," "Jenny Lee," "Love's Made A Fool Of You," and the 2 1/2 minute masterpiece "Let Her Dance." And then it ended, at age 22, in very weird circumstances. Over the years, interest in Fuller and his work has ebbed and flowed, and plenty of archival material surfaced, but the mystery of his death remains unsolved, although many have speculated. Ann odd end for a footnote character in rick history, but who was bound for more