Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Marking History

I find cemeteries interesting, and I frequently stop and wander through them, taking photos. Yesterday, I was in Lander to have my car serviced, and I found myself drawn to the cemetery overlooking the town. (Every other time I was there, I did not have my camera.) Yesterday, I wanted to take some photos of the unique headstones, shaped like tree stumps.

I always thought the headstones were those of lumber jacks, but they are not. They are markers for members of the Woodmen of the World. I tried to find some information at the Pioneer Museum, but it was not open. I went to the Lander Public Library, but it is closed for renovation. I was able to speak to the curator of the Riverton Museum who told me the Woodmen of the World was a fraternal organization. The curator thought most people joined in the early 1900s for insurance. When I got home, I checked online.

According to Wikkipedia, the organization is still active and has over 800,000 members, nationwide.

History of the Woodmen of the World organization can be found on its website.

Even though these headstones are unique in my area, they are scattered throughout the United States. Some awesome photos of the diverse works of art can be found here.

Do you have any of these unique headstones in your area?


  1. What an unbelievable site! I'm learning so much ,from blogging with people around this wonderful country! Thank-you for sharing! Now, I'll be searching for headstones in my area!

  2. I've seen markers similar to this in the Matagorda Cemetery. I always thought they were interesting.

  3. I enjoy your blog and love your crafts. I am also a retired teacher.The Woodmen of the World monuments always intrigued me. My family always had WOW insurance and my dad kept a policy on me even after I was grown and married!
    Sarita in Texas

  4. Very interesting, indeed. I also like to wander cemeteries. It's peaceful and reflective.


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