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LIFE TRAIL DRIVE

“Though Silent, He Speaks”

HISTORIC GROVE: The 19thcentury cemetery at Acton is a treasure trove of grave symbols (as well as site of smallest of Texas’s designated historic sites, the grave of Elizabeth Crockett).

Understanding symbols in the historic cemeteries of Texas TUI SNIDER

ANYONE WHO explores the back roads of Texas will pass by interesting historic graveyards. While visitors can find a great deal of pleasure simply in reading names, dates and epitaphs, they can also decipher the messages ancestors left behind through their use of religious and social symbols. In the 21st century, the meaning behind many of these symbols has been forgotten.

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While symbols still appear on gravestones and monuments in modern cemeteries, they tend to be more literal than in earlier eras. In a historic graveyard, a squirrel holding an acorn, for example, would have symbolized spiritual striving and meditation. But the same statue in a modern burial ground probably just means someone thought squirrels were cute.

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PHOTOS COURTESY TUI SNIDER

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Authentic Texas 2017 Fall  

2017 Fall issue of Authentic Texas, the Heritage Magazine of Texas