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Some Unique Graves
Despite custom and mass production, some people manage to have unique monuments. Here is a list observed by the author and some of the readers of the site:

  • Both American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson (Sleepy Hollow, Concord, Mass.) and longtime Yosemite caretaker Galen Clark (Yosemite National Park, California) have boulders with plaques over their graves. The graves of those who died at the Manzanar Relocation Camp (near Independence, California) feature stones dragged up from a nearby creek.

  • Baseball player Lefty O'Doul's stone (Cypress Lawn, Colma, California) features a baseball bat and a ball. His lifetime batting average is one of the statistics recorded.

  • A grave at Colma's Home of Peace features writing in both Arabic and Hebrew and a large treble cleft.

  • Wyatt and Josephine Earp's tombstone (Hills of Eternity, Colma, California) is emblazoned with a poker hand. The stone, erected by zealous admirers, replaces the plain, black stone selected by Josephine Earp. Some want the old stone back.

  • A Russian expatriate's grave (Serbian Cemetery, Colma, California) displays a photo of the Last Czar and his family.

  • The remains of Ishi, (Olivet Cemetery, Colma, California) "the last wild Indian in America", are stored in a Pueblo Indian pot inscribed with his name.

  • Philanthropist James Lick possesses perhaps the largest tombstone of all: an astronomical observatory atop California's Mount Hamilton.

    Perhaps you have seen other unusual monuments. Send your description to