Headstone Symbology - Matilda Crisson
It would be worth cataloging all of the headstone symbology and terminology associated with the care of grave making in Mt. Hope Cemetery, but we have chosen for this project to provide a case study through Matilda Crisson. Matilda was a farmer’s wife here in Dahlonega who died at a tragically young 46.
We can actually glean the sense of a young death through the symbology on her headstone. On the face of the stone there is a relief image of a hand coming down from clouds and plucking up healthy flowers. Though we do not know Matilda’s actual cause of death, the symbology represented suggests that she was taken rather suddenly, as the hand symbolizes that of god and the flowers represent a life taken before its natural wilting death.
Mrs. Crisson’s grave also has other common features to a grave, such as there being a border, called coping, to the edges of her personal grave, which makes hers a ‘Cradle Grave.’ The bed of the grave is actually meant to host flowers, and perhaps did so in the years following her death.