Cave Hill Cemetery

Cemetery Motifs 401

Curated by
James Carroll

1.2 miles
47 Points of Interest

Copyright 2019


Please remember that Cave Hill is a cemetery and not a public park. Pets are not allowed in the cemetery. Bicycles, joggers, motorcycles, motor homes, and buses are not allowed. No picnicking allowed. Do not park on the grass.
This is really important. While Cave Hill is historic, it is also an active cemetery and we need to respect that others are visiting their loved ones.

Table of Contents


This requires driving inside the cemetery. Why? It is in the center of the cemetery and past the other strolls, so you would have to re-walk some locations.

Drive through the main gate and follow the main road until you see a lake with a large stone building just beyond it. Turn left in front of the building and find a place to park.

Section One

38.245861, -85.717332
Check the Map
With the building on your left, walk toward the road you turned left onto. You will see a "2" marker on your right.
There are seven Points of Interest in this section.

Skip to
Section Two

Look to your right for a large blocky monument with a belt of small columns around the middle.

Bell monument

We have encountered monuments of this type several times, but this is certainly the most decorative of the lot.

It might have more mini-columns that all the others we have seen combined. The capitals above span the groupings, are covered in floral details, and have even more details above themselves. There are several bands of decorations but the topmost band outshines the others. Like always, why are the best decorations so high up?

And the stone itself has a nice speckly visual texture.

At the intersection, turn right and walk uphill. At the next road you will see a tall monument just to your right.

Baumeister monument

With the variety of details, the height, and the lightness of the stone, this monument would not look out of place in a Victorian World Exposition.
Or as a contemporary wedding cake.

Return to the first road and continue along the right hand side. The second plot has a tallish monument with a figure on top and extensions on either side.

Alter monument

It has the shape of a World War memorial. A pool in front would not look out of place. What does look unusual is the Aladdin-style lamps–unrubbed, so no wishes.

It also has that nice speckly stone.

Walk to the Celtic cross that is just up and across the road.

Strater cross

This is just another Celtic cross. Why point it out? The shape, the carving that has remained sharp, and the knotwork.

Continue along the left side of the road. You will see a large tree stump engulfing a headstone. Just past that, you will find a square architectural monument with unfinished sides.

Reese monument

This is another Emerging Stone. It feels as if you could peel away the unfinished parts to reveal the rest of the carving.

Walk to the large white cross that is immediately behind this monument.

Oldham cross

This cross is carved in the shape of logs. It has nicely detailed bark and ivy. However, we are interested in the cairn. While most examples have loads of foliage, this one has loads of names–on shields and parchment scrolls. And, on both sides.

Cross to the right hand side of the road and look for another Emerging Stone just past the first tree.

Wright monument

Like the previous Emerging Stone, it looks like the rough stone is growing to cover a completed monument rather than the monument being carved into the stone.

Section Two

38.247653, -85.716453
Check the Map
Continue along the right hand side of the road as it curves to the right. Turn right at the intersection and cross to the left hand side.
There are three Points of Interest in this section.

Skip to
Section Three

You will see a large white monument that looks like the facade of a bank building.

Simmons monument

And it does. When looked at from a distance it seems that it could easily be a mausoleum if it had more walls. It has strong architectural details and a Bathtub Tomb shaped decoration at the top.

Notice how the stone is unfortunately starting to flake away.

Standing in the front of the Simmons monument, look to your right. Our next stop is the monument with a male figure on top that is just beyond the cross memorial next door.

Eaton monument

While it seems that men tend to get profile portraits, when they do get a figure it is not boring. He has a dramatic pose, nice details, and the trees are tall enough that he feels less exposed.

Cross to the right hand side of the road. Just before the intersection, you will see a roughly-carved boxy monument.

Moxham monument

The rough surface gives a nice visual texture, and the contrast between the rough and smooth faces makes the monument pop.

But, it is the artifice of the cross piercing the stone faces that is most interesting.

Section Three

38.246989, -85.716817
Check the Map
Continue to the intersection and turn right.
There are six Points of Interest in this section.

Skip to
Section Four

Continue along the right hand side of the road. Behind the second tree you will find a large white Celtic cross.

Muldoon cross

Notice how the base is flared, the circular part is much thinner than the rest of the cross, and the top has roof-like profile.
Who are we kidding? You see the cross before you see the tree...

Immediately to the left you will see a large tomb-like monument.

Zorn monument

It has some nice floral details on the lid. The figures look like they could be from a tapestry–the right figure has that kind of wistful expression.

Immediately to the left you will see a tall column with a square base.

Klein column

This is another MONUMENTAL monument, one that could be surrounded by a pool. The figure, capital, and solid foundation are nice but the best part is all the details around the square base of the column.

Cross to the left side of the road to another tall column.

Gheens column

The base has details that we have seen before. This time it is the capital and figure that draw the attention–they are almost too big for the rest of the monument.
You know the routine now. Pay attention to the details, they might be useful later.

Cross back to the right hand side of the road. Continue around the circle to the tall obelisk.

Wedekind obelisk

Notice how the base has square bumpouts on each side; they make the base feel more substantial without adding bulk. The stands or tables add visual interest–the base would be more bland without them.

The birds and wreaths on the obelisk itself break up the vertical planes. But it is the lions–the SPLIT lions–are very unusual. Seen from the front they are just lion decorations but look at one from the corner. Now, they look like they have been split in half and wedged onto the corner.

Gruesome, huh?

Continue along the right hand side of the road. Just past a small tree you will find a monument with a figure on top.

Minary monument

Compared to the others in this section, this monument is simple. The sides have a pleasing curve, the figure is nice, but the angular capital details above the insignia are the best.

Section Four

38.246795, -85.716501
Check the Map
Continue to the first road and turn right. Cross to the left side of the road.
There are three Points of Interest in this section.

Skip to
Section Five

Just past the Gaulbert monument you will see a monument that is similar to the Hogan monument we saw at the beginning of the stroll.

Baird monument

Form and details.

Try to see the center section without the side extensions. They make it feel more solid and formal. The wreath and capital add to that effect. An unusual details is the Winged Hourglass at the top.

Walk to the monument on the immediate right.

Embry monument

This is another tomb-like monument but the details are limited to the side sections. You can see Pilasters, Wreaths, Swags, and that floral fan that we have seen numerous times before.

Continue along the left side of the road. Just before the intersection you will see a boxy monument with a cross on top.

Fetter monument

We are interested in the details up front. The Wreath has a Palm Frond in its center and notice how some of the fronds (leaves?) are not straight and perfect.

Also, notice how the flames of the Inverted Torches extend out and upwards.

Section Five

38.246904, -85.715835
Check the Map
Continue to the intersection.
There are five Points of Interest in this section.

Skip to
Section Six

Directly across the street and slightly to the right you will see an obelisk.

Meyer obelisk

By this time obelisks are old hat. We are interested in the elaborate and LONG cloth draped over it.

Continue along the left hand side of the road. You are looking for another Emerging Stone.

Bryan monument

This monument looks a bit more Emerging than Engulfed but that is not the important part. Pay attention to the details because they will be needed later.
I promise.

Continue along the road. Immediately past the large tree you will find a boxy monument with curvy flared sides.

Liebert monument

These are a nice change from the regular straight edges. Also, notice how those leafy details on the corners seem to grow out of the monument rather than being attached to it.

Walk past a pair of trees and stop. Look to your left. You will see the Wagner monument on the left and the Voss monument on the right. Look between and, about four rows back, you will see our next stop.

Caldwell monument

How about that anchor? While it is impossible for the anchor to burst through the stone like that, it IS impressive. And so is the rope tied to the top of the anchor, even down to its shredded end.

The Fern and Ivy are nicely detailed and help tie everything together.

Look to your right to see another Emerging Stone.

Russell monument

Does it look familiar? Yep, it has the same pattern as the Bryan monument. As we have seen before, duplicates are not uncommon, but finding them close together is.

Section Six

38.247216, -85.721467
Check the Map
To the right you will see some empty lawn; follow it back to the road. Cross to the opposite side of the road, bearing to the right so you end up in the curve. The stone building will be to your left.
There is one Point of Interest in this section.

Skip to
Section Seven

To your right you will see a monument with a figure facing away from the road. It has a light brown vertical square in front of it. That is our next stop.

Dohn monument

We are interested in the brown square and not the monument. It is from a building that used to be downtown. This is the only piece of architectural salvage that I have ever seen in a cemetery.

Section Seven

38.245783, -85.721718
Check the Map
Return to the road and continue to the intersection.
We are back at the starting point. If you like, you can end the stroll here.

But, there is more to see.

The remaining sections involve walking out and back along the same roads, instead of in a loop. So, unless noted, we will be walking along the left hand side of the road.

If you are ready to continue, TURN LEFT.

In case you have not noticed it, look to your left.

Admin Building

The highlight is the tower. The arch above the main entrance has some nicely carved details. Notice that the tower is asymmetrical–it has that slender cylindrical detail on only one side.

Then there is the crenallations along the top of the tower, and the copper green roof.

Section Eight

38.244193, -85.717207
Check the Map
Continue to the intersection, cross the main road, and continue along the left hand side. Stop at the first road on your left.
There is one Point of Interest in this section.

Skip to
Section Nine

On the opposite side of that road you will see a monument with a sphere on top; that is our next stop.

Gosnell monument

While the Hexagonal shape of the base is interesting, the sphere (or globe) is the main attraction. Notice that the belt of flowers is not boringly horizontal but is instead set at a rakish angle. This is more dramatic and gives a sense of motion.

Section Nine

38.244626, -85.716934
Check the Map
To make it easier, just continue along the right hand side and turn right at the next road.
There is one Point of Interest in this section.

Skip to
Section Ten

You simply cannot miss the large copper-green critter on your right.

Elk monument

Of course, it is facing in the other direction so you will need to walk over.

Section Ten

38.244319, -85.716660
Check the Map
Return to the road and turn right. Continue to the intersection. This is a loop road and return to this spot. All but one of the stops will be on the left hand side.
There are nine Points of Interest in this section.

Skip to
Section Eleven

Cross directly to the opposite side of the road to the monument topped by a figure and several male busts.

Finzer monument

This has got to be the most ornamented monument in the cemetery–there may not be a plain surface at all. As you walk around it, notice all the different ornaments and how crisp the details are.

Return to the road and continue along the left hand side. The next stop is a tall obelisk-like monument.

Frank-Fehr monument

This monument is a collection of things we have seen in previous strolls. The bottom section is similar to several monuments we saw in stroll #1, with columns and a roof. The middle section has a Profile Portrait and more architectural details.

The top section is confusing. It could be an obelisk, but the horizontal insets look like shingles, so it could be a tall peaked roof. The third roofline below the urn reinforces the roof effect.

Immediately behind, you will see three small cairn memorials.

Three crosses

Here we have the same pattern done in different sizes and mirrored. Sure, they are duplicates but being this close gives them a sort of rhythm.

Continue to the very next plot to the right. It resembles the remains of a Wood, with a tree stump and many logs on the ground.

Thompson Tree

We have seen tree monuments before but never with this much open space and with Logs lying about.

The tree has nicely detailed bark and ivy, and the bark flap below the inscription is draws attention. However, look at the ends of the branch stumps–they have names, and that is most unusual.

The logs also have an unusual element. As you stroll among them, notice how the bark changes. It starts out realistic and slows gets more stylized.

Continue along the left hand side. When you pass the road on the right, cross to the right hand side of the road. You will see the Duff monument but that is not our stop.

Look to the left and farther back. You are looking for a smaller arch-shaped monument with a bust in the center.

Approach this memorial slowly.

Scott memorial

Much of the effect depends on the angle of the sun. Pay attention to the bust as you walk up.

Oh my.


It was the sunlight hitting this that drew my attention; it just did not look RIGHT. And close up the remaining faces looks so much more disturbing than the featureless face we saw on stroll #3. And strange because the stone we have seen before seems to dissolve away rather than fall off in CHUNKS.

Look at the base of the bust. There are chunks there.

One more thing before we go. Walk around to the other side. Why does the bust look like a large mushroom?

Return to the road (without looking back) and cross to the mausoleum on the opposite side.

Jones Mausoleum

This mausoleum resembles an example of classic architecture and another mausoleum in Spring Grove in Cincinnati.

Look to the right of the mausoleum and you will see a tall column. That is our next stop.

Armstrong column

The base has some fine details but we will focus on the column. Does it look familiar?

Yep, it shares details with the Gheen column. They have the same flutes in the columns, the same horizontal bands, very ornate classical capitals, and figures on top.

And even the figures are similar. They are mirrored but have the same pose and are holding anchors.

How about these Nancy Drew sleuthing moments?

Immediately to the right is a large cross.

Miller cross

The cross is–well–a cross. The metal ornaments on the base are the attraction. As always, the verdigree (patina?) just makes these details pop against the light gray stone.

To the right, and not too far away, you will see a large blocky monument topped with a guy sitting in a chair.

DeHaven memorial

But the base first. This is the first monument to feature Caryatids. Another unusual detail is having the name on the sides instead of the facing the street.

It makes sense if we figure that the gentleman above is facing the front–where names usually appear. He does look more impressive in profile and all the other details might be missed. After all, notice how detailed the chair is; other figures have only gotten cairns.

And then there is the view to consider. In Oakland Cemetery (in Atlanta), a statue of Jasper Smith sits in profile atop his mausoleum facing the entrance. Perhaps this is the best view from atop this monument?

Section Eleven

38.245077, -85.717651
Check the Map
Continue along to the road on your right (you will see the Elk monument nearby). You have come full circle and we are heading over to the next section. This requires backtracking and we can do it in one fell swoop.

Turn right. At the intersection turn left. At the next intersection, turn right. At the next intersection after that, you will be back at the main road. Turn left and walk along the left hand side of the road.

There are ten Points of Interest in this section.

Skip to
The End

You will find a large boxy monument immediately past the second road on your left.

Blankenbaker monument

This is a monumental monument. It is large, solid looking, and built of simple shapes. Notice how the details are small in proportion and the most details are at the top.

The next stop is just past the small Dogwood tree.

Walker monument

There are several symbols you should recognize by now:
  • an Urn
  • Draped Cloth
  • Inverted Torches

At the next left road, turn left and look under the tree on the corner.

Tiny memorial

This may be the tiniest memorial here. You can see the inscription carved into a Parchment Scroll, but the lettering is too smoothed to be readable.

Cross to the right side and continue uphill. Just beyond a real tree you will find a tree monument.

Seebolt tree

This tree has a Broken Branch lying across two limb stumps, Ferns, and climbing Ivy. Also, the bark has been peeled down instead of removed. The barkless area shows the name and the bark itself shows the inscription.

Walk downhill to the intersection, turn right, and cross to the left hand side of the road. Just past the Inman obelisk you will see a soft and curvy memorial.

Truman memorial

What is interesting about this memorial? How curvy it is. The sides, the top, and the border around the inscription are all curvy. The oak leaves curl inwards. There is a small dove in the center and a small bouquet at the top.

Look to the right. Under the tree you will see a monument that looks like a very large headstone.


This is confusing. The dates are old but the monument looks very new. Is it new but for old burials, or old but well preserved?

Continue along the road. When you see a road on your right, you will see a tree memorial immediately to your left.

Grainger memorial

This is a Tree Stump with two missing branches. There are several familiar symbols. Just behind you can see a log memorial.

Walk a little bit farther and you will see section marker P. Turn left onto the grassy path just past it. Follow the stone border on your left.


Often you can see large flocks of waterbirds. You can see the Administration office across the lake, but that is on another tour.

Continue to follow the stone border. It will curve around to the left. Just past the Glazebrook obelisk, on the left, is the next stop–a large green critter


The jackrabbit has a lovely verdigree and is seated on a bench. At the base, there is a plaque with information about the sculpture.

Return to the grassy path and follow the stone border–now on your right–back the way you came. The next stop is a reclining figure.

Kopp monument

This monument could be in a museum. There are so many details, especially the delicate flowers in her right hand.

Also, notice the metal palm branch at the base.

You are done!

Continue back to the intersection. Turn left and left again at the four-way intersection. The stone building will be on your right.


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