Please remember that The Lexington Cemetery is not a public park nor is it public property. Pets must be kept on leashes. Bicycles and motorcycles are not permitted; they can be parked at the gate. Picnicking, drinking, sports, and sunbathing are not permitted.
Do not park on the grass. Do not park on any road that has a line painted down the center; these are the main traffic roads.
Walk toward the fork. In the center you will see a large stone map.
We will walk around section O, meander back to and around section F, walk up to section 7, and then back down to section A.
Walk to the left of the map and continue walking along the right hand side of the road. Look for the Lewis headstone.
Memorials are not the only points of interest–there are plenty of interesting trees. This tree is a large and spreading background to this plot.
Look to your left and up.
Clay mausoleum 1.
I mean really up–above the trees. There is a gentleman standing at the top of a very tall column. And not just ON the column.
The column has a really detailed capital, with all sorts of leafy things poking out of what looks to be vases. Above that is a shingled half-sphere, which is the base for the pedestal that he is standing on.
And the column is rising out of a mausoleum.
Continue walking along the right side of the road. Walk past the road on your right and start looking to your right. For the best view, stand in the wide area between the third and fourth trees after the side road.
Clay mausoleum 2.
Now you can see the mausoleum itself. You might not be able to see the entire tower because of the trees, but it is there.
We will get a closer look later.
Turn completely around. You will see a large tree with an Obelisk to the right. Walk between them and you will see a small blocky memorial to the left.
Books are an uncommon motif and they are worth looking at because they sometimes have writting. This one has two lines, but with weathering and those pesky mosses and lichen they are very hard to read.
To the right of the Obelisk you will see a female figure on top of a tall base. This is our next stop.
Cemetery figures are interesting. The guys tend to be standing as if getting their photo taken. Women tend to be wives in various states of grieving–some more dramatic than others–or angels with a very specific set of poses.
Look at the urn to the immediate right.
Draped urns are a common sight. What makes this one interesting is the flame coming out the top. Flames are generally seen atop Torches.
Return to the road and walk left. Look to your left just past the next small tree. Walk to the upright memorial just beyond the tree.
This memorial has the information on a piece of parchment instead of the stone beneath it. This sort of artifice is really pleasing–this could have been a plain headstone, but someone took the time to carve stone to look like a limber and thin sheet.
Look to your right. Walk to the column set on a very large base.
What drew my attention is the large amount of ferns growing out of the base. You can see ferns growing around monuments or carved into the stone, but usually the only thing growing ON a monument is moss.
Return to the road, cross to the other side, and walk to stand between the second and third large trees on the right hand side. Look slightly to the left for a pair of headstones that are connected.
Connected stones are rare, but the hands above are even more rare. It is easy to find hands that are carved in relief, but these are fully realized and their sleeves even have different cuff styles.
Look behind and to the left for a memorial that looks like a diorama.
This memorial resembles a niche with a water source flowing into a well. It has a cup and pitcher in the back, and a broken wheel and rope in the front.
Look to the left for a large pyramid-shaped monument.
I have never seen this shape before. It is massive and covered with moss and lichen.
Return to the road. Across the road you will see a pine tree with three trunks. Cross the road to stand to the right of that tree. Look across the lawn.
we will not visit this mausoleum, but it looks very lonely way over there by itself.
Turn right and continue walking along the left hand side of the road. Just before the curve, you will see some brickwork poking above a small hill. That is our next stop.
This brick mausoleum has simple but sturdy details. It also has a very serious door–all those rivets make it handy in a dungeon.
Walk next door to the left.
This mausoleum has the same basic details but in stone. It also has a Draped Urn and decorative trim on the door. What is most interesting is just above the door.
This is a Winged Globe. While it does not look it here, this is actually an Egyptian design. Also, the feathers are carved to look natural rather than stylized.
Just past the N section marker you will see a tall memorial surrounded by foliage.
This is a combination of my two favorite cemetery motifs: Cairns and Tree Stumps. The tree is missing some bark, the Ivy comes in two sizes, and if you look closely you can see the family name between the two upper limbs.
Return to the road, turn left, and cross to the opposite side. Just before you reach the fork, look to your right for collection of stones facing each other.
This stone will be on the left side and looks like it is covered in Ivy. You can see the word "Mother" behind the foliage.
Look at how delicate the leaves are. They look as if they are real leaves that have been sprayed with a light stone coat. The stems are just as delicate, and even have tendrils.
Look to your right at the tall memorial in the center.
Van Meter memorial.
This is the first figure we will see that is carved in relief. This one is carved into the stone and others will be carved projecting out of the stone.
Return to the road. Cross to the other side, turn right, and follow the left hand fork.
You may have seen these rows of stones in other cemeteries, or perhaps in the movie "Harold and Maude". These rows form circles around a flagpole.
The stones are generally all the same shape and, unfortunately, come in large quantities. But these qualities form a visual pattern. As you look over this section do you notice that your eyes do not stop at a single place, but keep looking for a place to light?
Just before the flagpole, look to your right across the road.
This is another large tree with light-colored, highly textured bark. It also has a very sketchable branch structure.
Continue walking along the road. Just after another road merges into this one, and before the next fork, cross to the opposite side. Look for the Davis memorial. We are interested in the bench that is in front and off to the side.
But not just a bench–look at the two supports below. They are lions. Or, if you see the swirls behind them as wings, gryphons. In either case, they are unusual.
Return to the road. Turn right and walk to the soldier standing on a tall base.
This, and the next two stops, are Confederate. Here, you can see "CSA" below his feet. But we are not concerned with that.
Look at the tall base. See how there are a bunch of names? There are 151 names. A Cenotaph is a memorial to a group of people–usually buried elsewhere–to commemorate their deaths.
What is important here is that we have actual names, not "the Confederate Dead" or some other vague label. These were real people, with names and families and lives before the war. And remember, some of these guys might have been Conscripted or was hired as a replacement for someone else.
Continue along the road to face the gentleman on the horse.
Now we have something more problematic–there is a camera across the road. If you like, you can skip this and the next stop altogether.
But, if not, try to view the statue as you might an antiquity in a museum–without context. Notice the stance of the horse, and how its ears are pushed forward, and how it seems to be alert to something. Or how the stirrup straps twist, or the creases in the boots, or the saddle decorations.
Think about how long it must have taken to sculpt this. And that afterwards they had to create a mold around it. And, finally, fill that mold with molten metal.
Walk over to the monument with a large cross on top of a large Cairn.
And this is even more difficult. This is where it becomes easy to forget that there were people involved.
Look at the various symbols: a broken Confederate flagpole, a sword, and "Our Dead" on the other side.
But if you can, try to look at the other details: how the parchment is scrolled at the bottom, the oak branch with Acorns, how the cloth is draped, how the flagpole looks really broken, and even the tree bark.
Walk back to face the statue. Look to the left to see a small cairn and tree stump under a small tree.
This time we are interested in the two memorials beside that one. The twins. There are some minor differences, but the most obvious is the lettering–the letters on the left one are above the surface and those on the right are below.
The tall back sections appear to be completely decorative–the stones would still look fine without them.
This one is tricky. Return to the road and cross to the opposite side. Walk past four large trees on the right and then look right. You will see a wide horizontal memorial with three tall ones behind it. Walk to the one on the left.
This is the first flying angel. Notice that she is carrying a child on her left and assisting a person on her right.
Return to the road and turn right. Walk to the fourth large tree on the right and look to your left. Walk to the tall white memorial.
This is the second flying angel. She is not helping anyone but is carrying a bouquet. She might be in a modified Scattering Pose because her right hand looks like it might be tugging at the flowers.
There is a heart snuggled into the curved moldings at the top. There are Inverted Torches on either side.
Turn left and walk to the tall monument on the left that is in front of some tall shrubs.
What caught my attention is the general shape. Notice how the base tapers into the column itself, and they are separated by the arched roof-like structure supported by four brackets.
The monument is topped by a Draped Urn above a very detailed capital. Midway down is a naval emblem, with two anchors and an American shield. The most interesting bit is the medallion at the bottom of the column.
It features a relief of the ship "Colorado"; illustrated elements like this are not common. There is a Wreath of Oak leaves below. The draped cloth above resembles a decoration you might have seen at a rally or a celebration–it adds an importance to the collection.
Return to the road. Across the road on the corner you will see a large Cairn with a cross on top.
The base does have some details but the dark mossy bits do a great job of obscuring them. There are a couple of name on the front, but look at the right hand side; like on the Pindell monument, you can see the letters but not always completely.
Walk back around to the front. Look at the upper left and the lower right to see objects that are not stones. They are hard to make out but they look like a Wreath and an Urn.
If you look to the right and just beyond the tree you can see a statue of a boy. This is the next stop.
The boy is dressed in contemporary clothing–no robes here. He is holding an upturned hat.
Do you see that small column behind his right leg? What do you think that is for? Female figures are dressed in robes or dresses to help retain a mass of stone. With trousers, there are two sticks of stone supporting a torso of stone. This column gives more structural support to that leg.
Walk back to the intersection. Walk to the white cross that is diagonally across the intersection.
The white stone makes this hard to miss. The ribbons at the base are the best part–they are carved from stone but still feel soft and malleable. They have waves and ripples and flow around the ivy tendrils.
Toward the top the ivy seems to just fade away. At the very top it looks weathered away.
Continue along the road. Take the left side of the fork. At the intersection, directly across the road you will see two short columns on bases.
The columns are... columns. But check out all those delicate details hung on them. It is all so intricate and thin and small–and carved from stone. Even the flappy bits of the ribbons are just hanging in space.
Return to the road, turn left, and cross to the opposite side. At the intersection, turn right to face the tree opposite. Walk to the memorial with an urn on top that is to the right of this tree.
The tallest has a Wreath front and center, flanked by two Inverted Torches. On top of the molding that is above the wreath, you can see a fan-like leaf. This is called a Palmette and these leaves are as common as kudzu in the South. And not just in cemeteries–you can find them on downtown buildings as well.
To the left you will see an Urn on a Cairn. The parchment is scrolled at the bottom and there are a few faintly carved plant bits on the stones.
The next two are also Cairns. The first has a sitting Cherub–note the wings–and the second a reclining, or sleeping, child.
Turn completely around to face the horizontal memorial in front of this collection. Look down.
The backs of memorials are usually plain, for obvious reasons. But this one has two rifles.
Aha. Around front, we see that Mr. Breckinridge was in the Infantry.
Look to your right. Walk to face that large, four-columned monument.
And those columns are holding up a large and heavy looking Entablature. Mr. Sayre is well protected but look stern and a bit cross. Perhaps this was a public expression that gentlemen wore back then.
Return to the road, turn right, and walk past the tree on your right. You will see an Obelisk and another column, but we are stopping at the tomb in the front.
There is a lot of text here, but it is very difficult to read so we will focus on details. There is an anchor at the foot; it looks to be more of a naval, rather than cemetery, symbol. There is a cross on top that is covered with a very realistically draped cloth.
Walk to face the tall figure that is to the left and behind the obelisk.
Start with the base. It looks like a large upside-down capital. While you will see inverted brackets on the sides of monuments, there are four here, and the not-square blocks they are resting on look like the tops of capitals.
Now look at the figure. Do you notice anything unusual? She does not appear to be grieving–she is looking upward. The expression on her face is stricken and ghost-like, and her eyes seem to be staring into the far distance. Her robe is more of a swirling cloth, full of folds and wrinkles.
And then there are her feet. They are not touching the ground. Now her whole pose suggests someone being lifted up.
Return to the road and cross to the opposite side. Walk to face the column monument that is just to the right.
We will focus on the two Cherubs. They are usually just around, not doing anything of any note. But not these two.
Look at the one on the right. He is leaning on an Urn and looks to be asleep, or nearly there. And he looks really comfortable, as if there is no problem with nodding off.
The cherub on the left looks to be absolutely asleep. He is resting his head on an Inverted Torch. It might be hard to tell, but see at the bottom, by his knee–those are flames.
Across the road and slightly to the right you will see a tall memorial on a squarish base. That is our next stop.
The draw here is the Winged Heads centered above the thin columns. While not exactly rare–they are well represented at Cave Hill in Louisville–they are uncommon enough to point out.
Return to the road, turn right, and continue walking along the right hand side. Look carefully for a wide open area on the right. There will be a tree that is smaller than the others and a white obelisk in the distance. Walk to face the tall rectangular memorial between them. You will see "Mary E." on the front.
Many memorials use architectural shapes and resemble small buildings. They are usually solid and may, at best, have columns that are separated from the mass.
This memorial has been hollowed and evokes a feeling similar to the Sayre monument, but at a smaller scale. The urn, which we would usually see at the top now has a sheltered position within.
Return to the road and continue walking down the right hand side. Turn left onto the first road on your left and walk along the right hand side. Just past a small tree you will see a tall agular monument.
This is a perfect example of an architectural monument. The various elements make it seem like a cathedral without it actually being one. Look at one of the corners.
At the bottom is an impossibly tall dormer with a high roof, then a Buttress above. The third section has another dormer but the panels in between, with their gothic elements, could be stained glass windows. Above that it is simply a spire you might see on a cathedral.
Continue walking up the right side of the road. Turn right when you see the sign for the "grave of Lane Allen" and walk to the bathtub-like memorial.
While this might resemble one of those Jane Austin high-backed tubs, this is actually a Cradle Grave. The interior becomes a tiny garden. Notice how the curved back shares the same elements as its more rectangular cousins.
Look to the left. Walk to the tall octagonal monument with a cross on top.
The focus here is the vine. Or rather, its artifice. It starts at the bottom and, like a real vine, partially covers the name before climbing the octagonal column.
If you look closely at the space between the base and the column you can see the tiniest seam through the vine. Imagine trying to place these large stone blocks without chipping off those tiny details!
Return to the road and cross to the other side. Just before the intersection you will find a row of white memorials between two large pine trees. Walk to face the three tallest.
The leftmost memorial shows a mother and child beneath a floral arch. Below and on either side is an Inverted Torch.
In the center is another tree memorial. This one has the bark removed for the inscription.
The rightmost is the most detailed. There is a Pediment at the top, that has a Palmette in the center along with other scrolled elements. Below that is a Cornice with Dentils. The main area has two Inverted Torches wrapped with thin flowing ribbons.
Notice the flames. Instead of pointing downwards they flow horizontally toward each other. This is dramatic and rare.
Return to the road. Directly across the road you will see a tall narrow tree. To the left and behind you will see a memorial that looks like a shell. That is our next stop.
Like we saw next to the Dudley memorial, this is a child resting atop a cairn. This time the child is covered. Sometimes this is a shell, but here it is a bower made of leaves.
Turn right and walk down the right hand side of the road. There is a large white obelisk set back off the road. When you get even with it, look for a tall monument to the left and behind the obelisk.
I noticed this monument because of the two trees flanking it. Right off, the only detail to point out is the Palmette on top of the pediment above the inscription.
But, what you can not see is that there is a mystery. Look closely around the perimeter. See all those smaller bits scattered around? Why are they there? And, more importantly, where do they go?
At first glance you could think that the Draped Urn on the right belongs on top of the column. That could work, but it is out of proportion to the width of the capital. It is more likely that the large draped element in the back belongs on top.
But then where could the urn go? There does not seem to be a place for it on top of the draped element. Perhaps it might have been on one of the ledges on either side of the Palmette. There are two pieces on the left side; what if they are a broken urn–the twin to the right one?
If that is the case, how did the one get broken? Maybe the draped element got knocked off and hit the left urn. Look at the small memorial to the left. It is broken as well.
Okay. So one piece fell into another which then fell into a third piece. Large pieces of stone do not just tip over, so what happened? Well, look at the tree on the left. Right up front is the remains of branch that was cut off. Perhaps the branch had grown over the monument and snapped off, starting the chain reaction?
And, of course, knowing is not as much fun as thinking about What Might Have Happened, so we will leave it here.
This is another tricky find. Return to the road, cross to the opposite side, and continue down the road. Stop at the first tree on the left and look left. There are two rows of headstones and you are looking for a tall cylindrical one.
It is another tree on top of a cairn on top of a base block. Look at the tree first. Notice how it looks okay at the bottom and then gets more interesting as it goes up, ending with that detailed split.
Then, there is the parchment below. It looks like it is tacked to the front of the cairn stones. There is a double curl at the bottom and the script is straight from a letterpress. Look closer at "BORN" and "DIED"–they have a 3D effect.
Then the cairn itself. The floral details are still sharp. The stones are carved especially nice here. Walk around the back. We see individual stones that look like they could have been actually stacked up.
Turn to face away from the tree. Just past that large shubbery is a tall monument. You might have to move to the right to see it. That is our next stop.
The first thing you might notice is the ring of smaller stones surrounding the center monument. You can quickly understand why by reading the last line of the inscription.
Well, there are those gothic details above the inscription. And see that vine detail above the family name? It is also curling up the spire at the top.
Move to face the front of the monument. Look to the left and back to see another cathedral inspired monument.
This monument has architectural details like we saw on the Warfield monument but this time it is not a solid mass. It has been hollowed out like the March memorial; however, this time the interior has a chapel-like ceiling.
Notice the columns flanking each opening. There is another column inside, so they are in groups of three.
Walk back to the road you see on your left. Turn right. When you have walked past the road on your left, stop just past the small tree on your right. Walk to the memorial that is scrolled like an "S" that is just past the tree.
The family name is hard to find, but you can easily see "Martha" up front. What is interesting here is that other memorials have had scrolled elements and this one basically IS a scrolled element.
It has two small Garlands and a shell or Palmette.
Continue walking to the intersection. Walk to face the statue of the gentleman that is across the road and to the right.
Contemporary dress and a photographic pose. However, it is not a stiff pose–it looks very much like he is giving a speech. With the draped pedestal, the position of his feet, and especially the upward hand gesture he could on stage instead of a Plinth.
Turn completely around and look at the tree on the corner.
This may be the largest tree in the cemetery. I parked my car on that corner and it looked like a toy.
Also, the slight lean and outstretched branches give it a sense of motion.
Cross to the opposite side of the road and continue walking along the left hand side. Walk to face the mausoleum directly in front of you.
This mausoleum is centered within this circular lawn. It is built from large rough-faced stone blocks which makes if feel more earthy and solid.
But notice the trim at the top of the walls. It is not rough at all. The leaves, which may be stylized Palmettes are very soft and rounded looking–like succulent leaves. This detail is echoed above the door, but in a more sharp and angular form.
Return to the road and turn right. Cross to the opposite side. You will see to large shrubs to your left. Our next stop is a stone tree on the other side and just beyond them. Walk to face the other side.
This may be more of a natural base for the tree than a cairn. However, it does have a lot of details that one sees on cairns. And, they are well carved.
There are plants growing around. The cross is leaning and supported by a broken branch. The Anchor is leaning against the cross and has a rope wrapped around it.
Notice how the rope is coiled and it's detail. Then look at the Chain at the lower right. It has some very thin links. Could you imaging having to carve those links? What would happen if one broke?
Return to the road and cross to the opposite side. Walk to the left and look for a large monument with two figures on top.
This is another architectural monument. Like the Sayre monument, this has four columns supporting an Entablature. Inside there is a box–a tomb–so this might be considered an Altar Tomb.
Above is a sled-like platform carrying a plinth. At either end are scrolls similar to what we saw on the Burch memorial. There are plenty of small floral details to look for.
The kneeling figure is grieving and is much smaller than the seated figure. This figure is holding a Book. Is this figure sitting in judgement, or perhaps offering some consolation?
Return to the road and turn left. Turn left at the roundabout and look for a tall cross on your left.
Just in case, this is a Celtic cross. These are easy to recognize because of the knotwork panels. Here, the bottom five panels are all different. Let you eyes settle on one ribbon and follow its path.
The upper panels are all connected via the roundabout in the center.
Cross to the opposite side of the road and continue along the roundabout. When you get to the back of the Patterson mausoleum, look left.
This is another nice collection of tall trees. They make a good backdrop for the group of memorials in front.
Continue along the roundabout. You will see a "Section 9" marker on the left and a tall monument with columns to the left of that.
This monument looks very much like a facade without a building. The columns would not look out of place on a downtown building. There is a Pediment above and a bust of Mr. Bowman sits at the very top.
Look to your right across the road. Walk to face the monument that has a tall center section flanked by shorter sections and columns.
The columns are unusual in that they look like lighthouses. The bottom details look like waves and there are three floors of lookout windows.
But, the really interesting bit is the detail at the very top. Remember the Winged Globe on the Robertson mausoleum? Well, here is another one. The feathers are not as detailed, but this looks even more Egyptian with the addition of the two cobras–who are detailed.
Look to the left and back. Walk to the memorial that has an angel on the ground beside it.
I have no idea how this angel fell off its perch, but it is a chance to get a better view.
Walk back past the Milward memorial to return to the road. Turn left at the next road. On your left, before the intersection, you will see a figure on the tall pedestal.
The figure is pointing upwards. This is a pose you will see in many cemeteries. There is one aspect of this figure that is different from the others we have seen.
She is looking downward AT the viewer, instead of looking outward into the distance.
Cross to the opposite side of the road. When you are standing next to the "Section F" marker, you will see four memorials around some stones set in the ground. Walk around to face them.
Why are we looking at these memorials? They do not seem to have anything in common.
Well, they all have that dark gray color–notice that the stone to the right is a much lighter color. They also face away from the road so their details are not immediately visible. And then they have those three fallen stones in between them.
The closer two are both Cairns that are set on bases. Each has a scroll that is curled up on the lower right side. The right one is missing its upright element, while the left one has a draped Broken Column.
The other two are tall and thin. They both have double bases with wider bottoms. The left one has a shallow niche with a figure inside. The right one is the most detailed in the group.
It has floral details around the edges. The center circle has Mason and Odd Fellows symbols. Notice the concentric circles that radiate out below the circle.
Look toward the road in front and slightly to the left. You will see a thin column set on a square base. That is our next stop.
As you get closer, look at the top of the column. Do you see that curl that looks like a vine? Keep looking at it as you walk around to the front.
It is a snake!
This is absolutely the first time I have ever seen a snake on a memorial. Why do you think it is there?
Return to the road and turn at the first road on the left. Cross to the opposite side and look for the bench on the right that is just past the obelisk. The bench is pointing at four stones on a foundation; our next stop is the two taller ones.
What is most interesting is the collection of objects in the upper section. The cross and the anchor–a cemetery rather than a naval motif this time–are easily recognizable.
The parchment below is nice as well. There is a subtle curl and the bottom and the upper edges are carved very thin.
Return to the bench. Walk to face the tall blocky memorial that is across the road.
This is an unusual figure. It is a guy, but he is not in contemporary dress. In fact, he is not dressed at all–there is nothing more than a strategically placed bit of cloth.
Although his head is down, he seems to be in a pose similar to the left cherub on the Shelby monument–resting on an inverted torch. At least, it look like a torch but there are no flames.
We have seen that cherubs are without apparal, and are often in a resting position. They also have the body shape of a small child, which this guy has clearly grown out of.
Look slightly left and across the road. That is the Henry Clay mausoleum that you have seen twice before. Walk over and look around.
Clay mausoleum 3.
You can see the base of the large column we saw earlier. Notice that the area around the entrance is set apart from the walls on either side.
But, upon closer inspection, this must be the back door, and the area just inside looks unfinished. And all but forgotten.
Walk around the left hand side to get to the other side of the building.
Clay mausoleum 4.
This is the front door. If you look inside you might notice that there is no connection to the space on the other side.
In any case, if you walk down the lawn and look back you will see the best closeup view of the column. Do you notice something about it? It does not seem so tall from here. Oh, it is still tall but maybe seeing the entire height changes things.
Continue back around to the street and cross to the opposite side. On the left side, look for a tall white monument with smaller headstones circled around it.
This female figure has an outfit with lots of flowing cloth. She is holding a large Anchor. While she might be mourning, her pose is not one of intense grief.
Return to the road and continue along the left hand side of the road. You will see rows of tall trees on both sides. Stop before you reach them, and look up.
The trees on the right lean to the left and close up the space, evoking a feeling of a cathedral. The space is long and tall but not very wide, and has more trees at the far end enclosing the view there.
Try looking at this space from the right hand side of the road. Which view do you prefer?
You are done!
Continue walking along the right hand side of the road. Walk past the two right hand roads and you will see the parking lot on the right.