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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mystery Cemetery — Is It Calvary?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Old Cemetery - Detail
  • Old Cemetery - Detail

Calvary Cemetery - Today
  • Calvary Cemetery - Today

Last week I posted an old Poland photograph showing a cemetery in Memphis, and I wondered just where it was. Something about the image made me think of Calvary Cemetery, and so I drove over there one day recently and tried to find the exact same location in the old photograph.

I wasn't entirely successful, but I might be very close. Take a look at the two pictures here. In the background of the old photograph (shown here on the left), I noticed a rather unusual white concrete retaining wall (the image is fuzzy but you can see it) with an undulating top and posts at each end surmounted by large concrete (or stone) balls. There's also apparently a post close to the center of this little wall, also topped with a somewhat smaller ball.

Well, my recent journey to Calvary turned up an almost identical formation, as you can see in the second image (on the right). The center ball is missing, but you can tell that one was once mounted here. The roadway in the background also looks similar to the roadway in the original photo (you'll have to scroll down a bit to see the original photo in its entirety).

Now keep in mind, as I've said, that the original photo could easily have been taken as long as 100 years ago, so lots of other elements in the photo — the number of monuments, the size or shape of the trees — would have changed drastically.

At the same time, you get a vague impression that the view in the old photograph is looking UPhill, whereas I'm looking DOWNhill in the current photograph. So maybe I need to get over there again and walk all around this particular wall and see if I can find a downward angle on it.

The location of the middle ball also seems just slightly off-center in the newer photograph, while it's almost exactly centered in the old photo. Though that could be because of the camera angle. It's too bad the original image is so blurry!

Or maybe I'm in the wrong place entirely, and am going completely insane.

What do you think? About the cemetery part, I mean. Am I getting warm?



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