Materials - Marble to Field Stone
Grave markers and plot boundaries reflect culture, social status, and wealth. Some materials used here include cast iron, marble, bronze, granite, fieldstone, aluminum, cinder block, and brick. Note the many family plot boundaries of iron, especially the ornate gate by Wood & Perot Ornamental Iron Works of Philadelphia.
A bit of sleuthing has uncovered 17 different stone carvers and companies, the most famous of which are Russian sculptor Robert. E. Launitz, later of New York, known as “the father of monumental art in America"; Michael Muldoon & Co. (Est. 1854) of Louisville, KY, which is still in business; and Edwin Greble’s Philadelphia Steam Marble Works (Est. 1829). Click here to see our artisans in more detail.
During Queen Victoria’s reign (1834-1901) her name-sake Christian and highly-ornamental culture spread all over the world throughout many facets of life, including thoughts of death and grave art. Here in Madison, angels appear as guardians, protectors and messengers of the dead; roses as love, Easter lilies as purity, morning glories as resurrection; an anchor with a broken chain as the cessation of life; drapery and classical Greek urn as mourning. Note the earlier Christian burials facing east as they await the second coming of Christ.
Well into the 1990s, when trees and brush were cleared from the Old Cemetery hillside, many burials were discovered, probably all African Americans, many who were born as slaves.
Confederate Soldiers and Hospital Attendants
During the Civil War, Madison hosted four official Confederate Hospitals. Of the thousands treated, at least 75 died and were buried in two groups, the first in the Old Cemetery, and the rest, including three “Colored Hospital Attendants,” in private property on the other side of the railway tracks, then moved in 1881 closer to the tracks when the City purchased the land for its New Cemetery. Click here to read the entire story in the "Madison's Confederate Graves" chapter of the 2014 book Madison's Confederate Hospitals / Their Records and Histories / 1861-1865.