Thursday, March 5, 2009
PhotoStory Friday: Old Gravestones
Meet James and Elizabeth Stephens. They've been here in the Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery for more than a century.
I saw this headstone years ago and have always been fascinated by the carving and by the epitaph on the back:
Nothing about the Lord or Heaven, those sentiments you'd expect to find on a nineteenth century headstone.
They were obviously well-to-do; this headstone would have been quite expensive in its day.
I've done a little bit of research on the Stephens's - well, on James, since there's little information about Elizabeth. He made his first fortune in the California gold rush before moving to Portland. He owned a large tract of land on the east side of Portland (then a separate city, East Portland), owned a regional cider mill and the first regular Willamette River ferry. The ferry service "monopolized cross river traffic for many years. All challengers were successfully thwarted, on occasion by use of a shotgun" (Merchants, Money and Power, E.K. MacColl). I thought Stephens had such a benign look on his face, but he seems to have been quite a tough businessman.
I love the detail in the carving.
James and Elizabeth. holding hands for eternity.
His father's tombstone seems like a bit of an afterthought.
We live on Stephens Street.
About the photos
Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this blog were taken by me. If you want to use any of the images, please contact me first. Thanks!
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