There are many places one can find beautiful representations of the youthful girl. One such unlikely place spotlighted here in Pigtails in Paint is the cemetery. Nestled along the banks of the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina, Magnolia Cemetery originally opened in 1850 to serve the needs of the growing population of a bustling port city. This sprawling Victorian-style cemetery is home to Civil War generals, judges, mayors and other prominent members of society. As with most Victorian Era cemeteries of its time, Magnolia features numerous monuments, obelisks and large statues to comemorate the deceased. Unfortunately during that period, many young lives were lost to now treatable diseases. To memorialize their lost children, well-to-do families would commission a sculpture to place on the grave as a token of their sorrow. Such statues were not meant to resemble their lost child, but to represent virtues like purity and innocence. The craftsmanship and detail of theses statues have withstood hurricanes, earthquakes and war and have survived for generations. Below are some examples of the statues found within the walls of the cemetery and a brief description of those they watch over.
Eliza Barnwell Heyward (1871) died at a very young age. As mentioned before, the statue was not meant to be a realistic likeness but represent her innocence as the girl casts her sorrowful gaze skyward.
Annie Kerr Aiken (1853-1856), or “Little Annie” as her vault reads, is resting in a large family plot at the south end beside a quiet lagoon. She is immortalized by the likeness of a sleeping child clutching a wreath to convey her eternal, peaceful sleep.
Lizzie Patrick (1885) is eternally protected by this draped girl in the form of an angel.
If you do have an opportunity to visit Magnolia Cemetery, it is open to the public daily and has much to offer. Many other cemeteries dot the south and I do hope to bring more hidden treasures of the past for you to enjoy.