Down here in the Sunshine State, we don’t have lots of places to go to pick your own pumpkins, and feast on freshly made donuts and apple cider.  Sure, they have a few corn mazes here and there, but it’s just not comparable to what I’m used to. So… We have to go searching for a different kind of Halloween fun. This time we decided to explore Arcadia, which is a pretty neat old town with a lot of history. We hopped in the car, armed with a box of munchkins, and off we went.

Munchkins

Arcadia is famous for its antique shops, it’s rodeo, and its paranormal history.

Arcadia, Florida

Arcadia, Florida

Arcadia, Florida

Arcadia, Florida

The most famous haunted location in Arcadia is the Opera House. For more on that you can click here.

The Old Opera House, Arcadia Florida

Arcadia, Florida

Arcadia, Florida

Arcadia, Florida

But the main destination for the day, was the Oak Ridge Cemetery. (Also said to be haunted.)

I’m a taphophile. I just recently learned there was a name for it. Basically, I’m a graver. I like to visit old cemeteries and search out the old tombstones. The older, the better. To me, they’re works of art, and a connection to the past. I love history and genealogy, so I guess it’s a natural progression. OK… I get that some of you think it’s creepy. My husband would agree with you.

This cemetery probably goes back to the late 1800’s, so it’s not that old. Here’s a few of my favorites from the day…

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

She’s stunning. I’m assuming it’s for a woman or girl of quite some beauty. She’s holding a lily, and that represents beauty, purity and or virginity.

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

I imagine it would be pretty creepy at night.

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

What looks like the dollar symbol is really the letters I, H, and S superimposed over each other. They represent the Greek letters Iota (Ι), Eta (Η) and Sigma (Σ), which are the first three letters of Jesus in Greek.

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Mary must have been very loved. I’m not sure what the hammer and chisel mean, in this case. It might be a coat of arms, symbolize someone who was a miner, or it may be a biblical reference.

Oak Ridge Cemetery

A tree stump usually represents a life cut short, or the brevity of life. Ivy usually represents friendship, and sometimes immortality.

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

I’m not sure if this is a coping (border) or an exposed crypt. Many of the sites were in disrepair.

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

An orb tombstone like this, represents a celestial body and the rewards of resurrection.

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

I love how her name was daisy, and therefore they’ve used daisies on her tombstone.

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Here’s another tree stump tombstone. This one is a little different, as it represents the Woodmen of the World. You can read more about them and their gravestones here.

Oak Ridge Cemetery

This tiny S is probably a corner marker, representing the corner of a family plot.

Oak Ridge Cemetery

This man was a Mason, and the book most likely represents The Bible.

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Another Woodmen of the World marker.

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

So sad, the neglect…

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

The children’s graves are the worst.

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Since I’m doing a post on the Oak Ridge Cemetery, I should include a little bit about the R.A.F. cadets buried there.

*”The cadets buried in Arcadia were among 15,000 British troops trained in aerial warfare in the United States during World War II. They were shipped across the Atlantic simply because there was no place closer to home where they could train without being thrust into battle.

Ironically, these 23 cadets–all assigned to Florida airfields and most still in their teens–died in the cause of war without firing a shot. Nineteen were killed in training flight crashes that were blamed on primitive aircraft and overzealous young pilots eager to learn too much in too little time. Two died in a car accident, another of meningitis and still another of pneumonia. By homeland, there were 18 Englishmen, two Scots, two Welshmen and an Irishman.”

arcadia_fl_oak_ridge_cem_british_plot03

It was a peaceful day.

*Lohman, Bill. “Union Jack Marks the Spot Where 23 Royal Air Force Cadets Lie : British Airmen Died Far From Home, but Florida Town Remembers” Los Angeles Times, May 24, 1987