While on a tour of the cemetery, my guide shared the history of the type of tombstone shown in the photo. Though it appears to be made of stone like its neighbors, when I tapped on the side, it resounded of metal. Apparently, there was a marketing strategy to encourage the use of metal instead of stone, but it never went over. Most people just didn’t believe it would last, but 140 years later, there it was.
The fun of all this, however, is something entirely different.
See that plate with the names and dates on it? It was made to unbolt to add new names. Behind these plates are empty compartments, some of which became useful in the 1920s.
During prohibition, many hid their alcohol in this secret recess.
Wives must have been perplexed at their husbands' rising interest in visiting cemeteries during that time. To keep them from tagging along, or perhaps to explain their altered state, husbands could rightly say they encountered spirits in the cemetery.
For more photographs of the beautiful sculptures located in the Chico cemetery, click here.