15 December 2008

The Tanzer Cenotaphs at Greenwood Memorial Park

What is a cenotaph? It is a monument erected in honor of a dead person whose remains lie elsewhere.

There is a collection of cenotaphs at Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego that are beautiful and intriguing. They are located in the Hawthorne Place section of the cemetery in the southwestern, historical, section of the cemetery. From the road, the cenotaphs depict angels, dogs and lambs, and face in various directions, and look like this:

The Historical Walking Tour handout that I obtained from Greenwood says this about this collection:

"Frederick Tanzer (1861-1938) and his wife purchased sixteen graves here to be used for 'memorials' to their many relatives buried in Germany and elsewhere. After his wife was buried, Mr. Tanzer placed fifteen pieces of Carrara marble statuary on the site that he and his wife had planned as a memorial to their parents and many relatives. The statuary is a 'Sermon of Love' by Mr. Tanzer for his wife. Mr. Tanzer devoted his life and fortune to this memorial in statuary, and he died a pauper."

It doesn't indicate whether the Tanzer's had any children. I checked the 1900 US census and it said that Fred and Mary Tanzer had zero children. What a pity that these statues don't "belong" to someone in the San Diego area.

This is one of the few times I think the adage "I'm going to spend everything I have - I can't take it with me" applies!


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Janet Iles said...

The statuaries are beautiful. It would wonderful to walk through the cemetery reading the inscriptions and admiring the art work.

Greta Koehl said...

I would love to see these cenotaphs in person. It looks something like people taken from real life and captured in stone.

Diane Wright said...

I was there lasgt week and I agree that is a great cemetery, the people are so nice. I love this memorial too.

Joe Dallmann said...

Saw this at the GYR Carnival post. Beautiful...and the story behind it is nice to have as well...

Cheryl Palmer said...

I can imagine how wonderful this would be in person!

Anonymous said...

Boy, what a surprise to see my uncommon maiden name, Tanzer! Lovely cenotaphs, just lovely...