Young & Co. Rock Art and Design has One of the Largest Selections of Granite Monuments, Memorials, Markers & Glacial Boulders in Indiana, with 19 Locations to Serve You.
“A Quality Product At A Reasonable Price, In A Timely Manner”
Within this site you will find information about: Standard/Custom Granite Monuments, Memorials and Boulders. All have had one or more of the following steps to Create the Perfect Memorial: Sandblasting, Shape Carving, Hand Carving and or Hand Diamond Etching by the Artist’s/Craftsmen at Young & Co. Rock Art and Design.
You will also find information about where/how to purchase a Memorial for your Loved One, links to Bereavement Pages and Common Terminology.
A memorial is an object which serves as a focus for memory of something, usually a person
(who has died) or an event.
Popular forms of memorials include landmark objects or art objects such as sculptures,
statues or fountains, and even entire parks.
The most common type of memorial is the gravestone or the memorial plaque.
Also common are war memorials commemorating those who have died in wars.
Memorials in the form of a cross are called intending crosses.
Online memorials and tributes are becoming increasingly popular especially with the increase
in natural burial where the laying of gravestones, or memorial plaques, is often not permitted.
When somebody has died, the family may request that a memorial gift (usually money) be given
to a designated charity, or that a tree be planted in memory of the person.
Sometimes, when a high school student has died, the memorials are placed in the form of a
scholarship, to be awarded to high-achieving students in future years.
A headstone, or gravestone is a stele or marker, usually stone, that is placed over a grave.
A tombstone is a stele or marker, usually stone, that is placed over a tomb.
They are traditional for burials in the Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions, among others.
In most cases they have the deceased's name, date of birth, and date of death inscribed on them,
along with a personal message, or prayer, but they may contain pieces of funerary art, especially
details in stone relief.
In many parts of Europe insetting a photograph of the deceased in a frame is very common.
The stele (plural stelae), as it is called in an archaeological context,
is one of the oldest forms of funerary art.
Originally, a tombstone was the stone lid of a stone coffin, or the coffin itself,
and a gravestone was the stone slab that was laid over a grave.
Now all three terms are also used for markers placed at the head of the grave.
Some graves in the 18th century also contained footstones to demarcate the foot end of the grave.
This sometimes developed into full kerb sets that marked the whole perimeter of the grave.
Footstones were rarely annotated with more than the deceased's initials and year of death,
and sometimes a memorial mason and plot reference number.
Many cemeteries and churchyards have removed those extra stones to ease grass cutting
by machine mower.
Note that in some UK cemeteries the principal, and indeed only, marker is placed at
the foot of the grave.
Graves, and any related memorials are a focus for mourning and remembrance.
The names of relatives are often added to a gravestone over the years, so that one marker
may chronicle the passing of an entire family spread over decades.
Since gravestones and a plot in a cemetery or churchyard cost money, they are also a symbol
of wealth or prominence in a community.
Some gravestones were even commissioned and erected to their own memory by people who
were still living, as a testament to their wealth and status.
In a Christian context, the very wealthy often erected elaborate memorials within churches
rather than having simply external gravestones.
Crematoria frequently offer similar alternatives to families who do not have a grave to mark,
but who want a focus for their mourning and for remembrance.
Carved or cast commemorative plaques inside the crematorium for example may serve this purpose.
A cemetery may follow national codes of practice or independently prescribe the size and
use of certain materials, especially in a conservation area.
Some may limit the placing of a wooden memorial to six months after burial,
after which a more permanent memorial must be placed.
Others may require stones of a certain shape or position to facilitate grass-cutting by mowing,
or hand-held cutters.
Headstones of granite, marble and other kinds of stone are usually created,
installed, and repaired by monumental masons.
Cemeteries require regular inspection and maintenance, as stones may settle,
topple and, on rare occasions, fall and injure people; or graves may simply
become overgrown and their markers lost or vandalised.
Fieldstones. The earliest markers for graves were natural fieldstone, some unmarked and
others decorated or incised using a metal awl.
Typical motifs for the carving included a symbol and the deceased's name and age.
Granite. Granite is a hard stone and requires skill to carve by hand.
Modern methods of carving include using computer-controlled rotary bits and sandblasting
over a rubber stencil.
Leaving the letters, numbers and emblems exposed on the stone, the blaster can create
virtually any kind of artwork or epitaph.
Marble and limestone. Both limestone and marble take carving well.
Marble is a recrystallised form of limestone.
The mild acid in rainwater can slowly dissolve marble and limestone over time,
which can make inscriptions unreadable.
Portland stone was a type of limestone commonly used in England—after weathering,
fossiliferous deposits tend to appear on the surface.
Marble became popular from the early 19th century, though its extra cost limited its appeal.
Sandstone. Sandstone is durable, yet soft enough to carve easily.
Some sandstone markers are so well preserved that individual chisel marks are discernible,
while others have delaminated and crumbled to dust.
Delamination occurs when moisture gets between the layers of the sandstone.
As it freezes and expands the layers flake off.
In the 17th century, sandstone replaced field stones in Colonial America.
Yorkstone was a common sandstone material used in England.
Slate. Slate can have a pleasing texture but is slightly porous and prone to delamination.
It takes lettering well, often highlighted with white paint or gilding.
Swithland slate from Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire, England, was used
for a large number of very fine gravestones from the later 17th century into the 19th century.
The gravestones are found throughout Leicestershire and in neighbouring counties.
Restoration is a specialized job for a monumental mason.
Even overgrowth removal requires care to avoid damaging the carving.
For example, ivy should only be cut at the base roots and left to naturally die off,
never pulled off forcefully. Many materials have been used as markers.
Iron. Iron grave markers and decorations were popular during the Victorian era in
the United Kingdom and elsewhere, often being produced by specialist foundries or
the local blacksmith.
Cast ironhead stones have lasted for generations while wrought ironwork often only
survives in a rusted or eroded state.
White bronze. Actually sand cast zinc, but called white bronze for marketing purposes.
Almost all, if not all, zinc grave markers were made by the Monumental Bronze
Company of Bridgeport, CT, between 1874 and 1914.
They are in cemeteries of the period all across the U.S. and Canada.
They were sold as more durable than marble, about 1/3 less expensive and progressive.
Wood. This was a popular material during the Georgian and Victorian era,
and almost certainly before, in Great Britain and elsewhere.
Some could be very ornate, although few survive beyond 50–100 years due to natural decomposition.
Planting. Trees or shrubs, particularly roses, may be planted, especially
to mark the location of ashes. This may be accompanied by a small inscribed metal or
Markers usually bear inscriptions: epitaphs in praise of the deceased or quotations
from religious texts, such as "requiescat in pace".
In a few instances the inscription is in the form of a plea, admonishment, testament
of faith, claim to fame or even a curse — William Shakespeare's inscription famously declares;
for Jesus' sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosèd here.
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.
Or a warning about Mortality, such as this Persian poetry carved on an ancient
tombstone in the Tajiki capital of Dushanbe.
I heard that mighty Jamshed the King
Carved on a stone near a spring of water these words:
"Many – like us – sat here by this spring
And left this life in the blink of an eye.
We captured the whole world through our courage and strength,
Yet could take nothing with us to our grave."
Or a simpler warning of inevitability of death:
Remember me as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I,
As I am now, so you will be,
Prepare for death and follow me.
The information on the headstone generally includes the name of the deceased and
their date of birth and death.
Such information can be useful to genealogists and local historians.
Larger cemeteries may require a discreet reference code as well to help accurately fix
the location for maintenance.
The cemetery owner, church, or, as in the UK, national guidelines might encourage the use of
'tasteful' and accurate wording in inscriptions.
The placement of inscriptions is traditionally placed on the forward-facing side
of the memorial but can also be seen in some cases on the reverse and around the edges
of the stone itself.
Some families request that an inscription be made on the portion of the memorial
that will be underground.
Headstone engravers faced their own "year 2000 problem" when still-living people,
as many as 500,000 in the United States alone, pre-purchased headstones with
pre-carved death years beginning with 19–.
Bas-relief carvings of a religious nature or of a profile of the deceased can be seen
on some headstones, especially up to the 19th century.
Since the invention of photography, a gravestone might include a framed
photograph or cameo of the deceased; photographic images or artwork
(showing the loved one, or some other image relevant to their life,
interests or achievements) are sometimes now engraved onto smooth stone surfaces.
Some headstones use lettering made of white metal fixed into the stone,
which is easy to read but can be damaged by ivy or frost.
Deep carvings on a hard-wearing stone may weather many centuries exposed in
graveyards and still remain legible.
Those fixed on the inside of churches, on the walls, or on the floor
(often as near the altar as possible) may last much longer: such memorials
were often embellished with a monumental brass.
Marker inscriptions have also been used for political purposes, such as
the grave marker installed in January 2008 at Cave Hill Cemetery in
Louisville, Kentucky by Mathew Prescott, an employee of PETA.
The grave marker is located near the grave of KFC founder Harland Sanders
and bears the acrostic message “KFC tortures birds.”
The group placed its grave marker to promote its contention that KFC is cruel to chickens.