Riverside AngelPhoto from Riverside Cemetery, Denver, 2009


Headstone Symbol Art Boston
Tombstone Symbol Art

Butterfly – freeing of the spirit
Dog – loyalty
Frog – worldly pleasures
Horse – courage, generosity
Lamb – purity, innocence
Lion – the power of God
Fish – faith

Bird in flight – flight of the soul
Dove – Holy Spirit (for Christian)
Eagle – courage, military career
Owl – wisdom
Rooster – awakening

Arms outstretched – mercy
Broken column – early death
Broken sword – life cut short
Clasped hands – farewell
Hand points up – path to heaven
Hand points down – mortality
Hand holds heart – charity
Heart – love, mortality, courage

Cypress tree – morning
Daisy – innocence, youth, hope
Forget-me-not – remembrance
Ivy – eternal life, friendship
Lily – Easter, purity, innocence
Morning Glory – love, affection
Oak – strength
Olive tree – peace
Pine – fertility, fidelity
Poppy – peace, rest, consolation
Rose – love, wisdom, beauty
Sunflower – adoration
Thistle – earthly sorrow, Scotland
Violet – faithfulness, modesty
Weeping Willow – grief, mourning
Wheat – resurrection, fertility

Arch – victory of life in death
Anchor – hope, a disguised cross
Book – faith, scholar
Candle – eternal life
Columns – noble life
Cross – religion, suffering
Crossed swords – died in battle
Crown – reward, glory in afterlife
Cradle – childhood loss
Doors, Gates – passage into afterlife
Horseshoe – protection against evil
Lamp – knowledge, learning
Scales – judgment of dead
Scroll – symbol of life and time
Skull, skeleton – mortality, death
Winged skull – flight of soul from man

This list of tombstone symbols is compiled
from a variety of sources by Joyce B. Lohse.

Photos and text on this web site are from Lohse’s collection.



From time to time, I will use this space to mention errors and oversights that have crept into my published work.

A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.
— George Bernard Shaw


First Governor First Lady: John and Eliza Routt of Colorado

I was inspired by the lively conversation on this blog with Jeff Smith regarding his pioneer ancestor, Soapy Smith, to revisit my research about the Creede Uprising for my biography of John and Eliza Routt. Jeff had, in fact, uncovered a source which I overlooked, and which contains more facts and information about the episode. I have since located Rocky Mountain News articles, February 26-28, 1892, which collaborate many of Jeff’s impressions of the story. I am grateful for the added insight. Please read April 2010 blog entries regarding this topic for more information.


General William Palmer: Railroad Pioneer

True West magazine received a letter to the editor regarding my article, “General Palmer’s Baby Railroad”, in their March 2010 train issue. The reader was concerned that I mentioned General Palmer as recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor after the Civil War. In reality, Palmer received the Medal of Honor, a different award. The historic pedestal for Palmer’s award called it the Congressional Medal, as did its description at a museum where the proper title and description eluded many people.

I gained more insight when a Medal of Honor appeared on public television’s Antiques Roadshow. According to their description, award lists were purged of non-combat recipients in 1917. This could explain Palmer’s status as well. Obviously, a fine but distinct line of differentiation exists between the two medals.

Wouldn’t you know, I was more concerned about presenting correct railroad facts!

That’s it for now — Joyce

Joyce B. Lohse



Colorado Authors’ League

Columbine Genealogical & Historical Society

Denver Woman’s Press Club

History Colorado

Western Writers of America

Women Writing the West


25 thoughts on “Resources”

  1. Thank you for your message. WordPress worked for me for several years. Currently, I am learning to manage their updated format and improve my site with help from the server techs. Use tools that feel right, then learn as much as you can to keep top of it. Don’t forget to write and post fresh copy regularly. I have to remind myself as well!

  2. Wonderful blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any recommendations? Thank you!

  3. During a time of transition, I am finding many great ideas from reading books by some fine writers. Much to learn!

  4. Okay, I’ll keep an eye on that. No excuses. Stream of consciousness in a time crunch creates sloppy writing at times.

  5. The very root of your writing while appearing reasonable in the beginning, did not really sit perfectly with me after some time. Someplace throughout the paragraphs you actually managed to make me a believer unfortunately just for a very short while. I still have got a problem with your leaps in logic and you would do well to help fill in those gaps. In the event that you actually can accomplish that, I would certainly end up being fascinated.

  6. I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you’ve gotten hit the nail on the head. Your idea is excellent; the issue is one thing that not enough people are talking intelligently about. I am very pleased that I stumbled across this in my search for something referring to this.

  7. Your style is really unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.

  8. Howdy … thank you ALL for your kind comments!!! I am working on updating this site as a primary tool for sharing historical information. Your comments are inspiring while I learn new ways to improve the site. Best wishes and good luck to you all with your reading and research! Joyce4Books

  9. Hello Susan — Thank you for visiting my blog! I am about to post an ongoing list of ways to connect with history for research. More to come! — Joyce

  10. Recently joined WWW and found your site. Since I’m relatively new at research, I found your site interesting.

Comments are closed.