St. Marys Oak Grove Cemetery - The Angel
the detail on the Angel's remaining hand.
All Photos taken by & © by Tara D. Fields 1999-2004.
The Angel of Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Marys is one of our most well
known grave markers. Sitting near the center close to the Bartlett Road
entrance, she watches over the graves of two people: Frank M. Paige
(1859-1893) and Camden Mason Sheffield (1869-1897). In a walking tour of
the cemetery, Eloise Thompson mentioned that C.M. Sheffield was originally
buried at Sheffield Cemetery northwest of Kingsland. His wife was not
happy with this situation, so in the middle of the night, without the
knowledge of Mr. Sheffield's immediate family, she had his body moved to
this spot. It was some time before his worried father found his son's new
I [Tara Fields] do not know what the connection was between these two young men but I
would assume they were friends, cousins, or some such.
Regardless of the Angel's age, the care taken in her design and the
attention to detail is still evident. The picture to the right shows that
her finger nails and the wrinkles around her knuckles are still evident.
Carved at the base is the message: "Awaiting the Resurrection."
Unfortunately, the Angel has not escaped damage. The fingers on her
right hand are missing, some of her right wing has disappeared, and there
is some overall deterioration.
In some ways, her weathered appearance just makes her even more
appealing to those who gaze up at her.
With any luck, her considerate continence will continue to watch over
her charges for many more years to come.
"Gone But Not Forgotten"
In the years I've been surveying cemeteries, I've seen a lot of
interesting monuments; below are a few of my favorites. I couldn't decide
which Angel pictures to show, so I listed them all! Some monuments are
interesting because of their beauty, like the Angel, while others are
special for what they say - or don't say. An example of this would be the
"My Sister" and "My Friend" stones. Others catch my attention because of a
"statement" I see - like the living tree winding its roots through a
don't consider this interest morbid. The families of these people went
through time, effort, and expense in an effort to leave a reminder of
their loved ones. In fact, one of the most common phrases found on stones
is "Gone, but not forgotten." Here's my contribution to the memory of our
When photographing the Angel, I went a little shutter happy. Not being
able to decide which photos to post on the web, I decided to put all of
them up. After all, it IS my domain! :-)