I found this nifty example of a modern personalized vault while on vacation last summer. I was taking Wisconsin highway 26 north from Janesville to Oshkosh and was feeling the need for a break from driving when I spotted the Emmet Cemetery. I decided to stop, stretch my legs, and see if there were any markers of note, e.g., zinc or vernacular concrete.
It's a typical rural community cemetery, and at first didn't appear to contain anything out of the ordinary. The markers were a mix of popular styles dating back to the late 19th century, the usual tablets and obelisks with the exception of one tree marker.
The tree was meant to designate a family plot. There is one individual grave marker close to it, a small stump. I'm always a little intrigued when I see that, a family plot that someone obviously intended to be the final resting place of multiple family members but only one or two persons end up interred there. What happened to the rest of them? Moved away? Decided the idea of spending eternity next to one's parents or siblings had no appeal?
The Sterwald vault shown is at the extreme rear of the cemetery, more or less at the center of the back row. It is undoubtedly one of the niftiest modern personalized markers I've seen recently. The use of color, the aerial view of the farm, the inclusion of the family pets (2 dogs, 2 cats) and the tractors . . . it's amazing.
Photos were taken in late June 2009. Apologies for the mediocre quality; I was using a new camera and still figuring out how it worked.