Mormon pioneers were sent by Brigham Young to settle the southwest corner of Utah; when members of the community died, those who remained used native sandstone to create gravestones. After all, for these hardy people, Vermont marble was half a lifetime and nearly a continent away. The red sandstone cliffs of southern Utah provided a ready source of easily worked stone.
This red sandstone monument weathered in the thousands of frosty nights and dusty winds that filled the ensuing years, until a time came when “in memory” became an ironic statement as the name of the commemorated pioneer weathered away. Although the subject and its message are sad, I think we all feel a strong sense of pride when we imagine the difficult conditions these early Americans endured, and these people remain powerful in our collective memory.
LIMITED EDITION: This photographic print is part of a limited edition produced by photographer Lee Rentz. The edition consists of 250 prints, which includes all sizes and methods of printing.