Cracker Crypts – A Century of Aboveground Tombs in Central Florida, Digitial Exhibit

Exhibit Author: Amy Larner Giroux, PhD, University of Central Florida

Entombment of the dead is a human social ritual that has been practiced for millennia.  Normally reserved for the wealthy, aboveground interment has taken many forms throughout the Old and New worlds. From elaborate mausoleums presiding over the cemetery landscape to single crypts standing alone in a graveyard, the typology of tomb features shows diachronic developments in style and architecture.

A survey and analysis of aboveground interments in Central Florida showed trends in construction materials, styles, and decedent demographics over the century spanning the extant tombs (1905–2008). Central Floridians using private family entombment were wealthy in their respective communities, though the architectural style of the tombs reflected by this wealth is less extravagant than that seen in other areas of the United States.

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