The marker, showing a rose surrounded by leaves and buds, that you found in western Maine is a Royal Neighbors of America memorial marker. I recognized it instantly because there is a marker like this on my grandmother's grave in Iowa. It has been there for at least 40 years.
Royal Neighbors of America is some kind of fraternal organization. Here is the URL where you can find a brand new marker like the one in your photo.
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Hi Joyce. I have been researching a cemetery in Charleston, Queen's
County, Nova Scotia, Canada and discovered a cement headstone with the
RNA symbol mounted on top. I discovered this symbol is that of the Royal Neighbours of America established in Iowa in 1888. In place of the "In
Memorium" on your image, is the numbers 4231. On the stone itself are the letters WC. My first thought is what is it doing in Nova Scotia. Was
there a chapter of this organization in Queen's County, NS? I am also trying to identify the person buried here. WC is probably her initials.
I say 'her' because this was a women's organization. Do you know if the numbers 4231 identifies this person? Thanks. Bob Mckinnon. Wilmot, NS.
Dear Joyce: Hi, this is Frank Passic, Albion, Michigan historian. I
was able to spend more time on your site and will be submitting more stuff
for you in the months to come as I have time to photograph graves in the
cold this late fall as I prepare for my cemetery tour in October 2003.
It takes me several months to put together a cemetery tour. The theme will
be the various markers and emblems and fraternal organizations on gravesites.
Anyway, the Modern Woodmen of America historian is Gail Levis, firstname.lastname@example.org. 1701 1stAvenue, P. O. Box 2005, Rock Island, Illinois 61204-2005. She has LOTS of historical information about the group, and some brief information about its sister organization, the Royal Neighbors of America, which used to be part of the MWA but became independent in 1929. The Royal Neighbors address is 230 16th Street, Rock Island, IL 61201, and their historian's name is Joann Walker.
Gail has a booklet prepared which is called "A guide Genealogical Research," which has a several pages "Name and Status changes of Fraternal Benefit Societies," which has the names of all these organizations, their headquarters city, their dates of existence or when they were merged with omething else, etc. You really should get a copy of this; it will help your site and help you sort out letters and markers, etc. I suggest you e-mail her and request a copy. Also, have her look at the MWA page you have and ask if she has any suggestions, etc.
The MWA marker you have photographed apparently is from the 1930s. The ones in our cemetery are from the 1910s with a similar but different metal
content and look, etc. I'll send you a photo when my film is developed (I always carry a running roll in my camera).
I write a weekly column in our local newspaper, and these articles are published on the www.albionmich.com website. Another "unusual" topic I have research is our local cement sidewalk contractors who have their names and dates put in the sidewalks, dating back to 1901.
Best wishes, Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 06/05/2003
By Joyce M. Tice
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