Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Showmen's Rest Cemetery - Tampa
In the far corner of Tampa's Woodlawn Cemetery lies the Showmen's Rest Cemetery, dedicated to circus, carnival, and outdoor amusement workers. Some of the more famous people interred here include Edmondo "Papa" Zacchini (Human Canonball), Carl J. Sedlmayr (Royal American Shows), and Grady Stiles (Lobster Boy).
Despite living lives of flair and flourish, the Showmen's Rest is rather calm and traditional. Founded in 1952 by the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Greater Tampa Showmen's Association, the cemetery was built in a modern style for that time. It is a memorial park bordered by a sandstone wall, with individual grave marked by small rectangular slabs. A garden mausoleum stands in the southern portion of the cemetery (for more about cemetery styles, read David Charles Sloan's The Last Great Necessity). The cemetery is indeed a peaceful place for showmen to rest.