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Skyward Gaze, Earthward Touch

Memorial for H. Annie Marshall (1879-1890) in Elmwood (Centralia) Cemetery on Gragg Street, Centralia, Marion County, Illinois. Originally called Centralia Cemetery, this graveyard was in use in the 1860s but not officially established until 1877. Its name was changed to Elmwood Cemetery in 1921.

Deep inside Elmwood sits a large, granite monument shaped like a tabernacle or an ancient Greek temple with four columns. At the top of the monument stands a nearly life-sized statue of a young girl with flowing locks of hair. In her hands she holds a violin. The statue depicts Harriet Annie, the daughter of Dr. Winfield and Eoline Marshall. Annie died of diphtheria in 1890, a few weeks after her eleventh birthday.

A popular local legend maintains that the sweet strains of a violin can be heard emanating from the cemetery at night. The origin of these ethereal notes is said to be none other than the statue of “Violin Annie.”  Some locals also believe that Annie’s statue glows on Halloween night.

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