Lang Monument has been lettering headstones for nearly 150 years.
When it comes to Halloween, it’s not unusual to see neighborhood yards and business lobbies dotted with styrofoam headstones, “distressed” and carefully worn for a haunting effect, the typical “RIP” etched across the front. Maybe a creepy spider web drapes from one to another or a zombie’s hand reaches up from the ground in front of them—the typical spooky season paraphernalia that we expect from this time of year.
Lang Monument here in Morgantown takes headstones just a bit more seriously, and has been doing so—year ’round—since the late 1800s.
Robert Lang, current owner and the fifth generation of Langs to run the store, enjoys carrying on the family legacy and helping families honor their loved ones. The family uses older techniques in their craft, choosing to hand-craft their lettering while other companies use sandblasters or air compressors to achieve the same flawless stone.
Lang Monument is one of the older businesses in the area, surviving through the tough times of the Great Depression and leaving its mark on this college town. Even the building itself has some years under its belt. “My dad’s grandparents built it,” Lang says. “Our family has been born and raised here for so long. It’s neat to carry on the whole legacy of it.”
The job isn’t an easy one in many ways, but there is a satisfaction that comes from it. “My favorite part is getting the job done and seeing the reaction from the families,” Lang says. “There is gratitude and relief, thankful this part of the process is done. They come in kind of ready and get to receive answers to at least some of their questions.”
Lang Monument has been creating headstones in the area since 1874, and many of those older stones still exist in our local cemeteries. So, when Halloween rolls around this year, you may stop and consider just how old some of those headstones could really be.
You can visit Lang Monument’s showroom at 812 Don Knotts Boulevard or check out their website for a variety of services ranging from lettering to installation and cleaning.