Headstone Symbols: The all-seeing eye

The all-seeing eye has become one of the most recognizable symbols of Odd Fellowship in popular culture. It is one of many symbols the Odd Fellows share with the Masons. Both fraternals require a belief in a higher power. Both lean to Judeo-Christian teachings.

The all-seeing eye reminds Odd Fellows that God watches them always. When it’s in the center of the sun, it symbolizes the blessings of God descending on mankind. When it’s in a cloud, it means God sees the suffering in the world, and that we should see it too, and be moved to sympathy for all forms of human woe.

Its deeper meanings relate to the maintenance of what ancient Odd Fellows called an “objective mind.” They emphasized the use of the five senses, especially sight, to interact and collaborate in an objective world.

Adam Melchior’s all-seeing eye gazes from the clouds upon the Odd Fellows’ primary symbol, the three-link chain that represents Friendship, Love, and Truth.

His tombstone can be found in Section 29 Row 61 of the historic Odd Fellows section of Union Cemetery located at 650 Bee Street in Placerville, CA. It was one of 16 repaired by Save the Graves in 2022.

Interpretation by Mike Roberts, 2023