The Reason People Leave Coins on Harper Lee’s Grave
Miniature footballs—a nod to Lee's love for the Alabama Crimson Tide—also appear frequently on the author's grave.
The Alabama resting place of the state’s most celebrated novelist is fittingly understated—save for the glimmer of pennies and silver coins.
Harper Lee, who famously eschewed the spotlight throughout her 89 years, is buried in Monroeville’s Hillcrest Cemetery. The grave of the Pulitzer Prize winning author of To Kill a Mocking Bird is marked by a simple, flat headstone etched only with her full name, Nelle Harper Lee, date of birth, and the day she died.
The lack of pageantry hasn’t stopped visitors from paying their respects, indicated by a steady flow of coins left on Lee’s grave. AL.com reports that on any given day, you might see a couple of dozen pennies and silver coins left beside her name.
Leaving coins is a graveside tradition meant to show surviving loved ones that someone visited and paid their respects to the deceased. The change is typically collected by groundskeepers and used to help fund cemetery maintenance.
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According to AL.com, visitors to Lee’s grave also leave silk flowers, small stones, and miniature footballs—a nod to the late author’s love for the Alabama Crimson Tide.