During my recent trip through New England, I strolled through a few country cemeteries, and was amazed at the age and condition of the tombstones. New Hampshire is called the “Granite State”, Vermont is known for its marble and slate is also quite abundant, so its no wonder that New England tombstones are made from much better material than the sandstone and limestone tombstones found in the Midwest. Tombstones well over 200 years old are common in New England, over twice as old as ones found in the Midwest, yet in much better shape.
Stone cutters of New England took pride in their craft and were known for their precision and attention to detail. Look closely at the tombstone in this picture. On the first line, “Who died November 28th”, the “th” is cut above the “28”. The second line ends with the word “Month” truncated to “Mo”, with “nth” continued on the next line. On the fourth line, “When Christ appears in yonder cloud”, the “ud” of “cloud” is cut above the “clo”.
Poor Captain John Grey, died at age 70, probably outlived his military pension (or spent money like a drunken sailor) and his estate could only afford a stone cutter that flunked his apprenticeship. Or, perhaps some John Doe is buried here and the family used a tombstone from the stone cutter’s reject pile. But, wouldn’t you think the stone cutter would have quit after the boo-boo on the first line? Doh! Maybe he thought no one would notice.
Thought for the Day: Proper Planning Prevents P@&$ Poor Work! (The 5 P’s) Land Surveyor’s Motto