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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Stones On Tour in the Southern States?

From the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer:

Artisan's headstone laid to rest at last

DAN HUNTLEY

Godfrey Beimgard did what most of us will never do -- carved his own headstone.

The York County artisan, who died Aug. 31, 1839, chiseled these words above his head: "Adieu all both far and near, my loving wife and children. For my immortal soul has fled, I now lie numbered with the dead. Remember friends as you pass by, As you are now, so once was I, As I am now, so you must be. Prepare for death and follow me."

He intended these words to be above his buried crypt for all eternity.

The German native has stayed put for 166 years, but his headstone has been on the move.

Beimgard was buried at Clover's Old Center Cemetery. Ten to 15 years ago, someone stole the 41/2-foot-high tombstone from Clover during vandalism that has destroyed most of the grave markers in the cemetery. In the mid-'90s, the gravestone mysteriously appeared in the Union Grove United Methodist Church cemetery in Sevier County, Tenn. The church -- about 25 miles east of Knoxville -- has no connection to the Beimgard family. Church officials were puzzled by the tombstone because no one was buried there before 1886.

[snip]

"I thought it was a joke at first because I couldn't figure out how in the world a Clover tombstone over 150 years old had ended up in Tennessee," said [Ed] Stewart, who works at M.L. Ford Funeral Home in Clover.

[snip]

[Read the whole story]

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