Sunday, September 23, 2007

Gravestone a Perfect Fit

A minister in Aquebogue, New York, received a letter from Washington in 1900 concerning the whereabouts of a tombstone.

The letter, which was sent to the clergyman as an old resident of the part of the country where that tombstone was placed over the body of one of the early inhabitants, a man named Beale. This man died many years ago, on a date which the tombstone alone can tell, of smallpox, and was buried, according to the custom of the time, in the orchard of the farm.

The stone was laid flat upon the grave. When, a good many years after, strangers bought the land, they started to put up a house, and the stone was incorporated in it. There was a place in the chamney into which the tombstone would exactly fit, and the builders, having no sentiment concerning it, used it. That was the end of the second chapter of the tombstone.

The house with the tombstone in the chamney was burned after a time, and the ruins, with the old stone, were left until another family came to put up another house. When this one was finished it lacked a doorstep, and the old stone was again just the size for the purpose required, and was put into place, and performed its third service. But from that time the history is lost, and the Washington people would like to learn something of it. [Link (pdf)]

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