Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: What's Up With That One?

Last June when I went back East to see Mom and family, we all made Brother drive us to Magnolia, West Virginia, a long lost town now in the deep dark back woods. And I mean back woods! Here's the link to a post about our trip and visit to the old and still cherrished Cherry Orchard Cemetery: http://nutsfromthefamilytree.blogspot.com/2012/06/let-me-take-you-to-magnolia.html

There was an unusual, at least to me, tombstone there and here's a photo of it and a view of the Cherry Orchard Cemetery. As you can see, and I hope that I can correctly read, the inscription says in part, "OXWBLL, MCH 277, 1861." It could be a fragment, don't you think, with the left side missing...?

The mystery tombstone

Entrance to the Cheery Orchard Cemetery
In old and now gone Magnolia, West Virginia.

Last October I went again back East to see Mom and family and we took a ride west of the little town of Frostburg, Maryland where Mom lives to a roadside attraction called Penn Alps and Artisan Village. It's located right smack next to the Castleman River and the old historic Castleman River Bridge seen below. It's still a picturesque and historic bridge. 

File:Casselman River Bridge 1933.jpg
(Photo from Wikipedia)

On the porch of one of the cottages was this tombstone in a similar style, I thought, as the Cherry Orchard Cemetery one. See what you think. These two tombstones are maybe 60 miles apart, as the crow flies and as best as I can tell, but this is mountainous country and the drive is at least 100 miles. The informational card says that the tombstone came from Salisbury, Pennsylvania and that moves the distance from the Cherry Orchard stone to at least 100 miles as the crow flies, and more driving especially depending on the depth of snow on the roads this time of year which - and I've personally seen this - can be over a man's head!

Tombstone and informational panel from the Penn Alps Village.

This is the only tombstone that bears any resemblance to the Cherry Orchard one I've ever seen, but then I don't really get around much. 

There are similarities and differences too. Here are my random observations:
* The 1818 stone is complete in regard the writing and the Cherry Orchard stone is a fragment.
* The style of inscription is different but both are freehand and not "professional" with straight lines and uniform lettering. 
* Taking the style from the Penn Alps stone as a guide to layout and placement of information, I'm guessing that the date of death might be March 27, 1861, and the double 77 following the 2 is a corrected error. Maybe, maybe not.
* I am clueless as to the OXWBLL on the Cherry Orchard stone. Is it a name or a place or none of the above? 

Am wondering if I'm trying to connect the dots and they don't belong together at all. That happens to me in an effort to seek meaning. Sometimes the dots just don't connect, don't belong together. 

May all your tombstones be easily identifiable and already on FindAGrave, with lots of bio information:)

The URL for this post is: http://nutsfromthefamilytree.blogspot.com/2013/01/tombstone-tuesday-whats-up-with-that-one.html 

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