Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gravestone of the Day

Forty-eight of the fifty-six Deerfield residents who were killed during the raid of 1704 are buried in a common grave behind the Deerfield Academy ice rink.


cliff said...

Sorry, I'm going to be a off topic here.

Wrong war, but have you visited Redemption Rock, just north of Mt Wachusett, where Mary Rowlandson was released during King Phillips War? Maybe you have. It's a beautiful spot, as I recall.

What I'm really curious about is, do you know of any books on colonial NE gravestones that discuss their origin, styles, motifs, etc.? I'm most interested in the decorations, especially those on the sides of the stones. I'm also curious about the shapes of the stones and how they evolved. Thanks

Caitlin GD Hopkins said...

You might want to start with Allan Ludwig's Graven Images, which is a good overview of New England gravestone iconography. It was reprinted in 2000 and is available on Amazon.

You might also check out James Deetz' In Small Things Forgotten, which has a chapter on the evolution of gravestone styles and is a good introduction to historical archaeology.

If you are interested in later styles, you could look into James Blachowicz' From Slate to Marble, 1770-1870.

cliff said...

Thanks for the titles, I appreciate it.

Have you visited Island Cemetery in Newport? It's filled with Victorian era headstones and monuments, including two by Augustus Saint Gaudens. August Belmont's tomb is quite a pile and worthy of a visit. It's located just NE of the abandoned Belmont Chapel, which is in the center of the cemetery. The church itself, by George Champlin Mason, Newport's most prolific Victorian architect, is a creepy sight to see, completely encased all the way to the top in climbing vines. It's hard to imagine they would let this nice little building go to hell in such an architecturally hyper sensitive town like Newport, but there it is. I've only been in the cemetery on Saturdays when the main gate on Warner St was open. Whenever I pass by it during the week, it's locked.

Thanks again.

Caitlin GD Hopkins said...

I have walked through Island cemetery a bit, but only on my way to the Newport Common Burying Ground. I'll have to check out the chapel next time I'm in town.