Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Curious headstone

this saturday we drove to carver to see the cranberry harvest. since we were a little too early, we stopped at a cemetery just before our destination, alongside the road. its the union cemetery, and if you look at it on google maps, you can see its surrounded by cranberry fields... :)
i noticed this stone because of the image on the top. it reminded me of the statue of liberty, and doesnt seem religious at all! this is the grave of peleg barrows, who lived into his 95th year! thats really old, considering he was born in 1708. all i could find about him was that his wife, hopestill darling barrows, is buried next to him (but i missed her grave); she died in 1793, being 83 years old. furthermore, peleg was one of 11 children! both his father and grandfather, who was born in 1639, were born in the usa. peleg served as a Private in Capt. Jon Bridgham's Company, Col. Cotton's Massachusetts regiment, and  he had 3 children.
but what about the image? the statue of lberty was way past his time, dedicated in 1886. but... lady liberty is representing libertas, the roman goddess of freedom, so then i tried to find something on the symbolism of lady liberty's crown. the crown represents the hope that liberty will spread across the 7 continents and 7 oceans, which are represented by the 7 rays of the statue's crown. but... thats not it; the crown (if that is what it is) on the grave has 8 rays! :( i do notice that the rays are not uniformly arranged; perhaps the mason started on the right, spacing them less, than on the left...?
perhaps it means something totally different! if you know, please enlighten me... !
here you can find the other taphophiles.

10 comments:

biebkriebels said...

I have no idea about the rays, but it looks nice to me.

Nicola Carpenter said...

What a fascinating stone. I thought the image at the top was a sun burst, but it looks like it has eyes at the bottom. Very strange. What fabulous names they had.

Beneath Thy Feet

hamilton said...

another gravesite with wonderfully unusual names - Hopestill sounds like there were other siblings who did not make it. I have no idea about Peleg, though.

hamilton said...

ah, I just googled the name -- apparently he was one of those long-lived Israelites - 239 years, which may have been an inspiration for this Peleg?!

marbletowns said...

I've never seen an image like this one, so no idea ... but it's cool!! :)

Stefan Jansson said...

Nice find CaT. Very unusual tombstone.

william braquemard said...

Could this be a religious sect symbol? Looks to me like the carver made a mess of this. Intending to put eight rays he started with the centre ray after that it was always going to be wrong.

Kay said...

Curious. I have no idea what the head and rays are about, but Peleg lived an especially long life for that era.

Teresa Maria said...

I would guess it is simply the sun that was often used as the symbol of resurrection so it would fit a tombstone perfectly. But this doesn't explain the semicircles. Perhaps the eyes of God although it seems unlikely that eyes would have been visualized like this 200 years ago.

CaT said...

now that some of you mention the sun, i never thought of that!! could be, but still more looks like a person to me. and really so odd given the time this stone was placed.