Rock of Ages: Grave Concerns

graveyards, gravestones, photography and family

Rock of Ages 3: Fieldstone, Sandstone & Slate

Fieldstone

Fieldstone (front) McGuigan Cemetery, Merrickville, ON

Fieldstone (forefront) McGuigan Cemetery, Merrickville, ON

delaminated sandstone

delaminated sandstone

Fieldstone was a common grave material choice among struggling settlers. The stones were found while tilling or clearing the land. Many were laid unmarked, some sported symbols or the name and age of the deceased.

An excellent example of fieldstone markers exists in Grande Pre, Nova Scotia at the Acadian Burying Grounds. A Herbin Cross commemorates this National Historic Site and the burials there, which are dated between 1680 and 1750. [24]

Sandstone & Slate
During the 1600s, ample supplies of sandstone replaced fieldstones in Colonial North America, because of its durability yet it was still soft enough to carve easily. [25]

Some sandstone markers remained so well preserved that each chisel mark can be discerned in the carving, but the vast majority of these stones delaminated and crumbled into dust. Delamination occurs when moisture gets between the layers that make up the sandstone. As it freezes, expands and re-freezes the layers flake off. This process is also referred to as “spalling.” [26]

If you find a memorial tablet of slate, chances are the stone dates between 1796 and 1830. The smooth texture of the material made it easy to carve and it was often highlighted with white paint or gilding. Most shapes resembled doors representing passageways from this world to the next. [27]

The only problem with slate: being slightly porous it has a tendency to flake, split and crumble over time destroying the carved inscriptions, as shown in the photograph (below) of the Old Pine Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Slate in Old Pine cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Slate in Old Pine cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Marble was later discovered to be more durable than sandstone and slate and slowly became the popular stone of choice.

[24] The Herbin Cross, the Grand Pre National Historic Site and the Acadian Burying Ground [Internet] accessed 16DEC2009
Herbin Cross
[25] Volrath, Kathy. A Monumental Undertaking: Mathias Monuments, ChamberWORKS (October 2008, Westminster, MD: Carroll County Chamber of Commerce) [Internet] ChamberWORKS October 2008
[26] Veit, Richard F et al. New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones: History in the Landscape. 2008, Rutgers University Press
[27] Milk Row Cemetery Guide, Somerville, Massachusetts (2002, Somerville Historic Preservation Commission)

One comment on “Rock of Ages 3: Fieldstone, Sandstone & Slate

  1. leprechaunrabbit
    October 29, 2014

    Reblogged this on Rock of Ages: Grave Concerns and commented:

    Grave Concerns: Part 3 of Rock of Ages

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on March 14, 2011 by in The Graveyard Rabbit of Alberta and tagged , , .
SIMPLY UNTAMED NATONYA

INSPIRATION IN CONJUNCTION WITH FASHION & BEAUTY

Paper & Roots Genealogy

A Creative Family History Journal

mstomilola.wordpress.com/

Actively Pursuing Peace Whilst Perfecting Her Poker Face

syd7t5

Short stories, poetry, haikus, and maybe a novel or three!

The Album

The Album - Home of the Human Hall OF Fame, Games, Movies/TV & Awesome Worldly Events

The Glimmer

all that i've learned and loved along the way [parenting with OCD/anxiety]

familytreegirldotcom

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Our Ancestors

On a mission to discover our heritage

Beautiful Water Genealogy

Voyages through family and local history

Vanessence

Essentially Vanessa

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." Cicero

DARK LIGHT

the value of LIGHT is in DARKness.....

ts poems & updates

blog & updates

A Bit to Read

From quick ideas to full books, have a bit to read.

Captain Q

Poems From The Pirate In My Soul

nv rivera

One writer looking for support (and future readers!) for her current WIP

%d bloggers like this: