While we were visiting Minute Man National Historical Park last weekend, we stopped for lunch in the nearby colonial town of Concord, where I noticed two old graveyards in the middle of town. So after we returned to Concord from the musket firing demonstration and had some time before dinner at the Colonial Inn (dating back to 1716), my daughter and I poked about the graveyards at dusk. Just the right kind of thing to do at the end of a crisp and glorious autumn day.
On one sarcophagus from 1781, I found this correction of “husband.” We were also intrigued by the unique long letter that showed up on many graves for “s” as seen here in “husband. It looks like an “f;” in fact, it seemed indistinguishable to us from a lowercase “f.” Upon closer study, I figured the long “s” was used inside of words, while the “s” as we spell it today was used at the end of words. I’m not sure if my assessment is correct, but that’s what I found. If you know anything about this, let me know!
I appreciate the homage to the dead, and how life is distilled to milestones on gravestones, and most often just to the beginning and the end. In fact, many of these old gravestones only noted the date of death; perhaps the exact date of birth was unknown.
I appreciate that people used to take the trouble to carve gravestones and maintain them (the one with the husband error certainly is a newer copy, I doubt a horizontal engraving would look this good after 235 years. And I found it oddly comforting that these graves have been in the midst of a thriving town for all this time and that this Old Hill Burying Ground also afforded the visitor a nice view of this picturesque town.