Sunday, July 7, 2013

John Simpson

Although broken and missing a piece, this headstone on the North Ridge features a skull-and-cross bones.  While this macabre motif was popular on old New England gravestones (and a rather fine example can be found at Vale Cemetery on an 19th-century stone), it's less common in this area.

This stone, badly repaired and quite worn, marks the grave of one John Simpson who died on November 11, 1874.  The burial records indicate that Simpson, who was fifty-eight when he succumbed to heart disease, was a resident at the Kenwood Toll Gate just south of Albany.  Kenwood was, at the time, the site of a vast estate belonging to Joel Rathbone and family.  It included mills along the Normanskill and a hilltop mansion (part of which survives having been incorporated into the former Doane Stuart School).

His wife - who has a rather unusual name - is buried in the adjacent plot.

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