We found many things when we picked the Little House up to cast new footings. Some we suspected, others were a surprise. Lots of fieldstones, perfect for use in the sloped beds in front of our house.
Tombstones, anyone? We've got seven. I found this one incorporated into a path last year:
And this one was under a bush:
They're much weathered, having been out for who knows how long -- but the others, sheltered
by the building for 170 years, are sharp as stones carved yesterday:
But this one is really the best -- Charles Henry Cornell was the nephew of the man who owned our house in the 1840s, Henry Cole. Mary Cornell, Charles' mother, lived in our house through at least the mid 1850s. It's very meaningful to us to discover this piece of our home's history, especially as it is very likely Charles Henry died in one of the rooms of our house.
Why so many tombstones? Well, Henry Cole, owner of our house from the 1840s on, was caretaker of the oldest cemetery in town. These must have been the rejected stones, or temporary placeholders for more elaborate pieces. The steps of our bulkhead are similarly macabre, and the staircase to the basement rests on part of the wall of a collapsed mausoleum.
Not all was so grim -- we also found this large section of granite edging, very smooth on the side not shown, which we'll use as a stoop to the little house:
And then this elaborate thing, a monumental granite hitching post more than six feet in length.
It's form is far too elaborate to have been intended for our place, and I suspect it was made for Waterman House, an imposing edifice lost in the 1930s. More on that to follow.