Marker for Katherine and W.H. Durnal in the Bond cemetery (Brown County, Indiana).

I was surprised to find two very large sandstone makers, when I drove up to the Bond Cemetery today;. Probably made in the 1890s, the stones show signs of wear and the layers of the stone are flaking pealing off layers of stone and aesthetic details. One of the stones appears to have been shot at some point; a large plug is missing from the front and small pits pepper around it, probably unintentionally hit by a hunter decades ago. In keeping with the arts and craft style of the later decades of the Nineteenth Century, the stones are carved to show the rustic qualities of the natural stone. Even when they were new, the markers would have seemed earthy and sought to reveal the natural beauty of handwork. Where a generation earlier, sandstones monuments were smooth and carefully finished, these markers accentuated the chip marks and handwork.

Footstone for rustic marker.

 

 

The footstone, a marker that designated the end of the plot opposite the headstone, is embellished with somewhat random marks. Why were these stones made to look so rustic? As more and more objects were mass-produced, artisans produced work that highlighted their handmade aesthetics.

 

These stones mark a locally produced monument that was in keeping with the national trend to embrace the Arts and Crafts style, which influenced Tiffany glass, Stickley furniture, and Rookwood pottery, also influenced local artisans throughout the United States. I would love to know who made these markers out of local stone.

 

Two sandstone markers under a cedar tree in Bond Cemetery

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