Block Island: Interesting Stuff

Block Island may be small, but it has plenty of nooks and crannies that hold eye-opening things. You just have to walk around and keep alert.

Here is an expertly restored antique car that someone had just parked out in their driveway one sunny afternoon.

Oddly, this car had Connecticut license plates. I wonder how often it gets driven to the ferry and across the sound?

I like to visit graveyards and look for old stones. In the northeastern states, one can often find graves going back to the 18th or even 17th century. Block Island was settled by Europeans in the 1650s, so one could expect to find some impressively old graves there. I wasn't disappointed. This is the oldest marker that I found:

The text is pretty clear in this picture, but just in case you have trouble reading it, it says:


Several things are noteworthy about this grave. Aside from the archaic spelling, note that the "G" in "AGED" is carved backwards! It seems pretty odd that someone could make a mistake like that while carving stone by hand, but perhaps the carver was distracted. Or maybe it was deliberate. The way the letters of the first "THE" were merged to save strokes is also interesting. And just from the choice of words, such as "lyes inturred the body" and "departed this life", it's clear that late 17th century English colonists had a very practical and unsentimental attitude towards death. Quite a contrast to the mini-biographies of the 18th century or the carved angels and poetry of the 19th. That this man lived to the age of 73 is really not too surprising. There was a high infant and child mortality rate in colonial America, but people generally had very healthy lifestyles. Anyone who made it to the age of 20 stood a good chance of living into their seventies or eighties.

Well, whoever "James Sands Seniour" may have been, it was an interesting experience to be standing on his grave more than three hundred years after his death, and posting a picture of the gravestone on the Internet. He probably never imagined he'd be memorialized in this way.

 Here's something unusual that I encountered while walking along a mostly deserted stretch of beach on the east side. Someone had arranged a bunch of rocks into standing piles, an enigmatic marker of something.

Seeing this, I couldn't resist the urge to make a stack of my own.

Okay, so I was showing off a bit. That gray rock with the notch in it was just too good to pass up.

And here's a picture of myself in an appropriate pose with the rock piles.

Well, that's all for Block Island for now. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

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