Thursday, June 09, 2016

The Monumental Bronze Company


There are more than 80 family cemeteries scattered around Ocracoke village. But there is only one island grave marker made by The Monumental Bronze Company. It is the marker for Tilmon (1798-1880) & Anna (1804-1884) Farrow. And after more than a century and a quarter it is still as legible as the day it was installed.


















The Farrows' “White Bronze” grave marker is actually made from zinc. The fancy "white bronze" name was a marketing ploy to make the zinc material sound more attractive. The markers, which were sold nationwide from the 1870s to 1912, came from the The Monumental Bronze Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut. 

The colors of these markers can be pale grey to a very pale baby blue. They are hollow, and mainland stories have been told of how gardeners hid garden tools inside, and how outlaws hid their loot in them. 

The Farrows' zinc marker has stood the test of time better than their neighboring contemporary stone markers which are often eaten away by weather, lichens and mosses.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the dramatic story of life-saver Rasmus Midgett and his rescue of the crew of the barkentine Priscilla in August, 1899. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news052116.htm.

13 comments:

  1. Thank you Philip, always enjoying reading your posts. Where is this marker located? We would like to check it out when we are on the island later this summer.

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    1. Mary, please send an email to info@villagecraftsmen.com with your request. Put "For Philip" in the subject line.

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  2. Anonymous5:01 PM

    Philip, this is a different subject than the one at hand.

    We first stayed on Ocracoke in 1973 and way back then it seems we noticed a fairly large house with sloped roof almost directly opposite the C. Guard station - on the other side of the channel into the lake. Do you know who built it? Or who lived in it?
    A long time ago we were told that it was where the mystery writer Mary Ellen Bradford ?? stayed from time to time. We tried to find a Mary Ellen Bradford but it was a dead end. Can you shed any light on any of this.
    Clinton Gaskill told us one time that he knew a couple people who own houses on the island but only occasionally wonder about. They act like normal renters but really live there. They keep to themselves. Maybe this ME Bradford is like that? She may or may not even be alive anymore. That's it. Thanks. Steve S. (and wife)

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    1. Is this the house you are referring to (in the lower left corner of the photo) -- https://i.ytimg.com/vi/TH-l19_w9kU/maxresdefault.jpg?

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    2. Anonymous9:55 PM

      Philip, regardless of whether that's the house that Anon 501 was asking about (and I suspect it is), please tell us more about that remarkable photo! I often say, "There's always something new to see on Ocracoke," and that perspective of the island, or at least one part of it, is a one-of-a-kind vantage I've never seen before. I wonder whether it's a snapshot taken by a remote-controlled aerial drone. I can't imagine any other way someone might have reached that vantage point. From some of your recent updates here, I wonder if perhaps it was shot by your son. In any case, a REALLY intriguing perspective. I've said it before, Philip: you always keep things interesting here. Thanks (as always).

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    3. I just found that photo on the web. I think it is a still shot taken from a video (maybe from a drone, or a low-flying airplane).

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  3. Anonymous10:24 AM

    It seemed a little too low of a perspective to have been shot from an airplane (I can't imagine the folks with the ferry system would tolerate such flyover closeups), and it seemed awfully sharp and clear, which is what made me think it may have been shot by a drone camera.

    I heard a report on NPR the other day about insurance companies enlisting drones to make quicker, more comprehensive assessments of large areas damaged by floods or storms.

    The view of the photo you posted suggests the sort of high-level (no pun intended), overall vantage that drones might provide. Perhaps someday some ambitious photographer will capture an all-island portrait of Ocracoke in such a manner. There's an image I'd enjoy exploring. Thanks again. --Anon 955

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  4. Julie S.2:09 PM

    Is that the home of the distinguished gentleman (M) who passed away several years ago? I'm wondering if his fine lady, who provided me a bandage in a time of need, still resides there?

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    1. Julie S., you are correct. I was planning to share more, but I've not yet heard back from Anon. 5:01 PM. Stay tuned, I may write more.

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  5. Anonymous5:02 PM

    I went to all the trouble to type in the image for i.ytime etc etc and the Untrusted get me out of here box showed up all this cryptic internet www mumbo jumbo I am out of the loop .

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    1. Try copying and pasting the URL into your browser (maybe there was a typo -- it's i.ytimg not i.ytime). I haven't had any problems with the site.

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  6. Anonymous10:41 AM

    Yes, please tell us about that home. Very curious.

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    1. Blog post coming up shortly.

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