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.