"The Glastonbury Lady" Series -- Box #2  LbNA # 14798 (ARCHIVED)

OwnerAdoptable    
Placed DateApr 30 2005
CountyHartford
LocationGlastonbury, CT
Boxes1
Planted ByWild Rover    
Found By butterfly
Last Found May 7 2008
StatusFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUFFFaa  
Hike Distance?

“The Glastonbury Lady”
Feles Pelet -- Green Cemetery, Glastonbury


***As of 01/26/2008 this stamp of feles pelet's headstone was MISSING. Somebody (LisaLisa?) was kind enough to put a stamp in it's place, in the same spot, which on 01/26/08 was dry and stamped well, although the log book was frozen. I may re-carve this stamp, or another, and have it in place for the SPRING INTO BOXING GATHERING 2008 in late April or early May, but until posted as active the original stamp will not be in place. Sorry. --WILD ROVER


There is a fascinating unknown carver of early 18th century headstones dubbed “The Glastonbury Lady.” Not only is the true identity of the carver unknown, but the reason for the nickname also appears to be unclear. The name “The Glastonbury Lady” was undoubtedly given to this carver by Dr. Ernest Caufield, a renowned expert in the field of headstone carvings and related histories. Some historians say the carver earned his name because most of his work is found in Glastonbury and many of his headstones seem to depict an old Lady’s face {1}, while other historians say it is because most of his headstones were made for women. {2}

Dr. Caufield penned an article entitled “Connecticut Gravestones” for the Connecticut Historical Society Collections (19:105-108) wherein he referred to the Glastonbury Lady as “aggressively elusive” and the most popular stone cutter in Glastonbury in the 1730s. {3} All of his stones are made of sandstone and are found in old burial grounds on both sides of the Connecticut River from Hartford to Old Saybrook, with the carvings appearing exclusively on stones carved from the 1720s through the 1740s. The largest concentration of stones carved by the Glastonbury Lady is found in Green Cemetery in Glastonbury. Some of the Glastonbury Lady’s stones are simple while other have lunette faces that are outstanding pieces of folk-art. The Glastonbury Lady also produced some striking and very beautiful (yet bizarre) stones with heavy cherubim, as well as some simple (and wonderful) pumpkin-like or scarecrow faces. {1} The stones are unusually recognized by the ornate shape of the tops of the stones which are centrally convex, becoming conclave as they slope laterally and rise to an elevated rounded knob at the corners. {4} On the most elaborate stones there is sometimes a peculiar swirling necklace-like circle below the face, giving an appearance vaguely like the fringed collars worn by Elizabethan gentleman.

The identity of The Glastonbury Lady has also been the subject of both speculation and debate. Many historians agree that The Glastonbury Lady stones are very similar to those produced by the Stanclift family, who also worked on headstones made of sandstone of a similar thickness, and whose known headstones are found in many of the same burial grounds as those of The Glastonbury Lady. Some have attributed The Glastonbury Lady headstones to Daniel Brewer, who was in the quarry business with the Stanclifts, and whose son, Seth Brewer, was later known to carve headstones of a similar style. {3} Still other believe that a stone cutter from Lyme named John Marvin was the Glastonbury Lady, who died in 1741 after which no further such headstones were carved. {4}

While the identity of The Glastonbury Lady remains a mystery, the fact that the stones are invaluable works of art and links to history is undoubted. The stamp for this box is a tribute to those carved by The Glastonbury Lady. Hope you find it, like it and enjoy it. -- Wild Rover


DIRECTIONS AND COMPANIONS

Green Cemetery is adjacent to the Hubbard Green (“Town Green”) at the intersection of Main Street and Hubbard Street in Glastonbury. You can take Route 2 to Hebron Avenue, right on Hebron Avenue, left on Main Street headed South to Hubbard Green; or Route 17 to Main Street, right on Main Street headed north to Hubbard Green. Be sure to have MayEve’s clues to “The Glastonbury Lady – Hannah Smith” letterbox in Green cemetery, the sister-box to this box. NOTE: Only the “Feles Pelet” box has a logbook.


CLUES TO THE LETTERBOX

Enter the wrought iron gates of Green Cemetery (under the arch) and proceed towards the back of the cemetery in the direction of the brick Receiving Vault. Turn left and walk along the old stone boundary markers. Stop at the tree whose 3 arms reach out just above your head towards the cemetery. Continue on to the first tall brownstone monument of the Talcott children. The next tall brownstone monument you come to will remember Harriett Cowles. Turn to face the entrance to Green Cemetery and walk 11 paces to the small leaning headstone on the grave of Feles Pelet which was carved by The Glastonbury Lady and bears the “ornate Elizabethan collar” noted above. The stamp for the letterbox attempts to bear a likeness to this Glastonbury Lady headstone. To find it you will have to turn to the back of the cemetery from Feles Pelet's headstone and walk to the end of the row to a stone boundary marker that appears to be growing out of the base of a tree, or to at least be sharing space with its trunk. Look between the tree and the stone boundary marker, nestled under some leaves, to find Feles Pelet.

Note: Please remember those that have gone before us and be respectful of their resting place. Thank you. –Wild Rover & MayEve

THANKS & CREDITS

Thanks to MayEve for helping to scout and plant this letterbox, and for carving the sister-box “Hannah Smith.” The Glastonbury Lady letterboxes debuted at the Spring Into April Drive on 04/30/2005.


{1} www.CTgravestones.com/gallery/Glastonbury.htm

{2} www.West-Hartford.com/profile/OldCenterCemetery/OldCtrCemetery4.htm

{3} http://noyes.rootsweb.com/wga16.html

{4} www.lib.uconn.edu/about/exhibits/gravestones/glastonbury.htm