Tale Tuesday: Odd Headstones

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Rushes Cemetery Image
Cryptic Gravestone
Image Credit: Mac Armstrong

Kaushik Patowary
Amusing Planet
09-19-2017

When Canadian doctor Samuel Bean lost his first two wives, Henrietta and Susanna, within 20 months of each other, he decided that the best way to honor them would be to create a tombstone dedicated to a hobby they both enjoyed…solving puzzles. The doctor had them buried side by side in Rushes Cemetery near Crosshill, Wellesley Township, Ontario and a single gravestone was placed over their graves. The gravestone bore a puzzle, one that kept historians stumped and amateur cryptologists busy for the next eighty years.

A replica of the gravestone can still be seen in Rushes Cemetery. The original stone was badly weathered and was replaced with this durable granite replica in 1982. The stone is about three feet high and features a finger pointed skyward with the words “Gone Home” above the two women’s names. Underneath the names is a grid carved with 225 seemingly random numbers and letters.

Without doubt, Dr. Samuel Bean must have received many requests to reveal the meaning of the cryptic message but, he would have none. Then, in 1904, while [on holiday] in Cuba, Dr. Bean fell overboard from a sailboat and drowned. The secret of the coded gravestone was forever lost.

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15 thoughts on “Tale Tuesday: Odd Headstones

    nostalgicitalian said:
    January 10, 2023 at 11:03 PM

    Kudos to the guy who figured this out ! LOL It would have driven me mad!

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      January 11, 2023 at 12:48 AM

      Me, as well…

    Badfinger (Max) said:
    January 10, 2023 at 11:04 PM

    I wonder if they would have liked being buried together? lol. That is so cool…the other ones are pretty cool as well…I like the one that hoped to confuse the devil.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      January 11, 2023 at 12:50 AM

      Well, they certainly had the puzzle thing in common.

      I liked the finger pointing up…”Gone Home.”

        Badfinger (Max) said:
        January 11, 2023 at 11:16 PM

        Yea…two former wives being buried together…Lord knows I’m not an expert on woman but something tells me they wouldn’t go for that but…hey at least they are remembered! He did say how great they were….they were awful young!

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          January 12, 2023 at 11:57 AM

          Considering he drowned in 1904, they passed in the late 1800s…shorter life span, in general terms, back then. Plus, women back then weren’t hair-pulling, screaming banshees like most of the younger crowd these days. There was a lot more dignity & integrity back then.

            Badfinger (Max) said:
            January 12, 2023 at 12:01 PM

            Yea you are right about that part…I have to wonder what they died of…maybe some plague or virus back then.

              The Hinoeuma responded:
              January 12, 2023 at 12:20 PM

              I certainly like the term “back then.” I just used it three times. Facepalm…🤪

              Yeah, disease and lack of medical care…poor nutrition…environmental issues? Sanitation has improved, greatly, in our time.

                Badfinger (Max) said:
                January 12, 2023 at 4:10 PM

                Hey…it WAS back then lol.

    Dayphoto said:
    January 11, 2023 at 11:25 AM

    Two wives 20 months apart—now that says something.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      January 11, 2023 at 11:42 AM

      Yeah. Short life spans, most likely due to disease…or death in pregnancy. OR…a murderous hubby? But, why pay tribute to two wives if you killed them?

      Tough times back then.

    Bay Photos By Donna said:
    January 13, 2023 at 3:38 PM

    That was interesting! I would have never figured it out, lol.

    doerfpub said:
    January 16, 2023 at 11:47 PM

    Now that is clever! I am a sucker for tombstones thanks to my Halloween obsession, but have never come upon one like that.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      January 17, 2023 at 12:05 AM

      I like Halloween obsessions. I’ve certainly posted enough of them.

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