Tale Tuesday: Odd Headstones
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.
Scoop Saturday: Family of Ducks
It’s not unusual for a mother with kids in tow to take a stroll through the library. Many bookworms fondly remember such childhood visits [but], it is unusual when that mother is a duck and she has five ducklings all following in a row as they march through a British university library. Employees at the University of Nottingham’s George Green Library were treated to just that sight recently after open doors let in more than a cool breeze. “It had been very hot that week, so we had left our doors open for some extra air movement,” Emma Halford-Busby said, according to Good News Network. Apparently, the duck walked in with her brood and they took a tour, “…walked around our atrium for a while, mom in front and ducklings in a line behind. Mom was totally calm and unflustered.”
A worker gently herded them toward the door and they marched back out again. “As they walked towards our other entrance, one of our staff gently ushered them through the gates and back outside,” Halford-Busby said. “You often come across ducks in seemingly odd places around campus but, that was definitely the oddest place I’ve seen them,” Stuart Warren, the senior library adviser, told BBC. Halford-Busby added that the cute sighting “did bring some excitement into an otherwise peaceful evening.”
It’s not just ducks across the pond who are part of this phenomenon, either. Gary Allen High School in Ontario, Canada, has a long-standing tradition with a local duck who takes an annual tour through the school buildings to get to a creek. “At least once a year, a mother and her brood of ducklings make their way from her nesting grounds, through a high school, to a nearby creek,” CBC posted on Facebook in 2019. “Staff have helped guide the family on their journey for the last 10 years.”
Adorable Baby Ducklings Ushered Outside After Waddling Into Library (Western Journal/Amanda Thomason/09-14-2021)
Family of Ducks Waddles Through University of Nottingham Library (BBC East Midlands/09-01-2021)
Adorable Footage Shows Family of Ducks Being Ushered Out of Library (Good News Network/09-07-2021)