Updated: September 28, 2021 10:16:22 am
In a bizarre incident reported from the US, a gravestone was retrieved almost 150 years after it had gone missing. But in a stranger twist, it was found that the tombstone was being used as a marble slab to make fudge for a woman living in Michigan.
The tombstone has been identified as that of Peter J. Weller’s, a Lansing pioneer and businessman who died in 1849. Friends of Lansing’s Historic Cemeteries (FOLHC), a group of volunteers who take care of historical cemeteries in Michigan, wrote in a Facebook post that the tombstone had gone missing 146 years ago when his grave was moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery in 1875.
FOLHC President Loretta S. Stanaway told CNN that they got informed about the tombstone quite unexpectedly in August when the woman, who had been using it, was moved into care facility for Alzheimer.
As all her belonging were listed for auction, Brad Stoecker of Epic Auctions & Estate Sales was “puzzled” when he found a five-foot-long white slab in the house. According to MLive, he got was even more baffled when he flipped it over and realised it was somebody’s tombstone.
“Life and Times of man whose monument was used to make fudge,” wrote FOLHC in their Facebook post.
Traditionally fudge-makers often use big square marble slabs to cool their creation, transforming liquid into solid. However, how this granite tombstone reached a home in Okemos, outside Lansing where the cemetery is, still remains a mystery, CNN reported.
“No one in family knew how or when they came to be in possession of it,” Stanaway said, adding that homeowners just mentioned they used the backside of it to make the delectable desserts. “We had no way to find out whether the family knew it was a legitimate monument or if they thought it was just a throwaway or something,” she further said.
“The FOLHC was alerted to the situation by former Lansing area resident Walter Anderson, who saw the monument listed for sale on the auctioneer’s website,” the group said on Facebook. They added that realising the value of the item, the auction house donated the monument to the cemetery.
The staff at the cemetery tried looking into Weller’s family but no living relatives could be found. However, FOLHC took it upon themselves and decided to honour the dead and held a memorial service on Sunday. Weller’s gravestone was cleaned and placed on his grave next to where his two daughters are buried, 172 years after his death.