Sharing two reports from Scott and Venus Andersen describing their discovery of a missing piece of the Celestine A. or Celestinea Collins' gravestone at the Dean Cemetery.
The three photogaphs that follow show "before" and "after" views of their progress making this gravestone whole once again:
October 22, 2013:
"This stone is unusual, at least at the Dean Cemetery. It is of a red lime or sandstone, totally different from all the others there. It has a big chunk missing at the top just above the inscribed name Collins.
I began digging around it to get it standing straight again, and Venus found a small piece of the missing chunk. It has the letters "CE" on it. I got the stone standing straight, and meanwhile Venus was probing around behind the stone looking for the rest of the missing chunk. Other things to work on, so I was off to investigate the lower portion of another stone we had identified on a previous trip.
Venus would not give up on that chunk, and after about 20 minutes of probing, she found it! The rest of the first name was on the stone, and a date, 1814. The name is Celestina.
So, I've got to research Celestina Collins, who died in 1814, and see what can be learned. Venus was my hero today. I'd been hoping that we might find the rest of that stone somehow. I'm still shocked that she did."
October 24, 2013:
"The Bizzare just gets odder. While I was at the cemetery today, I sort of assembled all the pieces Venus had found of the Collins stone. Had a chance to get all of the mud off of them yesterday afternoon.
We couldn't do much with them after digging them up, they were just so muddy. Anyway, I now think her name is Celestinea Collins. That's all in capital letters on the stone, so it could potentially be Celestine A. Collins, but there doesnt seem to be a "period" between the E and A.
I found a copy of the Buckskin Prebyterian Church sessions book at the historical society today. It has a transcription of the Dean Cemetery from about 1950, best I can tell. This piece of the Collins stone was missing even then according to the transcription.
If 63 years ago the missing chunk wasn't obvious, lying there on the ground where you could pick it up and read it, how long has it been buried? At least 70 years, maybe more?"