Despite a significant tilt, the gravestone for Barbara Musselman (b. 1775, d. 1818) is in great shape.
And what about the decorative carving? Yes, the stone tilts, but you could stand it on its head and the unusual (for this area and this stone cutter) geometric design on the stone would still look the same!
SUSAN, WIFE OF
WAS BORN FEB. 8, 1775; & DIED OCTO_
BER 1818: AGED
ABOUT 43 YEARS,
& 9 MONTHS.
Nearby gravestones carved from the same type of stone and in the same style (clearly by the same stone cutter) have death dates in the 1830s. Perhaps the “about” on Mrs. Musselman’s stone and its missing day of death alert us that this stone was carved long after her death. A cenotaph? A replacement stone?
The stone is signed J. ST., who most likely is John Strickler, who carved many beautiful gravestones throughout Fairfield County, Ohio. Although the rosette is not his typical motif, the deeply chiseled letters along with the epitaph phrasing and lettering, suggest that this is a Strickler stone.
I also suspect that Strickler’s style varied somewhat depending on the medium. This stone is not the gray-beige siltstone that he often used. I would need a geology consult here, but this stone looks like Black Hand sandstone, another siltstone available nearby.
Baptist Corners Cemetery, Fairfield County, Ohio