There were no photographic possibilities in 1763; cameras weren’t yet invented. To capture a likeness meant trying to do so in stone or paint, ink … even stitching with colored threads. So this image carved in brownstone is all the more remarkable – a testament to the carver and perhaps to the man portrayed – gone at 26 and “much beloved and lamented.” On closer inspection, it appears to also feature a small carved cat face in the decorated area below the human chin of the portrait. If true, a pet cat on a memorial stone of this age would be highly unusual. There’s a book waiting to be written about his life, the carver – and the story of this unique stone.
As for the old Boston Post Road – that journey of research and finding is in progress.