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> Tombstone found on boat a mystery
Shanifaye
post Apr 22 2008, 08:34 AM
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http://www.charleston.net/news/2008/apr/21...t_mystery38035/

The (Charleston) Post and Courier
Monday, April 21, 2008


By Diane Knich
The Post and Courier
Police Sgt. Erik Page holds an 1894 tombstone found on a houseboat at the City Marina last weekend.

What do you do when you find a century-old tombstone aboard your houseboat?

Robert Payne had to answer that question last weekend when a cleaning person called him to Charleston City Marina after finding an 1894 baby's marble tombstone in a cabinet on his rental boat.

The marker, which is about 14 inches tall and weighs about 75 pounds, bears the inscription:

Infant son of R.W. & E.J. Hypes

Born Nov. 2, 1894 Died Nov. 29 1894.

Payne immediately brought the stone to the Charleston Police Department. Officers now are trying to find out where it came from so they can return it, Sgt. Erik Page said. And they would appreciate a call from anyone who might be able to help them identify where it belongs, he said.

Payne said he was "extremely disturbed" when he saw the grave stone on his boat. It was the stone of a child who hadn't even lived 30 days, he said. "That really got to me," he said. "It belongs back in a graveyard somewhere."

He said the boat has been vacant for the past few months. Before that, he rented it to a series of people who lived aboard for short periods of time, he said. Many of his renters likely had a lot of visitors. There have been several trespassing incidents as well, he said.

Page said the tombstone is "obviously from one of our older cemeteries," and he thinks the infant likely came from a wealthy family. Many families at the time probably couldn't have afforded the marble grave stone for an infant, he said.

He thought it might have come from Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston's oldest public cemetery. But Angela Prosser, the cemetery's office manager, said nobody with the last name Hypes is buried there. She also couldn't find the name in an inscription book for nearby Bethany Cemetery.

Ashleigh Lambert, head of the design department for E.J. McCarthy and Sons, a local company that has been making memorials and monuments since 1861, said she's going to dig through old records to see if she can learn whether the company made the tombstone more than a century ago. But that will take some time, she said.

Page said the company several years ago helped police find where another stolen grave stone belonged.

He also said he can't tell how likely it is he'll find the person who stole the marker. In South Carolina, stealing a tombstone worth more than $200 is a felony punishable by up to $5,000 or five years in prison, or both, he said.

But right now, he said, he feels a sense of urgency about finding where the stone came from.

"This is somebody's great-great uncle," he said. "The only tangible evidence that this child existed is this tombstone."

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Shawn
post Apr 22 2008, 04:45 PM
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Wow! blink.gif Hope they find where the tombstone belongs.
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Steph
post Apr 24 2008, 01:27 PM
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Well I did the simplest thing and looked for Hypes on the 1900 census. There are only 217 in the country...alas..none of them have the initials RW . There was one Robert in Virginia..single aged 30. Don't think its him.

Anymore ideas out there?

Steph
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