I talked about these in my huge long post on Wednesday, and here they are: Jonathan and John Loomis’ gravestones, carved by Thatcher Lathrop. (Gravestones carved by Loomis are in the background of these photos! For more Loomis-carved stones, see this post, and my Loomis tags.)
The epitaph on Jonathan’s stone reads, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (This is a quote from Ecclesiastes 12:7.) Jonathan Loomis was 63 when he died, and he left his quarry in Bolton to his only son, John, who had served as a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War. (Jonathan and his wife Margaret also had two daughters, Lydia and Rhoda.)
John continued carving in the Loomis style until his death six years later at age 46, when the style abruptly disappeared from burying grounds. His epitaph: “Behold and read as you pass by. To my cold grave pray cast your eye. Death suddenly took hold of me. And so the case with you may be.”
John left his tools to his son Amasa Loomis, who also became an established carver, but who copied the extremely predominant Manning style. He was only 18 when his father died. Connecticut gravestone scholar Dr. Ernest Caulfield noted in his papers that, “One of the remarkable aspects of the work of the [J.] Loomises is their resistance to the Manning influence. Manning stones became so popular and dominant in the last half of the eighteenth century that their style was adopted to some extent by most carvers in eastern Connecticut. The Manning influence, however, is completely, or almost completely, absent from [Jonathan and John] Loomis stones.”
Beyond some info gleaned from land and probate records, not much is known about Jonathan and John Loomis, but I feel horribly fond of them. They were stylistic rebels and their style was incredibly quirky and adorable! As I said in my previous post, the dour and jaded looking visage of a Thatcher Lathrop stone seems particularly unsuited to the J. Loomises, with their crazy happy hearts-and-flowers adorned flying alarm clock faces, but these are their markers, and that’s where I left the wildflowers I gathered across the road. It was pretty strange to see their staid Lathrop-carved gravestones standing surrounded by an entire burying ground full of their own contrasting carvings!