This CTV story with Dan MacIntosh unfolds the story of the 1866 headstone of Catherine Livingstone, found buried at doorstep of the 150-year old home of Mary and Jerry Tenbrinke in St. Andrews.
Catherine MacGillivray, an amateur researcher with the Antigonish Heritage Museum, says a major clue in solving the mystery of the headstone is the name of the stone carver, J. McIsaac, at the bottom of the headstone.
She says McIsaac was known for his special skills in the art of marble work.
“The house once belonged to stone carver McIsaac and…initially the stone was carved for Catherine Cummings, but then years later, Malcolm died and a new stone was needed.”
The new stone containing Catherine’s and her family’s information still stands today in a cemetery in Antigonish County.
It appears the older stone was returned to its maker.
“Why would you keep a headstone? What do you do with a headstone? Returning it to the stonemason, maybe he could reuse it. For him, there was no attachment,” says MacGillivray.
In this case, it appears the carver used the headstone as a step, but it was forgotten over time.
Tenbrinke says she isn’t entirely sure what they will do with the headstone, but they may donate it to the Antigonish Museum.