136a Stump Jpg
Lancaster Cemetery, 205 E. Lemon Street, Lancaster PA (near entrance)

Not far from the obelisk that marks the resting place of Civil War General John Fulton Reynolds lie the graves of Jonathan Foltz (1778-1854) and his renown son, Jonathan Messersmith Foltz (1810-1877).  The latter, among other achievements, was Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy (3rd photo).  

The father’s remarkable tombstone was crafted into the shape, texture and hue of a tree stump.

​According to The New York Times (November 12, 1880), the tombstone “is of a particular color of stone, representing the trunk of an immense oak, and is so natural in color and design as to deceive persons at first glance into the belief that it is really the stump of a tree.  Here, father and son — the one honored and loved in the narrow circle in which

he moved, the other distinguished in his country’s service — lie side by side.”

​In the words of blogger Linda Stienstra, the headstone is “massive, beautiful, and has stood the test of time.”  The stump measures 4 feet high with a circumference of 10.5 feet.  [First photo by Stienstra.]


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