Downingtown-Based Auctioneer Helps Reunite Two-Year-Old Puritan Girl from the 1700s with Her Family

pook puritan gravestone
Images via Pook & Pook.
Ron Pook found the gravestone of a two-year-old girl from the 1700s in a garage in Lebanon County.

Pook & Pook, a Downingtown-based auction and appraisal service, helped return the gravestone of a Puritan girl, Abigail Chase, to her resting place. The marker’s relocation reunited a family that was devastated by diphtheria in the 1700s, writes Cynthia Beech Lawrence for Antiques and the Arts Weekly.

Ron Pook discovered the gravestone of Abigail Chase in an abandoned garage in Lebanon County.

“I knew early on it wasn’t from around here,” he said. “This stone had a great folk art presence.”

He sent the stone back to the auction house in Downingtown, where researcher John Burdumy dug through historical genealogy and cemetery databases to find its origin. He tracked it to the Chase family and their burial plot at Bridge Street Cemetery in Newbury, Mass.

Pook then contacted a local museum and managed to organize the return of the gravestone to its rightful place.

“Abigail Chase died when she was only two years old,” he said. “That gravestone was the only mark she left on this earth. I am glad it will be returned to where it belongs, with her family, where people can see and remember her.”

Read more about Pook & Pook in Antiques and the Arts Weekly.

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