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Gravestone for sell generates some backlash

Posted at 11:49 AM, Sep 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-29 11:49:39-04

DELMAR, NY (YNN/Spectrum/CNN) - A Facebook post advertising a gravestone for sell sparked some controversy, but the woman who owns it says it's not what it appears to be.

Nicole Crowe was making some renovations to her home in Delmar, NY, when she dug out an area to make a patio, she uncovered three pieces of stone. When you put those stones together, they purport to mark the burial site of James Matthews.

"I stopped in horror and immediately thought I had purchased a house that was on a burial ground," Crowe said. "I've had a lot of people tell me I'm disgusting and that I'm disrespectful, that I'm going to be haunted."

Crowe made a tongue-in-cheek post offering to sell the gravestone as a Halloween decoration. Her original intent was to donate it to a historic society or other preservation group, but no one wanted it.

Crowe's home was built around 1950 and the gravestone identifies Matthews' death as 1850. No one believes he is actually buried on the property.

"Considering these stones were lined up in a perfect rectangle, I think it was somebody else much later that was just trying to line a flower bed," Crowe said.

A historical society traced Matthews' family, identifiable by his parents' names - Robert and Ruth - on the stone, to Slingerlands, NY, which is not far from Delmar.

In her post, Crowe said the historical society said it is most likely the stone was damaged during the engraving process and was then sold for landscaping use.

"I'm not trying to make money off of these stones," Crowe said. "I would love to give them to someone who could use them, but nobody seemed to want them, so that's why they've been in the back of my garage for almost two years."

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