Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Frank H. Johnson, Derry, New Hampshire

This tombstone was photographed at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Derry, New Hampshire

FEBRUARY 24, 1884
32 YRS 6 MOS 2 DYS

According to Frank H. Johnson’s marriage record, in the New Hampshire Vital Records, he was married in Manchester, New Hampshire on 24 July 1883 to Lizzie Ansteard of Manchester.   It was both their first marriages, and both were 32 years old.  He was born in Derry, son of Hiram Johnson and his wife, Jane Stimpson.    Hiram and Jane’s marriage can be found in the Lowell, Massachusetts Vital Records, married on 9 June 1849. 

There is a local tradition in Derry for Pinkerton Academy students to slip a note into the hole in this zinc monument for good luck before exams.   You can see the hole under the inscription with Frank's name.  This tombstone is made of white bronze or zinc, and is known as a "zinker" among taphophiles (gravestone enthusiasts).   Zinc monuments are always hollow.  The inscriptions remain crisp and legible on a zinc monument much longer than on stone, but eventually they monuments will rust, or break if struck by mowing equipment.  

This zinc monument is marked
"Detroit Bronze Co. Detroit Mich."

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. What great trivia about the Pinkerton Academy students!
    And how sad that he died so soon after his marriage.

  2. Wow, Heather, I never realized that there were such things as monuments made of zinc. And the deceased will never get colds either (okay, that was wrong).

    I wonder what the students write in the notes that they leave...

  3. Strange. So if zinc monuments are always hollow, does that mean that many of them have holes?

  4. Nice find. However now all zinc monuments are hollow and also zinc monuments will not rust..