Monumental mystery solved: Wandering woman cemetery marker sits in Carlisle


The Wandering Woman cemetery marker, originally believed to have been in York, Pa., has turned up in Carlisle, Pa. The operator of the Lake View Cemetery in Jamestown, N.Y., will come down Saturday to make it 100 percent certain. This photograph comes from The Sentinel in Carlisle. For a postcard view of the marker in the Jamestown area, see below.  Are they the same woman? For background, see:  Wandering Woman, Part I and Wandering Woman, Part II.

“Silence,” the cemetery marker, with strong ties to Jamestown, N.Y., did not appear to be in York, Pa.

But it’s along York Road, in Carlisle, Pa.

It all started with Lake View’s Sam Genco’s query about the Wondering Woman’s whereabouts.

A post in this blog appeared in the York Sunday News, and the quest was answered. Readers contacted Sam and, well, a Google Earth image pretty well convinced him.

The Sentinel in Carlisle then picked up the trail, and here is how its story began:

“After a journey of hundreds of miles across decades of time, a long-lost statue from New York, erected to guard the tomb of a town founder, has been found in Carlisle, thanks to the determination of one man and the helpfulness of strangers.

“The man is Sam Genco, assistant superintendent of Lake View Cemetery, Jamestown, N.Y., who has spent decades searching for a statue that disappeared from the cemetery he now oversees.”

“One would think a large, heavy, marble statue would tend to stay put once it has settled in to its resting spot, but not this one,” he wrote in an e-mail.

And here is how The Sentinel’s story ended:
“Through a Google Earth image, he’s (Genco) been able to determine that the statue is 99-percent likely the one he’s looking for. The name carved on her plinth is Miller, and she broods in Carlisle’s Ashland Cemetery, oblivious to passing traffic on busy York Road.

“On Saturday, Genco plans to make the 10-hour round trip to Carlisle to find out for sure, visiting “Silence” and meeting with Steven Ewing of Ewing Funeral Home, which owns the cemetery.

“The only person who knows the true story of her journey is, of course, “Silence,” whose name seems now all too apt.”

For the rest of the story, see:  N.Y. statue finds home in Carlisle cemetery.

A postcard of  ‘Silence’, the Wandering Woman.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
This entry was posted in Archives, all posts, Events, Explanations/controversy, For photo fans, Genealogy/research, Local journalism & Web, Local landmarks, Mail bag, Unsung/obscure sites, Women's history and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Monumental mystery solved: Wandering woman cemetery marker sits in Carlisle

  1. Jim McClure says:

    Hi Jim,

    When I read your very good piece, “Solving mysteries with the help of the Internet,” I was struck by the name of the man from Jamestown, Sam Genco. New York state has a Genesee County, which is near Niagara Falls. As has happened here with Yorkco, Lanco, and Lebco, I thought the people in Genesee County must refer to it as Genco. The Genesee County seat is Batavia, but more interestingly, it has a town called Leroy, known as the birthplace of Jello.

    After a little further research, I found that Jamestown is in Chautauqua County, also in western New York and is the birthplace of Lucille Ball, Roger Tory Peterson, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

    Bill Schmeer
    (Jim McClure posted and edited)

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