Written in Stone: Meet the Carvers - Soule

Soule is not a single carver but a family of carvers.  They were known for several distinct styles of carvings.  The first were called Medusa Stones; crude heads with wild hair and no wings or abstract wings.  Another was a somewhat realistic winged heads with circles in the hair.  The face may have a slight smile and the wings may have circles or a fish scale pattern.  The head and wings were sometimes attached to a cross-hatched, semi-circle that was believed to represent the body.  The last was carved realistic winged heads having curly hair and scallop collars. The Soule’s often used a local green slate for their stones.

The Soule carvers primarily worked in the Plymouth and Worcester areas of Massachusetts.  The carvers included Ebenezer Soule (1710-1792) and his sons Ebenezer (1737-1811), Asaph (1739-1823), Coomer (1747-1777), Beza (1750-1835), and Ivory (1760-1846). The Soule’s replaced Hayward and Cushman as major suppliers to Cape Cod.

Ebenezer Soule (1710-1792) was the son of Benjamin Soule and Sarah Standish (granddaughter of Miles Standish).  His paternal great grandfather, George Soule came to America on the Mayflower in 1620.  He was born in Plymouth, MA and died in Hinsdale, NH, where he is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery.  He married Susanna Coomer in 1733 and together they had 10 children, of which 4 joined him in the family business.

Information found at:

  • http://www.capecodgravestones.com/carvers/soule.html
  • http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=50550471


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