Why does the stone in the middle show virtually no sign of wear, compared to the ones on either side of it? All three are from the mid 1800's and the one in the middle is actually older than the other two.
It's actually not really a mystery as the one in the middle was carved by Boss Hammond from a very tightly-grained black stone that is similar to slate, and as a result, all of the stones he carved have stood up very well to the ravages of time. Sebastian "Boss" Hammond was a slave who purchased his freedom one gravestone at a time, the majority of his stones found in the area around New Windsor in Carroll County. He left no signature on his work, but administration records in Carroll County show the executors of several estates paying him between $11 and $21 for grave markers. This particular one is found in the private cemetery of the Cassell family out side of Westminster.