Shortly after purchasing and arriving to take over operations of this Inn, we discovered the most curious of things . . . a plaque? A grave stone? A monument? Most certainly we discovered a Mystery at the Inn on Putney Road! A plaque is defined as “an ornamental tablet, typically of metal, porcelain, or wood, that is fixed to a wall or other surface in commemoration of a person or event.” Most assuredly, what we discovered was a plaque. But the only writing on the plaque are the words “Daniel – 1918 – Frederic” and relief profile portraits of two boys that look to be about 6 and 8 years old. Who were Daniel and Frederic? Did they die from the Influenza Pandemic of 1917-1918? Did they die in WW1? Is this plaque even a marker of their death?
One of the treasures on the grounds of the Inn is the Giant cut-leaf red Japanese Maple tree that is the centerpiece of the Inn, and now even lends itself to our logo. It proudly stands as the largest of its kind in the entire United States. The tree was planted in 1930, shortly after completion of the house that serves as the Inn. This means that the plaque was around 12 years before the house was built, and before the tree was planted. What adds to the mystery is the state of one of the main roots emanating from the tree. As the root leaves the main trunk of the tree, it takes a very sharp left turn right above the plaque. What would cause this to happen? According to the State Forester, roots of trees will always grow directly away from the trunk of a tree, unless something is impeding its growth. In those cases, roots will find a way to work around obstacles. What obstacle is this root working its way around? The plaque can be easily lifted. It is less than a half inch thick at its thickest point, so it is not the plaque. Could it be that the boys are buried below? Could something else be down there?
Over the next several weeks, or how ever long it takes me to find the answers, I will be adding installments to this post, if an effort to document my path to discovery. If you have questions that you would like me to try to find answers to, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any answers regarding this mystery, please let me know that too!