Published at PO Box 96 124 W. St. Clair Romeo, MI 48065. Phone: (586)752-3524 Fax: (586)752-0548
Updated Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 3 PM EST
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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 05/23/12
Above, Romeo resident Mark Grebik loads a tombstone from the 1800s onto his truck to transport it to Washington Township. Grebik and his family found the tombstone in their backyard and decided to return it upon discovering it came from the Brabb Cemetery.
(Observer photo by Chris Gray)
Romeo family makes grave
discovery in yard
by CHRIS GRAYMark and Kelly Grebik moved from St. Clair Shores looking for a friendly, small-town community to raise their family.
Observer Staff Writer
The couple said they found just that for their kids, Tim and Sophia, but when moving into their Pleasant Street home, they found something extra.
Propped near a cherrywood tree in their backyard was a tombstone from the 1800s.
Mark said when the family purchased the 1869 house in June, they were in the backyard and noticed the old-fashioned grave marker propped against the home.
The engraving on the tombstone names Harriet Jane Brabb, who died July 20, 1841. She was only 4 years old when she died.
Mark said the village offered to check and see whether a casket or body was present, and recalled feeling a little "weirded out."
"Obviously we didn't think there was one there, but yeah, it's always weird to think there is possibly a body on your property," he said. "You don't want to discover it the wrong way."
After a bit of research, however, Mark said he discovered the tombstone originated from the Brabb Cemetery at 31 Mile Road and Mound in Washington Township.
When speaking with neighbors about it, the couple learned the tombstone had apparently been at the home for at least 15 years.
"I think some teenagers probably took it," Kelly said.
Mark took the tombstone to the Washington Township offices, where Clerk Kathy Bosheers said the township will look into restoring it and putting it back where it belongs.
"I have to give this guy a ton of credit," Bosheers said. "They have something like that and they want to give it back."
She said the hope is to find the original base the tombstone was attached to, but if it cannot be located it'll be replanted.
Mark said it felt nice to be able to return a little girl's tombstone to its proper place.
"If it was mine I would want mine back, I wouldn't just want it in someone's yard," he said.
A newer tombstone with both Jane S. and Harriet's names currently stands at the cemetery. Both were daughters of Isaac and Hannah. Jane passed away July 15, 1835 at 3 months old.