Name: Laubach (née Zimmer), Susana Catarina, 1705-12 March 1770
Stone date: 1780; see also her husband’s stone
IST • GeBOHreN
A • 1705
UND • GeSTOr
BeN • 1770 • DeN
12 • MerTZ
Ihr • ALTer • WAr
63 • IAr
Photographed July 13, 2019 by Richard Mammana
Old Christ Lutheran Church Cemetery
Lower Saucon, Hellertown, Northampton, Pennsylvania
The decorated reverse of this stone by the Northampton County Carver has been obliterated in a 1961 resetting by the Laubach Family Association that preserved the epitaph on the obverse. The stone was originally erected a decade after the death of the decedent; the birth and death dates do not result in the age in years given by the cutter. The reverse was sketched by Eleanor Barba between c. 1939 and 1954:
Drawing from Preston Barba, Pennsylvania German Tombstones: A Study in Folk Art. Allentown: Schlechter’s for the Pennsylvania German Folklore Society, 1954, p. 87, with the following description:
The old cemetery of Christ Union Church, Lower Saucon Township, Northampton County, contains a number of 18th century tombstones unsurpassed for beauty of design. The large dates on the ornamented sides of the tombstones apparently denote time of erection and not date of death. Note the discrepancies. These tombstones no doubt were cut in the same workshop. All were created in the 70s and 80s of the 18th century.
The tombstone of a pioneer mother of the Laubach family was only erected 10 years after her death. The head of the stone is adorned with a quatrefoil sunburst. In the four corners of the panel are radiating quarter-suns. From an urn grows a tree of life, beautifully balanced and bearing a variety of flowers. Realism is not an objective in Pennsylvania German folk art.