Honoring Misses Yale and Vance by sprucing up gravesites

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, July 30, 2015

To the editor,


Something came across my computer today that I was really pleased to hear and I would like to mention it to the townspeople of Tryon. A gentlemen who is doing research on Miss Charlotte Yale and Miss Eleanor Vance, the originators of the Toy Makers and Wood Carvers, for a book that he is writing about their early life, came to Tryon to visit their gravestone at the Tryon Cemetery.  He found it to be in terrible shape, dirty and covered with weeds.  He knew that the Tryon Toy Story weekend was coming up and that that gravesite would be on the tour of things to see in Tryon of historical significance.

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This is what he said: “The following week I arrived just after the sun had risen and went to work, carefully scrubbing the granite face, gradually releasing their names and dates from beneath sixty years of stubborn algae, tree sap, bird droppings, and grime, digging holes with my shovel at either end for two azalea shrubs (the ladies loved gardening), hoping all the while I would not be mistaken by a nosy neighbor for a grave robber, and finally, outlining their stone and the two fresh, green azaleas with two bags of shredded cypress mulch.”


Thank you, Mr. Anonymous for your kind act to honor two wonderful women who graced our town 100 years ago and left us with a wonderful legacy in the arts and crafts. Many of us will want to visit the toy cottages, workshops and the gravesite of Vance and Yale during the Tryon Toy Story Weekend on September 26 and 27.  Thank goodness that spot will be attractive and cleaned up, ready for visitors.


Christine Mariotti

Tryon, N.C.