Oct 22, 2018 I Brett Tingley

Mysterious Stone Face Found in New Jersey River Bed

Construction crews working on a riverbed rehabilitation project in Bloomingdale, New Jersey unearthed a stone block into which has been carved a mysterious imagine of...well, someone. Crews were excavating part of the Pequannock River in Bloomingdale’s Sloan Park in order to mitigate flooding when they found the 14-inch by 12-inch granite slab.

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Apparently New Jersey isn't all turnpikes and shores.

The slab has been carved with a figure wearing a crown holding what could possibly be a scepter. “I have no idea what it could be,” says Jon Dunleavy,  mayor of Bloomingdale. “It is quite an extraordinary find and the borough hopes to find out what it actually is. I have a few local historians investigating.”

Some of those local historians think they may have a hunch who this stone-faced stone face could be. The now-defunct Pequannock Valley Paper Company manufactured tissue paper for the personal use of Queen Victoria of England in the late 19th-century, so it’s possibly the image is an effigy of her. Still, given the age of the image and its rather crude workmanship, it’s difficult to tell if the image depicts a male or a female, so pinning down a possible identity remains difficult.

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Queen Victoria, lover of tissue

The Borough of Bloomingdale Government has posted images of the granite face to social media in hopes of identifying its origin. Some social media users think the image could be Jesus, possibly depicted in a similar style to the popular Infant Jesus of Prague statue found in the Discalced Carmelite Church of Our Lady Victorious in Malá Strana in Prague.

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Infant Jesus of Prague

While it’s probably just a picture of some dumb tissue-loving royalty or sweet baby Jesus, stories like this really get the imagination going and I hold out hope that there could be more to this stone face. A mysterious stone face found in America’s northeast? That sounds straight out of a Lovecraft tale. Let’s hope this stone face starts speaking in long-forgotten ancient tongues and driving people to madness.

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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