BLOOMINGDALE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A repair project in New Jersey has unearthed what could be an extraordinary find.
Crews dug up a mysterious stone, but what’s on it has locals looking for clues in the history books, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported Monday.
The mayor of Bloomingdale is on a mission to solve a mystery. He walked Baker through Sloan Park to chat about a piece of granite that was found on Friday. On it, a hand-carved image of a curly-haired person wearing a crown and possibly holding a scepter.
“It’s exciting and it’s a mystery,” Mayor Jon Dunleavy said. “Some people think it is The Statue of Prague, which is an image of baby Jesus. Some people think it’s more of a royalty, a British royalty-looking image. We have it out to local historians.”
It was unearthed as the park undergoes a flood mitigation project involving the Pequannock River.
The granite stone was found among rocks dug out from the channel.
It caught engineer Bill Pomeroy’s eye.
“For some reason, I just had to look down. It was amazing that it was there. It was pretty cool. So, I called a bunch of guys over. They all said it was pretty interesting,” Pomeroy said.
The guess right now is that it may be from an old cemetery, or from a local church. Some say it’s Norwegian, due to the history of the area. Others had their own interpretation.
“I think it looks like colonial headstone, maybe King George?” said Hack Miller of Bloomingdale.
“I heard a lot of people talk about it. I don’t know what the mystery behind it is. I realize it had an inscription on it and an engraved face of, I suppose, a Roman figure. That’s what it looked like,” Paul Zeidan added.
“I cannot wait to find out the history behind this,” another Bloomingdale resident added.
The mayor has received hundreds of messages on Facebook about it. Some believe it’s from the old Pequannock Valley Paper Company, which supplied tissue paper to Queen Victoria 150 years ago.
The town of Bloomingdale is celebrating its 100th year. The mayor is reaching out to colleges to help research the image.