I was sweeping out my basement a little better than last year when I noticed that the odd step-like foundation in the corner was actually white marble with a round end. I flipped it over to find a pristine inscription of a private in that fought for the US 110th Infantry 28th Division that died on July 29th, 1918 - a genuine WWI tombstone.
Online I found out that he was also one of the 13 Rainy Day Boys (named for a local holiday here in Waynesburg, Pa). His death was also describe in an online book about the group of 15,000 men, of which a little more than 800 survived. His body was MIA and his family even mourned his death at a burial of an unknown soldier in Washington D.C.. His grave was finally found in France and his body was returned and buried in Waynesburg, Pa.
A previous owner of the house was the private's sister. She died while living there and I suspect that it was overlooked as I have done for 3 the last years. It is unknown to me why they did not use the government tombstone, elected to use their own, and why someone would want to hang onto that kind of token for their brother.
Currently I am trying to find the value of such a strange find. However, I will likely just return it to the family even though a bit of cash would be nice. Anyone have any ideas?