Nathaniel Holmes - Carver

Nathaniel Holmes (1783 - 1869) was born in Plymouth. He learned stone carving from Amaziah Harlow of Plymouth. He most likely also was influenced by William Coye and Lemuel Savery. Holmes moved to Barnstable about 1805 to become the first resident carver on Cape Cod. During his long career he made the transition from carving winged heads on slate to carving urn and willow on marble. The marble markers of the nineteenth century make up the bulk of his work. It has been reported he carved over 1300 gravestones on Cape Cod. None of his nine children took up stone carving.

Holmes carvings on slate included small winged heads, trumpeting angels and sunbursts. The winged heads have high foreheads due to the eyes being placed low on the face, small mouth and hair parted in the middle. Note that he used a variety of interesting tympanum shapes. The following markers are examples of Holmes work.

Mary Gross (1795) - Truro Old North Cem.
Keziah Baker (1798) - West Yarmouth Woodside Cem.
Abner Crowell (1799) - West Yarmouth Woodside Cem.
Mary Hinckley (1799) - Barnstable Lothrop Hill Cem.
Sarah Hawes (1800) - Yarmouth Cem.
Jabez Lewis (1801) - West Yarmouth Woodside Cem.
Kezia Lewis (1801) - West Yarmouth Woodside Cem.
Martha Cypress (1802) - West Barnstable Cem.
William Tobey (1802) - Orleans Cem.
Samuel Hinckley (1804) - Barnstable Lothrop Hill Cem.
Louisa Bradley (1805) - West Yarmouth Woodside Cem.
William Bray (1805) - Yarmouth Cem.
Huldah Gorham (1805) - Dennis Cem.
Azubah Hallet (1805) - Yarmouth Cem.
Kezier Hallet (1806) - Yarmouth Cem.
Susannah Hinckley (1806) - Barnstable Ancient Cem.
Silvanus Jones (1806) - West Barnstable Cem.
Temporance Crocker (1807) - Barnstable Marstons Mills Cem.
Elisha Hedge (1807) - Yarmouth Cem.
Joshua & Elizabeth Hurd (1807) - Orleans Cem.
Sally Gorham (1809) - Yarmouth Cem.
Julia Smith (1809) - Barnstable Lothrop Hill Cem.
Nancy Crosby (1810) - Barnstable Osterville Cem.
Seth Goodspeed (1810) - Barnstable Marstons Mills Cem.
Pasha Crosby (1811) - Barnstable Osterville Cem.
Warren Sparrow (1812) - Eastham Bridge Road Cem.
Patience Eldridge (1832) - Yarmouth Cem.

Cemetery list   Home   Major Carver list