In Memory of Caddy Naugle
Story of the death of a little girl, grieving father, and a stranger
The story of the little girl at the gate and the mysterious stranger is one that has been told many times around Salem in the past 60 years.
In Crown Hill Cemetery there is a remarkably detailed carving in stone of a little girl standing at a gate. In essence that is the story of little Caddy Naugle.
The bright part of Caddy’s day was swinging on the front gate late in the afternoon, waiting for her father, John Naugle, to come home from his work as a stonemason and monument maker.
But those happy days soon were to end. Caddy became ill and died in 1901 at the age of 4.
John Naugle was so disturbed by the death of his little girl that his business suffered. Then one day an itinerant mason appeared in town and asked Naugle for a job.
He was hired on the spot and proved to be an excellent mason. He soon heard about the tragic death of Caddy and felt deeply that he wanted to help the Naugles ease their suffering.
Visitors to the shop soon thereafter were astounded to see a remarkable likeness of little Caddy taking shape in stone under the hammer and chisel of the wandering carver.
Some details of the story are missing and it is not clear just how the carver made such a good likeness of Caddy. However it is assumed that he worked from a photograph and from descriptions, given by friends of the Naugles.
At any rate, soon the carving was complete. It showed Caddy standing by the gate, waiting for her father, just as she had done so many times.
The carving was given to the Naugles and was placed on Caddy’s grave.
Then, as though his mission there was completed, the itinerant mason left Salem as mysteriously as he had arrived. He was never seen again in the district.
The story still is told here, but no one ever has been able to provide the name of the man who carved the statue of the little girl at the gate.