Easy Chair Grave in Geneva, Illinois

An unusual sight sticks out among traditional headstones Oak Hill Cemetery. On the side of a slope, a full-sized armchair that would look squashy and comfortable if it weren’t carved out of stone. This stone chair marks the final resting place of Loie and Hal Naylor. On the back of the chair, above the Naylors’ names and their birth and death dates, a single word has been carved: “Pals.”

The Naylors both worked at St. Charles School for Boys, a residential facility for “neglected, dependent and delinquent youth.” Hal and Loie were the officers, or houseparents, of one of the cottages on the school’s 1,200-acre campus. Hal also served the school’s barber.

Loie died in 1926, and Hal died in 1952. That appears to be when the chair was carved.

The chair stands atop a low pedestal of black granite with a step cut into it and invites anyone who visits to climb and sit. Countless people have done so and been photographed in the chair. But despite decades of posthumous research, no one can seem to figure out exactly why the Naylors wanted people to sit on their graves.

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