Helping him has been his friend Dale Ackley. Former town historian Sharon Moon and Cemetery of the Evergreens board members have been working at it, too. The undertaking has been immense, and, if they succeed in their goal to restore headstones, it will be very costly. [Read more…] about Revolutionary Veterans in New Lebanon’s Cemetery of the Evergreens
The ossuary under the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini at Via Veneto in Rome houses the skulls and bones of some 4,000 former Capuchin monks who were interred there between 1631 and 1870. The dead were buried without coffin and later exhumed to make room for newly deceased. Their remains were transformed into “decorative designs.”
In the summer of 1867 Mark Twain visited the Capuchin Convent and recorded his observations of the crypt’s “picturesque horrors” in The Innocents Abroad. What the novelist witnessed were arches built of thigh bones; pyramids constructed of “grinning” skulls; and other structures made of shin and arm bones. Walls were decorated with frescoes showing vines produced of knotted vertebrae; tendrils made of sinews and tendons; and flowers formed of knee-caps and toe-nails. [Read more…] about Macabre Mania From Charles Allan Gilbert to Andy Warhol
This week’s guest on The Historians Podcast is Peter Betz of Fulton County who explains how he was able to help a family acquire a grave marker at no cost for a deceased family member who was a United States Army veteran.
Betz is a member of the Perth town council and president of the Perth Center Cemetery Association. He found that a veteran who died in recent years was buried next to his wife who had died in 2010. His wife had a headstone but the veteran, Howard Forgette, did not. [Read more…] about A Grave Marker for an American Veteran
Exploding urban populations during the nineteenth century demanded new solutions towards burying the dead. Traditional congregational graveyards were either full or overcrowded. A combination of practical thinking and the wish to commune with nature (inspired by Romantic poetry) led to the development of serene burial grounds outside the city boundaries.
Founded as a “rural” or “garden” cemetery in 1838, Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery is famous for its picturesque landscape features with evocative names such as Camellia Path, Halcyon Lake, Oaken Bluff, or Vista Hill. Elaborate monuments and mausoleums, designed in an array of architectural styles, honor the Lispenard dynasty (Norman), William Niblo (Gothic), the Steinway family (Classical), and others.
And then there is the Feltman mausoleum, the columns of which feature Corinthian capitals. On each side of the doorway stands a trio of mourning figures. Those on the left hold symbols of faith (cross and doves); those on the right show grief and sorrow. The pediment features two cherubs holding a wreath with the initial F in the center. On top of the temple is a cupola with the Archangel Michael standing guard, sword at the ready. The building serves to celebrate the memory of just one man. Who was this person? A Founding Father maybe? A respected politician (if that is not a contradiction in terms)? A celebrated artist? [Read more…] about A Dog’s Tale: Dachshunds, Hot Dogs, Coney Island & Greenwood Cemetery
Standing like a sentinel over it all is a large statue of Christ. On two sides are engraved the names Ella Frances Wood-Mann and her husband Enos Rogers Mann. This monument sits adjacent to Wood family plots, where over the years Ella’s parents and other family members have been laid to rest. [Read more…] about A Saratoga County Cemetery Mystery
The Historic Chapel, located just down the hill from the Cemetery’s main entrance in Brooklyn, is an icon of Green-Wood’s landscape. Designed in 1911 by the architectural firm of Warren & Wetmore, the Neo-Gothic design features 41 carved window openings, filled with figurative stained glass. [Read more…] about Green-Wood Cemetery’s Historic Chapel Wins Preservation Award
The Friends of the Albany Rural Cemetery will hold a ceremony on Saturday, August 21st to dedicate a military marker for Irish immigrant Civil War Medal of Honor recipient Terrence Begley.
Begley was born in Ireland and raised in Albany. He enlisted as a private in the 7th NY Heavy Artillery regiment, an Albany regiment, on February 11th, 1864.
This Memorial Day week, Kaatscast visited two cemeteries where historians are taking steps to memorialize former Catskills residents in the towns of Delhi and Roxbury. At the Roxbury Methodist Church cemetery, gravestones obscured by years of algae and lichen growth are being restored with a special cleaning agent and elbow grease. And in Delhi, a poorhouse cemetery lost in time is finally getting the recognition and care that it deserves. [Read more…] about A Delaware County Cemeteries Podcast
As the Town of Niagara, NY municipal historian I’m researching the lives of those buried in one of our local cemeteries. Witmer Cemetery was originally the burying ground of the Witmer family, who settled here after arriving from Pennsylvania in 1811. The earliest gravestone in the cemetery is from 1828, but it’s estimated that about 200 people have been buried there since.
I began my research at the front row, where a toppled headstone marked the final resting place of George Martin and Jane, his wife. [Read more…] about Slave To Soldier: George Martin’s Fight For Freedom