Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the second oldest rural cemetery in the nation. It was established in 1836 on 74 acres of land overlooking the Schuylkill River. Its lovely neoclassical gatehouse was designed in a Roman Doric style by architect John Notman (1810-1865). Laurel Hill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1998.
Brig. Gen. Hugh Mercer (1726-1777) was a Scottish-American physician who settled in Fredericksburg, Virginia and was a personal friend of George Washington. He fought in the French and Indian War and in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, where he was killed at the Battle of Princeton.
Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade (1815-1872), nicknamed the “Old Snapping Turtle,” is most famous for commanding the Union Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Gettysburg. He commanded the V Corps during the Battle of Fredericksburg and replaced Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker as commander of the army. His star faded after Gettysburg, however, as General Ulysses S. Grant personally directed operations in the Eastern Theater. He made Philadelphia his home and died of pneumonia brought on by his old war wounds.
The Schoellkopf Memorial Well in Forest Lawn Cemetery, 1411 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, New York, commemorates Paul A. Schoellkopf, Jr. (1917-2000). It is ringed by delicately-carved bronze, neoclassical figures dancing in a circle. The Schoellkopfs are a legendary Buffalo family dating back several generations to Jacob F. Schoellkopf, whose mastery of hydroelectric power on the Niagara River made him a fortune and led to the creation of the Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. Paul Schoellkopf, Jr. served on the boards of several prominent corporations, as well as the Buffalo Sabres ice hockey team.
This angelic monument in Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th Street in Brooklyn, New York City, is dedicated to composer and pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869) and his brother, Edward George (1836-1863). Louis and George were from New Orleans, where Louis developed a taste for Latin American and Creole music. He was known as the “Valkyrie of the Piano” for his virtuoso performances. This current “Angel of Music” statue, designed by sculptors Giancarlo Biagi and Jill Burkee in 2012, replaced an older statue that was destroyed by vandalism in 1959.
This regal granite chair is a monument to saloon-keeper and cigar maker Patrick Dowling (1856-1896), his wife Ruth A. Page Dowling (1862-1944), and their daughter, Della (1893-1943) in Oak Ridge Cemetery, 1441 Monument Avenue in Springfield, Illinois. Chair-shaped grave markers are common in the Midwest, but this one is particularly elaborate, with draped cloth, ferns, tassels, vines, and a harp. It was carved by Springfield stonemason Edward Levanius. Oak Ridge Cemetery is the second-most visited cemetery in the United States, and its 365 acres are the final resting place for over 75,000 dead.
Elegant monument to Canadian shoe manufacturer Oscar Dufresne (1875-1936) and his wife, Alexandrine Pelletier (?-1935) in Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, at 4601 Côte-des-Neiges Road in Montreal, Quebec. Oscar was the older brother of Marius Dufresne, an engineer, architect, and entrepreneur. Oscar went on to become the majority shareholder of Slater Shoe, and a noted philanthropist and patron of the arts.
Alexandrine tragically died suddenly in 1935 on a trip to Florida, and Oscar followed in 1936, just weeks prior to his adopted daughter’s wedding. The inscription on their monument, “Mors pax aeterna”, is a Latin phrase meaning “Death, eternal peace”. Apparently the original design for the sleeping woman was so risqué it had to be changed because the cemetery authorities refused to allow it.