Unique sign for Jeannie’s Just Sew Shop, 114 W 2nd Street in Byron, Illinois.
Almost untouchable in life, today anyone can visit the final resting places of these wealthy and powerful figures.
America’s cemeteries are filled with rich and poor alike. In life, these wealthy industrialists were among the most powerful men alive. Yet today, their sometimes humble monuments can be found scattered among a sea of granite stones. A name and date carved into stone tells so little about the incredible lives they must have lived. Here are a few of their stories.
Monument to George Mortimer Pullman (1831-1897) in Graceland Cemetery, at 4001 N. Clark Street in Chicago, Illinois, the city’s premier burial ground. George Pullman invented the Pullman sleeping car. He’s perhaps best well-known for the town he created for his factory workers in Illinois. When his workers went on strike in 1894, President Grover Cleveland intervened and sent several thousand troops to Chicago to break the strike. The violence left 30 dead. Pullman died in 1897 and he is buried in a lead-lined coffin sealed in cement to prevent desecration.
The Battle of Trenton was fought on December 26, 1776 between American forces commanded by General George Washington and British forces commanded by Col. Johann Rahl in Trenton, New Jersey during the American Revolutionary War. The battle was an American victory and a much-needed boost to Patriot morale. In 1893, a 150-foot Beaux-Arts style monument was erected on a high point where George Washington stationed his artillery. The Trenton Battle Monument is located at the intersection of Warren and Broad streets and Pennington and Brunswick avenues. The interior of the monument has been closed for years due to its elevator being inoperable.
Green neon sign for Main’s Quality Ice Cream at The Main Cup restaurant, 14 W Main Street in Middletown, Maryland. It’s rumored that presidents stopped for ice cream here on their way to Camp David, however, Main’s stopped making ice cream in 1969, technically making this a ghost sign.
Statue over the grave of Maj. Gen. Joseph Warren (1741-1775) in Forest Hills Cemetery, at 95 Forest Hills Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts. Joseph Warren was a physician, Free Mason, and Patriot who served as President of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress prior to the Revolutionary War. He dispatched Paul Revere and William Dawes to warn of the British approach, and he died fighting as a private soldier at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Emma Pauline Jones was a Norwegian immigrant who lived at this home (built in 1856) in Rockford, Illinois from the 1920s into the 1950s. Her husband Frank was often away on business, and she spent much of her time with her two beloved Dalmatians, Moxie and Channing. After her husband died in 1941, Emma—who was 66 years old—continued to live with her faithful dogs, but after they passed on, she began to descend into loneliness and dementia. She spent her twilight years sitting in a rocking chair, waiting for loved ones who would never return.
Emma finally sold her home and moved in with a relative, where she died in 1964. According to local legend, she returned to her house on North First Street in her afterlife. Owners of the home have reported strange noises, moving furniture, and even seeing the ghost of an elderly woman in the attic windows. One newlywed couple reported that an old woman appeared in their living room and asked what they were doing in her home, then vanished.
Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is an iconic American short story. First published in 1820, the story has been retold and re-imagined for 200 years. It was set in the Hudson River Valley in North Tarrytown, New York. North Tarrytown changed its name to Sleepy Hollow to capitalize on the story’s notoriety in 1996. The original bridge over the Pocantico River where the Headless Horseman pursued Ichabod Crane has been replaced with a modern concrete and steel bridge, but visitors flock to this community every Halloween to retrace the steps of this famous American tale.