Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York

Forest Lawn Cemetery, at 1411 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, New York, is a Victorian rural cemetery established in 1849. Over 161,000 former residents of the “City of Light” are interred within its 269 acres, including U.S. President Millard Fillmore and the 49 victims of the Colgan Air Flight 3407 crash. True to its name, Forest Lawn is also an important arboretum, with over 3,500 trees spread over its sprawling grounds. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Blue Sky Mausoleum

Modern architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed this unique mausoleum in 1928, but it wouldn’t be until 76 years later that his apprentice Anthony Puttnam would complete the project. The Blue Sky Mausoleum, called that because its crypts face the sky rather than each other in an enclosed structure, contains 24 burial vaults. It sits on a gentle slope overlooking a small pond.

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Last Illumination

Monument to Thomas Trueman Gaff (1854-1923) in St. Paul’s Rock Creek Cemetery, 201 Allison Street NW, Washington, DC. This bronze figure in a hooded robe was sculpted by Jules B. Dechin in Paris, 1922. Gaff’s epitaph reads “EXCEPIT ILLUM MAGNA, ET AETERNA PAX”, which is Latin for “Welcomed by a great and everlasting peace”.

Thomas Trueman Gaff (1854-1923)

Angel Unfurled

A majestic bronze angel dedicated to William and Dorothea Rueger in Hollywood Cemetery, 412 S. Cherry Street in Richmond, Virginia. William Rueger (1857-1936) was born in Richmond and his wife, Dorothea W. Vocke (1859-1909) was a German immigrant from Vlotho in North Rhine-Westphalia. The couple had one son.

William Rueger owned a hotel and saloon, carrying on the family business from his father and grandfather. He opened the luxurious Hotel Rueger at 901 Bank Street in 1913, which later changed hands and became the Commonwealth Park Suites Hotel. The angel’s scroll reads “They that lie here rest in peace.”

William Rueger (1857-1936)

Bitter Veils of Solemnity

Monument to James and Sarah Schermerhorn and family in Cortland Rural Cemetery, 110 Tompkins Street, Cortland, Cortland County, New York. James A. Schermerhorn was a lawyer of Dutch ancestry. His father had been a banker, legislator, and one-time mayor of Rochester, New York. At least ten Schermerhorns are buried in the shadow of this lovely granite monument.

Cortland Rural Cemetery was established in 1853. Its drive is lined with wonderfully informative interpretive signs with information about prominent burials, interesting monuments, and the materials from which those monuments were made.

Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois

Bohemian National Cemetery, at 5255 N. Pulaski Road in Chicago, Illinois, was created in 1877 by Chicago’s ethnic Czech community, and has since expanded to 126 acres. Approximately 120,000 of the city’s former residents are buried here, including victims of the SS Eastland shipwreck. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

Bohemian Civil War Memorial

Erected in 1892, this bronze statue of a private in the Union Army holding an American flag is dedicated to the 18 Civil War veterans buried in Bohemian National Cemetery. It was designed by sculptor Joseph Klir and called the Bohemian Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument. Its inscription reads “Pro Novou Vlast”, or “for the new country”. Like many immigrant groups, Czechs fought on both sides, though primarily for the North.

Kropacek

This beautiful neoclassical granite statue of a cloaked woman is a tribute to Vincencie Kropacek (1863-1944) and her husband, Jan Kropacek (1860-1906). The woman stands next to a pedestal with a vase or urn. She appears to be holding reeds or palms in her right hand.

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Only This and Nothing More

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was a master of early Victorian horror and detective literature, and one of my favorite authors. His works include “The Raven,” “The Black Cat,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and many more. When he died penniless in 1849, he was buried in an unmarked grave in the Westminster Presbyterian Church cemetery.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

His fans raised funds, and architect George A. Frederick designed a monument for Poe in 1871, and it was dedicated in 1875. Poe was exhumed and reburied near the front of the churchyard. In 1913, a man named Orrin C. Painter placed another stone marking Poe’s original burial site.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

Delicate Touch

This beautiful bronze neoclassical relief of a woman laying flowers in Green Mount Cemetery, 1501 Greenmount Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland, is dedicated to lawyer Harry Norman Baetjer (1882-1969) and his wife, Katherine Bailey Bruce Baetjer (1881-1923). The couple had four children, including 2Lt Edwin George Baetjer, II. Edwin was killed in action aboard a B-29 when it crashed in China after a bombing raid over Anshan in what was then the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo.

Katherine Bailey Bruce Baetjer (1881-1923)