A Drone in the Hive

This unusual monument to Daniel Beckel (1813-1862) at Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, 118 Woodland Avenue in Dayton, Ohio, is made even more unusual by the fact that Beckel had nothing to do with bees or bee keeping. Beckel was born in Cornwall, England and became one of Dayton, Ohio’s founding fathers. He built the Beckel House Hotel and Opera House and helped found Dayton’s first bank. According to Angie Hoschouer of Dayton Most Metro, the “Beckel Beehive” symbolizes human industry, faith, education, and domestic virtues.

Daniel Beckel (1813-1862)

They Called Her Moses

A humble gravestone marks the final resting place of abolitionist, wartime spy, and social activist Harriet Tubman (1822-1913) in Fort Hill Cemetery, 19 Fort Street in Auburn, New York. Born Araminta Ross, a slave in Maryland, Harriet escaped to the free states in 1849, where she helped hundreds more escape slavery through the Underground Railroad. During the American Civil War, she served as a scout and spy for the Union Army. After the war, she advocated for women’s suffrage. She died of pneumonia in 1913 at the age of 90 or 91.

Magdalene’s Eyes Opened

Bronze monument to Charles Mather Ffoulke (1841-1909), his wife, Sarah Cushing (1852-1926), and their children in St. Paul’s Rock Creek Cemetery, 201 Allison Street NW, Washington, DC. Charles was a merchant, investment banker, and art collector. Titled “Rabboni”, this sculpture of Mary Magdalene emerging from Jesus’ tomb on Easter was designed by Gutzon Borglum in 1909. The epitaph reads:


Charles Mather Ffoulke (1841-1909)

Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio

Established in 1869 as a nonprofit garden cemetery, Lake View Cemetery at 12316 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio contains a veritable who’s who from Cleveland’s once-storied past, including the remains of U.S. President James A. Garfield. Over 110,000 former residents are interred in its sprawling 285 acres.

Henry Chisholm (1822-1881)

This larger-then-life statue is dedicated to Scottish-American steel magnate Henry Chisholm (1822-1881). Chisholm emigrated to Montreal, Quebec at the age of 20. He steadily built a thriving construction business, then bought the Cleveland Rolling Mill with his brother in 1857. It became one of the largest steel companies in the U.S. His wife, Jean Allen, and he had five children. They are not buried beneath this monument (designed by sculptor Charles Henry Niehaus) but in the family mausoleum nearby.

John Milton Hay (1838-1905)

This intimidating monument was erected in memory of U.S. Secretary of State John Milton Hay (1838-1905). Hay was a lawyer and Abraham Lincoln’s private secretary. He served President William McKinley as Ambassador to Great Britain, and then Secretary of State in 1898. He continued in that position under President Theodore Roosevelt. He was also an author who wrote a ten volume biography of Abraham Lincoln. His epitaph reads: “The fruit of righteousness is sown in place of them that make peace.”

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She Flies at Night

This freestanding bronze statue of a cloaked woman in Forest Lawn Cemetery, 1411 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, New York, was designed by Philadelphia sculptor Harriet Whitney Frishmuth and titled “Aspiration.” It commemorates iron mogul William A. Rogers (1851-1946) and his wife, Eleanor Silliman Rogers, a trustee of Buffalo General Hospital. This statue is one of three in existence.

William A. Rogers (1851-1946)

Glory Denied

Monument to Maj. Gen. George Edward Pickett in Hollywood Cemetery, 412 S. Cherry Street in Richmond, Virginia. George E. Pickett (1825-1875) was a US Army officer who joined the Confederate Army at the outbreak of the American Civil War. Pickett was wounded at the Battle of Gaines’ Mill in 1862 but is mainly known for leading an ill-fated attack at the Battle of Gettysburg popularly known as Pickett’s Charge.

His career ended ignominiously when he lost the Battle of Five Forks in 1865, just eight days before General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. Pickett was married three times. His third wife, LaSalle Corbell Pickett, was 18 years his junior.

George E. Pickett (1825-1875)

Water the Barren Tree

This majestic granite tree is a monument to George W. Hamer (1830-1913), his wife Mary Megahan (1833-1913), their daughter Ida B. Hamer Brant (1863-1889) and her husband, John W. Brant (?-1915), and their three other children in Oak Ridge Cemetery, 1441 Monument Avenue in Springfield, Illinois. John Brant was a railroad engineer and supervisor. Ida died tragically of tuberculosis at the age of 26. Tree-shaped grave markers like this are common in the Midwest, but this one is particularly elaborate, with flowering vines, ferns, and acorns. 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.

George W. Hamer (1830-1913)

The Battle of Sag Harbor, May 1777

A daring raid on Long Island loyalists results in a bloodless victory for colonial rebels during the Revolutionary War.

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The Battle of Sag Harbor (aka Meigs’ Raid) was fought on May 24, 1777 between American patriot forces led by Col. Return Jonathan Meigs and British loyalist forces commanded by Cpt. James Raymond near Sag Harbor on Long Island, New York during the American Revolutionary War. The raid was a stunning success, with the Americans capturing British fortifications at bayonet point without a single casualty.

During the Revolutionary War, Sag Harbor was an important port on Long Island used to resupply British troops and launch raids across Long Island Sound on states like Connecticut. In May 1777, one such raiding party docked at Sag Harbor to join the 70-man Loyalist battalion stationed in a palisade on Meeting House Hill. Patriot Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs assembled a force of 234 men to attack the garrison and spoil their plans, although only 170 made it to Long Island.

Meigs’ small force landed in the early morning hours and divided into two parties. The first headed to the harbor to destroy British boats, and the second, with bayonets fixed, aimed to take the garrison on Meeting House Hill. The attacks took the Loyalists by surprise and only one shot was fired. The Patriots killed six men, captured 90, and destroyed a dozen boats before returning triumphantly to Connecticut.

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