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Photography

Stories in Stone: Figures Behind Glass

White marble statues preserved behind glass are a unique find in any cemetery excursion.

Funerary art and sculpture is some of the most difficult to preserve. Often outside and exposed to the elements, time takes a toll on even the highest quality pieces. Thieves and vandals are also an unfortunately reality, leading some to encase memorials to their loved ones behind thick glass, hoping to preserve their memory for eternity. There’s something eerie about these serene sculptures frozen in time. Here are just a few I have seen on my travels.

Emily A. Woodruff Keep-Schley (1827-1900)

Lovely white marble statue for Emily A. Woodruff Keep-Schley (1827-1900) in Brookside Cemetery, Watertown, Jefferson County, New York. Emily’s first husband was Henry Keep (1818–1869), one-time president of the New York Central Railroad and then the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. Her second husband, William Schley (1823–1882), was a judge and lawyer.

Categories
Historic America Photography

Stories in Stone: William H. Seward

Monument to U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward (1801-1872), his wife Frances Adeline Miller (1805-1865), and their family in Fort Hill Cemetery, 19 Fort Street in Auburn, Cayuga County, New York. William H. Seward was governor of New York and a U.S. senator before rising to become among the most influential secretaries of state in American history, serving from 1861 to 1869 under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. He was instrumental in preventing European powers from recognizing the Confederacy during the Civil War and was attacked in the same assassination plot that killed Lincoln (though Seward survived).

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Photography

Most Beautiful Cemeteries in the Mid-Atlantic

These historic rural cemeteries are a treasure-trove of art, architecture, and sculpture.

The Mid-Atlantic states are known for their rich history and culture and represent a diverse region of America, from Chesapeake Bay to Long Island. Some of the country’s earliest events, and its most prominent figures, lived and died here, making its cemeteries a treasure trove of art, architecture, and sculpture.

Green-Wood Cemetery in New York City

Green-Wood Cemetery, at 500 25th Street in Brooklyn, New York City, was founded in 1838 as a rural cemetery, providing a garden-like resting place in the heart of the city for over 600,000 former residents. Its Gothic revival gates, designed by Richard M. Upjohn, were designated a New York City Landmark in 1966, and the cemetery itself was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. The Battle of Brooklyn was partially fought on (what became) its 478 acres.

Categories
Mysterious America Photography

Valentown Hall

Levi Valentine built this hall at the junction of High Street and Valentine Road in Victor, New York in 1879 in the hopes of creating a commercial center for a new town along a railroad. However, the railroad never came and the building was never used. It would have been one of the first indoor shopping malls in the country. Since being purchased by J. Sheldon Fisher in 1940, it has operated as a museum and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

Rumors abound that the old building is haunted–vehemently denied by its current owners. However, in 2006 it appeared on an episode of Ghost Hunters and in 2010 on an episode of Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files. One unverified story is that a jealous husband committed a murder in the fourth-floor ballroom, and that human remains were found in the basement. The ghosts are said to be either attracted to or attached to the hundreds of antiques housed at Valentown.

Categories
Historic America Photography

Redcoats at Sacket’s Harbor

Reenactors dressed as British soldiers fire a volley during an event commemorating the Second Battle of Sacket’s Harbor, fought on May 29, 1813. Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site is located in northwestern New York on Black Harbor Bay, Lake Ontario, in the town of Sackets Harbor.

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Photography

Stories in Stone: Preston King

Relief bust of U.S. Senator Preston King (1806-1865) in Ogdensburg/Riverside Cemetery on State Route 812 in Ogdensburg, New York. Morbidly obese his whole life, Preston King began his political career as a Democrat, served in Congress for two terms as a Free Soiler, then joined the Republican Party and was elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate in 1857. He was a staunch ally of President Abraham Lincoln in the 1864 election. After Lincoln’s assassination, President Andrew Johnson appointed him Collector of the Port of New York, where he committed suicide by jumping in New York Harbor.

Categories
Historic America Photography

Stories in Stone: Cornelius Tyler Longstreet

Pyramid for the Longstreet family in Oakwood Cemetery, 940 Comstock Avenue, next to Syracuse University, in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York. Cornelius Tyler Longstreet (1814-1881) was a clothing manufacturer, banker, and one of Syracuse’s earliest and most wealthy residents. He built a Tudor-style mansion, later called “Longstreet’s Folly,” on the outskirts of Syracuse but later traded it with Alonzo Yates’ home so his family could live closer to the city. Several generations of Longstreets are interred in this large stone pyramid. Apparently it once contained elegant furnishings, sculptures, and even a Persian rug, but has been sealed to prevent vandalism.