Parson's monument where the road turns from Cypress and leads out to the Cemetery's South Gate.
The vault's construction actually gives a hint about one of its occupants, Charles DuMary (or Dumary). Born in 1822 in Albany to Irish parents., he appears in the 1850 census records as a stone cutter living in Troy. He enlisted during the Civil War and was eventually promoted to 1st Lieutenant of Companies C&G of the 169th Infantry. Returning to Troy, he resumed his trade and later census records list him firs as a marble cutter, then as a master stone cutter. It is very possible that this vault was his own work. He died of Bright's Disease in 1879.
Despite its fortress-like appearance, this vault was the site of one of the Rural Cemetery's worst incidents of vandalism. In June, 1972, someone forced open the doors and pried open several crypts inside. Charles Dumary's crypt was broken open and part of his remains removed from his coffin.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Sunday, May 12, 2013
It's a nice stone of dark granite, a stone which became popular for cemetery monuments because of its durability compared to marble and sandstone. But the simple design of the stone and its location aren't what make it special; it's the inscription carved into the curved top. It reads JAMIE'S MAMMA.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
By the time the Civil War began, the State Street Burying Grounds were little used for new graves. The Albany Rural Cemetery was two decades old and as the city began to bury its fallen soldiers, a special section was set aside for those who were not buried in family plots and those who had no one to claim their bodies (including several unknowns). But, before it was closed for good, the old Burying Grounds became the temporary resting place of a drummer boy named George H. Barnard.
George was born in Albany in 1844, the son of George A. and Louisa Barnard. The 1850 census lists his siblings as William, Louisa, and Creswell. The 1858 city directory lists his father as a clerk at 444 Broadway (an address that included law offices, an insurance agency, and a hat and fur shop). The family seems to have lived at 20 Quackenbush Street.
Young George served under General Abner Doubleday, a Ballston Spa native. Still in his teens, he was a drummer boy when he was killed on September 17, 1862 at the Battle of Antietam. His body was returned to Albany and he was buried in the Dutch Reformed section of the State Street Burying Grounds. When the city's Common Council closed the Burying Grounds a few years after the war's end and removed the graves to the Church Grounds, George H. Barnard's remains was transferred to a family plot on the North Ridge of the Rural Cemetery.
His final resting place is marked with a small white marble headstone. The top is carved with roses and the front reads "Killed At Antietam." There is some additional text near the base, but it has eroded. The word "soldier" remains visible, though.
The Washington Post has a brief, but good overview of the role that young men like George H. Barnard played in the Civil War. Drummer boys were often sentimentalized in poems (including one by Alfred Billings Street), ballads, and inexpensive engravings of the era.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Saturday, April 13, 2013
The Rural Cemetery is the final resting place of a survivor of Titanic, an Albany man named Gilbert M. Tucker, Jr.. He was the grandson of Luther Tucker, the well-known publisher of The Country Gentleman, a periodical for farmers, and the son and namesake of author Gilbert M. Tucker, Sr..
Last year (for the centennial of Titanic's sinking), the Times Union ran an excellent article on Tucker, who boarded Lifeboat 7 - which was launched only half filled - after the ship struck an iceberg and had to live with the stigma of surviving a disaster that claimed so many men, women, and children. The article includes photos of the Glenmont home where Tucker lived.
Tucker's headstone is one of a number of simple granite markers which surround his grandfather's handsome obelisk which overlooks Moordanaers Kill from the South Ridge. A large, simple stone cross also marks the family lot.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Kate Stoneman's granite headstone stands on a slight rise above the footpath running along the south side of the Middle Ridge. In front of the monument is a bronze plaque which gives a short history of New York's first female member of the Bar.
Kate Stoneman was the first woman admitted to practice law in New York State. After training in a private firm, her application to join the Bar was rejected because of her gender. She then successfully campaigned to amend the Code of Civil Procedure to permit the admission of qualified applicants without regard to gender or race. Her admission to the NYS Bar in 1886 paved the way for thousands of women and minorities who followed. Ms. Stoneman continued her legal education by attending Albany Law School and, in 1898, became the first woman to graduate.
Albany Law School celebrates Kate Stoneman every April and maintains an informational site about her.