Friday, July 18, 2014

A Stone With Symbols

Located in the Stone family plot where South Ridge Road winds uphill from the main office, this headstone has sunk into the earth and may be truncated, but the upper portion is covered with symbols. 

At the center, there is a hand with heart on the palm which often represents charity.  Beneath the hand are three chain links.  Both are symbols often found of the graves of Odd Fellows, though the hand-and-heart is also associated with the Shakers.  There are two symbols commonly found on the graves of Masons - a carpenters square to the left of the hand and an all-seeing eye above it.  To the right of the hand is an image that resembles the divining rods used to douse for water.  This, too, is a symbol associated with the masons. 

The lot contains the graves of Julia Jay Stone (died December 11, 1848, age 1), Kyes Stone (died April 16, 1855, age 46), Alfred Stone (died September 24, 1859, age 50), Mary A. Jay Stone (died October 2, 1861, age 48), Nettie W. Stone (died March 14, 1877, age 22), Henry Alfred Stone (died October 12, 1877, age 1), Florence Stone (died March 20, 1885, age 13),  and Charles H. Stone (died December 4, 1894, age 41). 

Kyes Stone's name is carved on the tall marble monument at the center of the lot, along with the name of his wife, Mary A. Jay.  Nettie and Florence have small headstones to the right of that larger monument.  This stone with symbols is very likely the grave of Alfred Stone who, according to the 1850 census, was a printer.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cicero Loveridge


This marble headstone in the shadow of a large old tree is quite easy to overlook.  It is an unassuming monument with an inscription that is very difficult to read as the stone has darkened and the delicately carved letters have eroded.  Fortunately, publisher Joel Munsell preserved this epitaph in a list of inscriptions from the Dutch Reformed Burying Grounds in Volume 6 of his Annals of Albany.

Self-educated and highly gifted, Early distinguished, As well in his profession of the Law, As an accomplished writer, And an eloquent orator.  

His many friends, Mourning in his untimely death, The blight of so much promise, Have erected This tribute to his cherished memory.

Esteemed and beloved, For his generous nature, true heart, Unswerving faith, And unsullied integrity.

"To war on Fraud entrenched with Power, On smooth pretence, and specious wrong, This task was in his life's brief hour, For this he banished sky and song.”


Loveridge died in October 1842.  His obituary appeared in newspapers as far away as Utica.  The Troy Daily Whig ran the following notice:   

DIED,  In Albany on the afternoon of the 27th in the 34th year of his age, after an illness of a few days, CICERO LOVERIDGE, Esq., Counselor at Law, formerly Editor of the Troy Mail and recently Police Justice of the city of Albany.  Thus in the flower of early manhood, and with scarce a note of warning, while the star of promise was shining brightly over the future, has he been cut down like the grass which perisheth, leaving void in the bosom of a young, interesting and amiable family, which nothing earthy can supply.  The friends and acquaintances of the deceased are invited to attend his funeral from his late residence, 33 Beaver street, Albany, this afternoon, at 3 o'clock.

The Schenectady Cabinet's obituary also noted that his death was the result of scarlet fever.  The Albany Argus described him as "a sprightly and vigorous writer" who was "lamented by a large circle of friends, and all who enjoyed his acquaintance bore testimony to his estimable and social qualities."

Beyond his legal profession, Loveridge was also a poet.  A couple of years after his death, the Saratoga Republican printed some verses from his pen, "The Home of My Youth," which read in part:

For these, most gladly would I give
My lightest hopes, my brightest dreams;
And Reason's wide prerogative, 
And Learning's dim, tho' boysted beams,
For I am weary of the strife
With which a busy world is rife
And vain ambitions schemes ---
Of toling, with a solemn tread
O'er withered hopes, and pleasures dead.

Cicero Loveridge's wife, Gloranah Groesbeck, died in 1865 and is also interred in this lot.  Their son, Clinton Loveridge, was a landscape painter.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Henry M. Galpin

Lt. Col. Henry M. Galpin was born in Fly Creek, New York on Independence Day 1836.  Twenty-five when the Civil War began, he would suffers numerous wounds over the course of the conflict.  He was wounded in the back of his at Malvern Hill, Virgina in 1862 and then in the eye at Spotsylvania in May of 1864.  He was shot through both thighs at Cedar Creek late that same year.

Despite those wounds, he survived the war.  He died on March 9, 1871 of consumption.  He was thirty-five years old.

Buried in his family's South Ridge lot, his monument is full of symbolism.  The cut tree without branches represents a young life ended without descendants.   A flag is draped on the tree while a cannon and a shield (carved with his name and the dates of his birth and death) rest against the stump.  The stone pedestal is very difficult to read as the soft marble has weathered, but it lists some of the battles in which he fought.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Boulder From Mount Hope


The book, Traveler's Tales - Rumors and Legends of the Albany-Saratoga Region by Mark MacGregor Steese and Sam McPheeters contains scores of anecdotes about ghosts, odd happenings, and local legends drawn mostly from newspaper clippings and old books. Among the stories is this one about Mount Hope Drive in the Kenwood area at Albany's southern edge.

The old Prentice Mansion on Mount Hope Drive, in Kenwood, was long the subject of ghostly tales.  Most of these concerned the Prentice burial vault, which was somewhere on the estate -- no one knew where.  The most popular tale was that there were particular times during the month, when the moon could only be discerned faintly behind thick shrouds of cloud, passersby might see in the vicinity of the vault, used as a temporary resting place for some members of the Prentice family, the specters of those people, clad in their cerements, discussing matters of days long past.

In the forties, the vault was rediscovered by some Albany boys.  When the earth was cleared away and the rusting padlock removed, the massive hinged slab covering the entrance was lifted, and the chamber was entered.  It was found to be empty.  Whether or not this dispelled the ghost stories in not known.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Agness Bratt


The inscription on the old, tilting stone reads:  Sacred to the Memory of Agness Bratt Relict of Derrick Bratt Age 42 years, 9 months & 20 days.

Despite it's age, there is no record of this stone in the old State Street Burying Grounds.  It may have come from a private family graveyard or it may have been removed from the Burying Grounds before the Albany Common Council organized an inventory of graves to be transferred to the Rural Cemetery's Church Grounds in the late 1860s.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Documenting The Potter's Field


 Tucked between the plots for St. Peter's Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Church within Section 49 of the Albany Rural Cemetery is the Potter's Field which contains remains moved from the previous Potter's Field at the State Street Burying Grounds and new burials during the late 1800s.

The Potter's Field at the Church Grounds blog

List of known burials in the Potter's Field

Monday, June 23, 2014

Simeon D. Myers


Buried in an otherwise unmarked grave inside the lot of Abasalom Anderson and family is Simeon D. Myers. 

Born in Watervliet in 1865, he was an employee of the famed Delvan House on Broadway in Albany on the night of December 30, 1894.  The fire that destroyed the hotel became one of the city's greatest tragedies as nineteen lives were lost.  Many of the victims were, like Simeon, employees of the hotel.  A number of them were buried in the neighboring St. Agnes Cemetery, but this young man was laid to rest in the lot of his maternal grandfather on the South Ridge.  His parents, John and Sarah Myers, were also interred here. 

See also:  Edward Delavan
               Delavan Hotel Fire