Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fannie and Ella Fitch

These days, the word "pets" generally refers to domestic animals such as cats and dogs and one doesn't usually hear the word applied to children, except in not-so-complimentary instances such as "teacher's pet." So, this little marble gravestone in memory of "Our Pets" on the high eastern edge of the Middle Ridge (not far from the graves of Governor William Marcy and painter Ezra Ames) is a poignant, but pretty surprise.

Decorated with carved roses and other embellishments, this touching tribute to Fannie and Ella includes a dainty marble likeness of the girls, perhaps copied from a photograph or portrait. Though the elements have darkened the white marble to gray, the features of the children have suffered less erosion that many monuments here.

The back of the stone is somewhat more worn and it is very difficult to read, but it seems both girls died in 1863 and that they were the daughters of Dennis M. Fitch.  Census records from 1850 show that jeweler Dennis Fitch and his wife, Eliza, resided in Troy.  In addition to these two girls, they had three sons.  By the late 1860s, he seems to have relocated his silversmith and jewelry business to New York City.  He is, however, buried here in the same lot. 

There is an epitaph on the reverse of the stone, too, but only the last lines are legible:  And let them hereforth be Messengers of love between our human hearts and Thee.

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