Friday, September 26, 2014

Correspondence of the Boston Traveller

The following account of a visit by "The Boston Traveller" to the Cemetery appeared in the Albany Argus on July 31, 1845.  The account was dated July 22 and signed only "A Son of the Pilgrims."

I have just visited the new Cemetery, about three miles from Albany. It is in the township of Watervliet on the Troy road, and a little more than halfway to that city. It affords a drive, inside the fence, of five miles. The entrance and grounds are not yet completed, but they certainly bit fair to excel any similar ones in the country. Soon after entering, you pass through an oak filled opening, filled with gradual mounds, and approach to ravines suitable for burial places. These glens are among the most picturesque that can be conceived. In crossing them, and the streams which flow through a portion of them, you traverse bridges built of the trunks and limbs of tress, cut from the grounds. These rustic structures are strongly put together with railings formed in various shapes, adapted to the place. It is intended to plant trailing vines at each end, and thus cover their upper sides with foliage.

The views from these natural passage ways are some of the most charming the eye ever beheld. The gentle sloping or steep banks – the shady coves, hidden away among the overhanging trees – the palisades of mossy rocks, wreathed with rude crowns of bending bought – the opening river in the distance, with its dotted banks and vessels – present a scene of rural beauty rarely equaled. Intermingled among the bridges and winding paths are several of the most delightful lakes and cascades. Sufficient wood has been cleared away from their borders to admit the light of the sun and moon to the greatest possible advantage, affording the sky, clouds, trees, and hillsides a perfect reflection in the limpid waters. Here, overlooking mimic seas, burial spots have been already selected. Most cordially do I commend the good judgment of those that choose them. – Several open knolls and eminences are to be found, from which the river, Troy, and the public road are finely commanded. On one of these is admirable site for an observatory to overlook the enclosure. A large lot in the rear is intended for a flower garden and shrubbery nursery, where those who wish to obtain such memorials for their loved ones, can be readily supplied – the avails to be devoted to improving the Cemetery.

There have been, as yet, no burials, but it is probable, there are some bodies to be removed from other grounds. The place cannot but be a favorite with the Albanians, and all who pay visits to its sacred, silent shades. The movement was first suggested in a sermon preached by one of the clergymen of Albany – Rev. Dr. Welch. He is now on the Board of Manager, and is one of the most efficient members. Should you ever visit Albany, gentlemen, be sure to drive through this very sweet spot.


The author of the article states that there were no burials yet, but records show that David Strain was buried here in May of 1845.  There was likely no monument in the Strain lot yet.  The rustic wooden bridges described were later replaced with iron and stone bridges;  most of these are long gone, too. 

The photo above shows an old monument hidden away in one of the picturesque glens the Boston Traveller expressed admiration for.  It stands near the remains of Consecration Lake.

No comments:

Post a Comment