Monday, April 20, 2015
The gravestone marks the grave of Smith Weed, a veteran of the Revolutionary War and father-in-law of poet Alfred Billings Street. Weed died on July 11, 1839 at the age of 85. He was originally interred in the State Street Burying Grounds and removed to Alfred B. Street's family lot around 1869.
The sharply-angled tympanum of the marble headstone seems to imitate the outline of an obelisk-style monument and much of the space is filled with a large draped urn with a flame issuing from its opening. A popular image on headstones from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, flaming urns can represent both immortality or eternal friendship. With the veil or shroud draped around it, an urn often represents the death of an older individual. Such urns are also a nod to the funerary urns of Ancient Rome.