Major General John Frederick Hartranft (1830-1889), sometime governor of Pennsylvania, was buried in Norristown’s Montgomery Cemetery. His generous plot, in a remote corner of the cemetery, was embellished by a ponderous obelisk donated by the Pennsylvania National Guard. His obelisk and plot formed an attractive view on a hot summer day, and I offer that view to you here (figure 1).

Figure 1. Hartranft plot with obelisk.

iPhone XS with 58 mm Moment lens. Edited in Photos on mac. Boosted contrast, darkened shadows. Blues saturated a bit and their luminescense decreased. Definition according to the default setting, and sharpened.

And I’d have left it there but for looking at the obelisk to get the dates of his life. When I saw the medallion bas relief portrait (figure 2), I was dismayed to see that it had been used as a target by would-be sharpshooters with a .22 in the nearby neighborhood. See, they hit the granite surface around the medallion several times, and they also nicked the bead and reel molding above it a couple of times.

Figure 2. Hartranft obelisk. Bas relief portrait with bullet holes. Montgomery Cemetery, Norristown, PA. Photo: author.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Arlington, VA

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