Pocahontas!

One result of trawling cemeteries for interesting monuments is that you occasionally get sidetracked into interesting investigations that have little to do with a monument. The provocation here is the headstone of Pocahontas Bolling (Smith) Todd, who was born in 1877 in Winchester, VA. The handsome marker is not particularly striking, although I very much […]

Our buddy, gone before.

The Mt. Hebron Cemetery never disappoints. A couple of years ago my wife and I came across the tomb of Willie N. P. Lockhart (figure 1). It is touching and, for that age in that cemetery, modest. The anagraphic inscription: WILLIE N. P.Son ofJ & AMANDA L. LOCKHART.Died March 11th 1870Aged 12 Yrs & 9 […]

The Brevitt Glaize portrait in Mt. Hebron Cemetery, Winchester, VA

As I once walked the grounds of Mt. Hebron contemplating my mortality, I spotted a boy sitting on one of the monuments in the distance. Scenting a treasure and coming closer, I discovered the heilige Kuh! monument (figure 1) of David Brevitt Glaize, only child of David S. and Elizabeth B. Glaize, 1888-1905. He died […]

The astonishing Sons of Maryland Monument in Loudon Park National Cemetery, Baltimore

Despite our Baltimore destination, our journey begins in Washington, D.C. If you live in or have visited Washington, you may have seen Montgomery Meigs’ Pension Building, now the National Building Museum. Built from 1882 to 1887, this magnificent structure is one of the few utilitarian American Victorian buildings which can stand up against the finest […]

American Funerary Portraits in Glass and Stone

Among the Romans, it was very common, in some periods more than others, to have a portrait of yourself as a part of, or on the premises of, your tomb. It was an assertion of selfhood and existence and social significance before death; or it allowed a commemorator to assert these things for the dead. […]

Five splendid funerary monuments in Falls Church

The most splendid, consistent, thematically coherent, and vibrantly alive tombstones I have ever seen are those erected by the extended Marks family in the Oakwood Cemetery of Falls Church. They are large and summon forth an astonishing array of images from their lives. Have a look: Nick Marks was a musician: there’s his Gibson up […]

Ivy Hill Cemetery, Alexandria, VA

Christina and I spent about an hour in Ivy Hill this afternoon (30 June 2019) before dinner. This was our first visit, merely a quick survey. There aren’t mausolea, and the monuments are not terribly interesting or provocative. A closer look may correct this superficial impression. The grounds are pretty well tended and really pretty, […]

Floods and Schallers VI

The Great Necropolis. On 12 April 1866 Cornelius Washington Schaller, brother of my great-grandmother Florence May Schaller, died at the age of 3 years, 6 months, and 4 days. Lines of evidence point to the grief that any family would feel at such a wrenching occurrence, evidence that must not be overlooked even though it […]