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 [...]

Floods and Schallers IX

Where they lived in Omaha. The story so far: we catch sight of these people under George III through a business card fortuitously preserved advertising their prepping of houses for resale. They lived in London, mostly in what is now called Fitzrovia and a bit further north in Camden. The third generation included my great [...]

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 tombstone. Photo: author. Nick Marks was a [...]

Floods and Schallers VIII

How well did their places survive the blitz? The estimable Bomb Sight web site gives good information about the fate of different streets in London during the blitz. It's worth thinking about how much of the Flood-Schaller world was destroyed, damaged, or spared. Fitzrovia places. Recall that these people lived and worked on Charles Street, [...]

Floods and Schallers VII

The great move to America. As I've intimated before, the family of Cornelius Robert Schaller ended up moving to the United States. A scrawled note by one of his granddaughters (perhaps my grandmother) records the family memory that they came over in 1876 or 1878, but this appears to be wrong, for we find the [...]

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 IV

Six children, all born live: a demographically lucky Victorian family. We've seen that the Cornelius Schaller family had been augmented by a first child, Ellen, and had, for unknown reasons, moved to New York City. In fact, Ellen was an American citizen, and as we'll see in detail in Floods and Schallers V, Robert Cornelius [...]

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 [...]