Featured Gravestone – Ruth Mead

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Section:  Garrstson Methodist Episcopal Church

Material:  White marble

A small stone, probably truncated during its transfer.  Darkened surface and some wear to inscription.

Inscription:  Ruth Mead died 1843

This plain stone gives very little information on the deceased;  her age and date of death are not provided.  The surname Mead was fairly common in Albany at the time and this woman appears several times on newspaper lists of individuals with letters or other mail awaiting them at the Albany post office.

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The Book of Burials – In The English Church

The Book of Burials also contains the names of individuals who were, for reasons not stated, buried at the English and Dutch churches, but included in the Dutch Reformed Church’s burial records.

 The English church was St. Peter’s Episcopal which, at the time, stood in the center of State Street near Lodge Street.  Its graveyard was on the north side of the church. Continue reading

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Markers of Famed Albanians ‘Rescued’ in 1945

hookerinknicknewsAbove:  George E. Weisenforth, at left, and Harold W. Littlejohn, employees of Stephen A. Scullen, Loudonville contractor, raise the headstone of Philip Hooker, famed Albany architect, in long neglected section of Albany Rural Cemetery, now being improved. Headstones will be cleaned and replaced in a two-acres area of the cemetery.

Seventy-five years after thousands of graves were relocated from the State Street Burying Grounds to the Church Grounds lot at the Rural Cemetery, the condition of this final resting place had deteriorated to the point that a contractor was assigned the task of clearing the badly overgrown field, locating hundreds of historic headstones to be cleaned, identified, and set in rows.   An article in the October 29, 1945 edition of The Knickerbocker News gave some details of the project. Markers of Famed Albanians ‘Rescued’ By Francis P. Kimball Burial places of Philip Hooker, noted architect, Gen. Peter Gansevoort, Revolutionary hero, and other famed Albanians, neglected and virtually lost for more than half a century, are being “rescued” and identified as a result of a reconstruction project covering two acres in Albany Rural Cemetery. Work on the project has just been started under a contract awarded to Stephen A. Scullen, Loudonville, on recommendations of Charles B. Heisler, cemetery superintendent. In a special report to the cemetery association, Mr. Heisler asserted the area had fallen into such neglect as to become a “wilderness.” Continue reading

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Featured Gravestone – Sophia Bullen

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Section:  Garretson Station Methodist Episcopal

Material:  White marble

A very small headstone with a stylized willow tree filling the tympanum.  Bottom portion of stone is broken, surface has considerable wear.

Inscription:  Sophia Bullen, Daughter of J & S Bullen Died August 26, 1834 Age 19 months

While the condition of the stone is poor, it was possible to identify it by the Cemetery’s burial records.  There are only two Sophias listed in the Church Grounds section and only one in this congregation’s lot.

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1832 – Cholera & The State Street Burying Grounds

brksbyrwl In 1832, Albany was among a number of cities struck hard by an outbreak of cholera.  The following January, the Albany Evening Journal published an itemized list of expenses incurred by the city during the epidemic.  Included among the expenses were various costs relating to burials, particularly in the Potters Field at the State Street Burying Grounds.  The list gives at least a partial glimpse into the deadly impact of the illness. Cholera Expenses From The Chamberlain’s Report to The Common Council, January 1833 The bulk of the burial related expenses are listed under Schedule G (with the heading, “Coffins, Grave-Yards & Extra Burials), but a number appear in the other schedules. Continue reading

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Jeremiah Field and The Headstone That Was Not Lost

004One of the older sandstone slabs at the edge of the Dutch Reformed section of the Church Grounds and previously pictured in the post, The Oldest Stones, can now be identified as a gravestone long assumed to have been discarded after it was discovered during mid-19th century excavations near the site of the old Dutch Reformed burial ground on Beaver Street near South Pearl.  The article posted yesterday, Ancient Albanians, provided the needed details to identify the stone which was described as “thrown out” along with that of Albany’s second Mayor, Johannes Abeel.

Jeremiah Field and The Headstone That Was Not Lost at gardenalley.net

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Ancient Albanians

The article below was published in the Albany Journal on July 31, 1888 and, while the container here is described as a flour barrel, it relates to the same discovery of remains covered in a second article published on August 2 – see Bones In A Sugar Barrel.  Any question marks or brackets in the body of the article indicate that the newspaper is illegible in those places. 

The Albany Journal, Tuesday, July 31, 1888

ANCIENT ALBANIANS

Some Of Their Bones Dumped Into A Flour Barrel

Excavations on Beaver Street Disclose the Crumbling Remnants of Dutch Burghers – A Former Graveyard Under Pick and Shovel – Antique Inscriptions on Tombstones

Three skulls and a number of thigh bones, ribs and other of the smaller bones of human skeletons were unearthed Tuesday afternoon in front of the old Jackson corps armory on Beaver street. Together with the space in front of the old armory building and the old public market building site, the [illegible] between Beaver street and the old Dutch church was used as a burial ground by the congregation of that church many years ago. The Dutch church on Beaver street was built in 1805, when the tombstones and the remains of members of the congregation who had been buried in the original Dutch church burying plat at the intersection of State street and Broadway, were taken up and re-interred at the Beaver street house of worship. Continue reading

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