Fragment

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This piece of marble appears to be the lower portion of a headstone.   The upper part with the deceased’s name, dates, and other information is missing; though it’s impossible to say whether this breakage happened while the stone was in its original location, during the removal to Albany Rural Cemetery, or at some point after being placed in the Church Grounds.  The upper portion may yet be in the Church Grounds as there are more than a few partial stones laid among the complete grave markers.

In his multi-volume Annals of Albany, Joel Munsell included complete text from inscriptions in the Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian, and Episcopal sections of the State Street Burying Grounds prior to the transfer of remains and headstones to the Rural Cemetery, but no inscription in the Annals matches this one which makes it impossible to identify the deceased without the missing piece.  The epitaph reads:

My companion’s departed before me.  Afflictions no more shall she know.  Her spirit has landed in glory.  Her hours are finished below.

The white marble has darkened, though the text is generally legible.  Unfortunately, a large portion of the upper right corner has broken off from what seems to have been a finely carved stone.  Such additional damage is not uncommon to the stones in the Church Grounds as they lied flat or almost flat on the earth and are subject to erosion, damage from the weight of snow, and from the wheels of mowers passing over the rows of gravestones.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Fragment

  1. Nice work with these biographies! I was working up one myself after having taken some photos there recently, and found your blog when looking for information. I’ve been doing more photo taking just over the fence in Beth Emeth, though, and in their older cemetery in Glenmont. Most of the latter are online on findagrave.com now.

    It’s a shame the stones are all flat like that, which I understand leads to them wearing away faster. Standing them back up might not be practical, but I wonder if a roof over them might do some good (and also do away with grass and weeds growing between them).

    The stones aren’t laid out the way they were when they were originally moved; possibly you addressed that in one of your earlier posts. See:
    Kimball, Francis P. “Markers of Famed Albanians ‘Rescured.'” Knickerbocker News [Albany, NY]. October 29, 1945: 12B cols 1-3.
    If I understand that article correctly, some of the headstones had been stacked on top of each other originally. When one reads about the state of the State Street Burying Grounds, one feels like history repeated itself in the move itself in shorter time than in the entire history of the Burying Grounds: they’d “been almost entirely neglected, the fences being destroyed, and the grounds used for pasturing purposes […] desecration of so sacred a spot is in the highest degree discreditable to the city authorities and the churches interested” and yet the intention to “cause the removal of the remains of the neglected dead to cemeteries where they can be properly interred and cared for in a suitable manner” doesn’t seem to have been quite upheld.

  2. Pingback: Markers of Famed Albanians ‘Rescued’ in 1945 | albanychurchgrounds

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