Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Madison Avenue Reformed Church

The Albany Postcard Project has an excellent image of the Madison Avenue Reformed Church which stood at the northeast corner of Madison Avenue and Swan Streets.  As explained in Albany’s Dutch Stones, the crypt beneath this church’s tower held remains and headstones moved from a previous vault beneath the Second Dutch Reformed Church on South Pearl Street.  These remains, as well as the headstones, were eventually removed to the Church Grounds lot at the Rural Cemetery and include the Captain Winne slab-style stone and the winged skull headstone of Elyse Winne.

The Madison Avenue Reformed Church at the Albany Postcard Project

This church was destroyed by fire on February 16, 1937.  Surviving portions of the foundations were incorporated into a supermarket, but this was demolished for construction of the Empire State Plaza.

See also:

Not The Right Stones

The Oldest Stones

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Featured Gravestone – Elizabeth Fenimore Cooper

DSC04608Section:  St. Peter’s Episcopal

Material:  White marble

A small stone broken across the middle and with significant breakage to the lower portion and right finial.  Inscription is worn, but legible with some effort.

Inscription:  Cooper, Elizabeth Fenimore aged 8 years daughter of Richard F. & Ann L. Cooper of Cooperstown, Obit 29 Sept 1814

This damaged little stone marked the grave of a niece of Last of the Mohicans author, James Fenimore Cooper.

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A Cherub


Although very weathered, this little sandstone cherub in the Episcopal section of the Church Grounds is a wonderful find.  Full-length figures angels on headstones in this section are quite rare (see the Ann Brown angel for another example) as winged faces were a more common depiction of cherubs or soul effigies.  This carving features a naked cherub with flowing hair in the stone’s tympanum.  The finials, too, have eroded and it’s difficult to say just what the original design was.  Unfortunately, due to the soft nature of this reddish-brown sandstone, the inscription on the stones tablet has eroded so much that only a few words (or parts of words) can be read now, such as “wife.”  There is not enough of the inscription left to match the stone with the burial records on file with the Cemetery office or with the list of inscriptions compiled by the Albany Common Council before this stone was removed from the State Street Burying Grounds.

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Featured Gravestone – Peter R. Hunter

DSC04337Section:  Episcopal

Material:  Sandstone

A small stone with some chipping and other wear to edges.  Inscription is legible with some lichen patches and discoloration.

Inscription:  In memory of Peter R. Hunter Son of James and Isabella Hunter who died August 13th, 1797 Aged 3 months & 18 days.

While this stone doesn’t appear in the Common Council’s inventory, the list of burials removed from the section of the State Street Burying Grounds belonging to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church includes both of Peter’s parents – James Hunter (died on January 11, 1805 at the age of forty-three) and Isabella Hunter (died on December 25, 1839 at the age of eighty).

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