Monthly Archives: May 2015

Upright Stones – Eliza Maxwell

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One of several stones set upright along the edge of the Church Grounds, the gravestone of Eliza Maxwell is broken, stained and spotted with lichen.  Despite the damages, it remains a beautiful and detailed monument.  The upper portion features a pair of clasped hands, often a symbol of eternal affection.  Above the joined hands, the stone is crowned with a heavy arrangement of flowers and foliage centered around a rose.

The inscription on this gravestone reads:

Eliza Wife of James Maxwell Died Nov. 2, 1858 Aged 32 year.  A loving wife to me most dear, A faithful comrade I parted here, Her days ith me was short but sweet, I hope with her in Heaven to meet.

Eliza was first interred in the Episcopal section of the State Street Burying Ground and brought to the Rural Cemetery in the general removal of remains and markers when the old graveyard was transformed into Washington Park.

There were several James Maxwells residing in Albany at the time of Eliza’s death.  One is listed in the city directories as a marbleworker residing at 40 Park Avenue.  It is quite possible that this was Eliza’s husband and that he carved this stone for her grave himself.

See other upright stones in the Church Grounds.

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Featured Gravestone – Martha J. Ross Tuger

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Section:  Lutheran Ebenezer Church

Material:  White marble

Stone lies at the end of a row and at a slight angle to it.  Edges are partially embedded in the earth with usual darkening and some chipping.  Inscription is legible, though the first line of smaller text is somewhat faint.  Very stylized willow and urn motif.

Inscription:  To the memory of Martha J. Ross wife of John F. Tuger born in the city of Banbridge, County Down Ireland March 20, 1825 died April 3, 1850.  Frederick Richard their son died Aug 7 1850 aged 4 months & 14 days.

Martha’s husband, John F. Tuger, was a native of Germany who worked as a cabinetmaker in Massachusetts and Albany.  Following the death of his wife and son, John Tuger relocated to Michigan and, later, to St. Louis where he was later described as “one who stood high in the esteem of all, not only as a business man, but as an energetic, progressive citizen.”  He remarried while in Michigan; his second wife, Christina Wagner, was born in Bavaria.  By his second wife, he had three children. John F. Tuger died on November 4, 1900.

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Featured Gravestone – William Burdett Reed

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Section:  St. Peter’s Episcopal

Material:  White marble

A worn marble stone with erosion to the inscription, particularly on the upper half.  The bottom has less staining as it was likely embedded in the earth for some time and only recently exposed.

Inscription:  In memory of Reed, William Burdett son of Samuel and Laura M. Reed who died Feb 6, 1831 aged 5 months and 16 daysOne only son what pleasure bright His joyful birth did give He’s gone his parents chief delight To moulder in the grave Yet let their troubled hearts be taught Their darling rests in peace With God who gave them happy thought And bids their anguish cease.

While this stone is difficult to read in person, enough of the epitaph is legible making it possible to identify this stone and the full inscription from the burial index card.  The father may have been  engaged in the plastering business in Albany;  the name Samuel Reed is signed to an advertisement in the Albany Evening Journal in 1832 offering a reward of six cents for information on a runaway apprentice.

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Featured Gravestone – Thomas Martin

DSC04386Section:  Garretson Methodist Episcopal

Material:  White marble

Plain stone with darkening, only minor wear to edges and generally legible inscription.  Some spotting from lichen near top edge.

Inscription:  In memory of Thomas Martin who died July 23, 1844, aged 49 years.

City directories show a Thomas Martin, a laborer residing at 11 Liberty Street around the time of his death.

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