Category Archives: Photos

The West Lodge ca 1900

13westlodge copy

A view of the old West Lodge at the edge of the Church Grounds.  The lodge overlooked the road connecting to Loudonville via the adjacent Beth Emeth Cemetery.   One of the Boyd family monuments can also be seen in the background.

The headstone visible to the left of the cottage is that of Charles Fairfield.  Born in Nottingham, England on December 28, 1825, he was one of the proprietors of the Windsor Restaurant on Maiden Lane.  An ad for the establishment can be seen here.  He died at the age of sixty-nine on December 13, 1894 and was interred in the Church Grounds lot assigned to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.  His granite headstone is one of the few upright markers in the entire section.

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Beyond This Blog

Below are links to posts related to the Church Grounds at my companion to this blog, Albany Rural Cemetery – History In Photos.  While that blog features monuments throughout the entire Cemetery, there are a number of Church Ground posts there.  Some of the Church Ground stones featured there will also be included here at a later date (such as the Garrett Roseboom soul effigy).

The Old Halenbeek Burial Ground

Philip Hooker, Architect (one of the Church Grounds’ best-known graves)

Zerubabbel Collins (a soul effigy by a well-known carver)

Violet (believed to have been a slave)

A Soul Effigy

John Lamb Clark (War of 1812)

Elizabeth Ann’s Roses

Weeping Willows

The Samuel Richards Headstone

Elsie Cuyler Ten Eyck (her soul effigy is featured on this blog’s banner)

The Western Lodge (which formerly stood adjacent to the Church Grounds)

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Featured Gravestone: James Upfold

Section:  St. Peter’s Episcopal

Material:  Brown sandstone

Misc.:  Thick, narrow stone with minor chipping around edges.  Bottom has pockmark-like pattern on the left and a pattern of diagonal lines on the right, possibly marks made when the stone was first cut or during its removal from the State Street Burying Grounds.  Lettering is readable, some obscuring by lichens in a few places.

Inscription:  In memory of James son of George and Mary Upfold from Guildford in the County of Surry in England who departed this life Aug. 23rd 1804 aged 4 year & 8 months & 16 days.

It’s interesting to note that “Surrey” is spelled without an “e” on this stone.  There is no James or Mary Upfold listed in the Common Council inventory, but there is a listing for a George Upfold with no dates and only the notation “Stone sunk.”  It may very well be that the listing refers to this stone and that, at the time, only that part of the inscription was visible.

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Featured Gravestone – Marron Newland

Section:  First Presbyterian

Material:  Brown sandstone

Misc.:  Very large headstone with heavy patches of lichen obscuring parts of the text and carved decorations.  Some heavy chipping along upper part of stone. Visible parts of finely carved  inscription are not badly eroded.  Features a soul effigy with deeply cut wings flanked by floral emblems.   There is an inscription above the soul effigy, but only parts of  it  – the uncertain or the uncertainty – is legible between the lichen patches.

Inscription:  In Memory of Marron Newland, Daughter of Joseph and Isabel Newland, who departed this life May 5, 1791, aged 2 years, 1 month, and 8 days.

Murran’s father is identified in historic church records as a merchant, evidently a prosperous one as he was able to afford a very generously sized and finely carved headstone for his small daughter.  Murran’s mother was a a native of Scotland whose maiden name was Minnoch.

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Featured Gravestone – Rebecca Swart

Section:  First Presbyterian

Material:  White marble

Misc.:  This stone has weathered to gray and broken off at the lower half.  There was an additional line of text below the break.  Top portion of the stone features a very simple open book (presumably a Bible) within a saw-tooth half circle.  There does not appear to have been any inscription or further decoration on the pages of the book.  The broken stone shown below it in the photo is from a separate monument about which I have no addition information at this time.

Inscription:  In Memory of Rebecca Swart, Wife of Cornelius Swart, Jun., who died Jan. 21, AD 1825.

According to the listing in the Common Council’s inventory, there was an additional line of next reading 35 y. 3 mos.

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Featured A.M.E. Gravestones – Two Broken Stones

Section:  African Methodist Episcopal

Material:  Brown sandstone (both)

Misc.:  These are fragments of two different broken headstones laid together.  The upper stone has little damage above the break, some wear to the lettering, and some dark lichen or moss growth.  The lower stone is broken at both the top and the bottom, some wear to the lettering (especially at the bottom), and heavy lichen growth obscuring a portion of the  inscription.

Inscription (top):  Flora Lansing Grandmother of John Titus, who died Feby 14th, 1802, aged 82 years, and her children.

Inscription (bottom):  Memory of Nicholas Smith Who Departed ___  ___ ___ 

The last part of the year on Fora’s stone is hidden by grass in this photo and I will copy the correct year on my next visit to the Church Grounds.  It appears to be one of the older graves here.  The age indicates that Fora may have been a slave for part of her life.  There were Lansing slave owners in Albany during her era; Flora may have belonged to them and taken their name upon being freed.  I have not found any additional information on her or her grandson, John Titus.  The fact that John Titus is mentioned on her stone hints that he may have paid for his grandmother’s burial and marker.

Nicholas Smith’s stone appears to be older and the style of the letters is a little cruder.  More detailed photos may aid in transcribing the visible portions of the text.

Neither was transcribed in the Common Council inventory.

Edited June 26, 2013 – A search of the Cemetery’s burial cards shows a match for Nicholas Smith and a transcription of his epitaph.  This stone did not originally come from the Negro section of the State Street Burying Grounds, but from the Potter’s Field.  His stone reads:  In Memory of Nicholas Smith who departed this life 11th Dec. 1819, aged 4 yrs, 9 months, and 5 days.  Sleep on, sweet babe, and take your rest, for God has done as he thought best.  The same epitaph is found on the headstone of Merit Ogden.

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Featured A.M.E. Gravestone – Hager Van Vankren

Section:  African Methodist Episcopal

Material:  White marble

Misc:.:  Plain, but large and well-carved stone with a crack near the lower right corner.

Inscription:  Hager Van Vranken Wife of David Van Vranekn Departed this life the 28th day of Feby. 1844 in the 53rd year of her life.  Remember this as you pass by; As you are now so once was I  As I am now so you must be; Remember God eternally.

There is little information on Hager.  The Common Council list omits the space in her surname.  There are several David Van Vrankens in the 1860 census, one of who may have been her widower.

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