Author: Father Pitt

  • Mervis Family Plot, Tree of Life Cemetery

    Mervis family plot

    The Mervises have a fine Art Deco monument with a shining lamp at the top (and a very artistic wasp nest in one corner). It was probably put up in 1941, when Joseph A. Mervis died, or possibly before, when the plot was purchased.

    Fannie Mervis
    Joseph A. Mervis
    Mervis monument
  • Friederike Hannach Monument, Tree of Life Cemetery

    Burials in the Tree of Life Cemetery go back into the middle 1800s. Here is one from 1871 that uses a stock-model monument with inscriptions in German, most of which have eroded to the point that old Pa Pitt was not able to read them. The name and date (in English), however, are still legible: Friederike Hannach, July 12, 1871.

  • Tree of Life Cemetery, O’Hara Township

    A small but peaceful Jewish cemetery right outside Sharpsburg. It is affiliated with the Tree of Life congregation in Squirrel Hill.

    Jewish cemeteries are often densely crowded, like European cemeteries. This one is less crowded than the usual small Jewish cemetery, but more densely packed than the average American Protestant cemetery.

  • B. F. Jones Monument, Allegheny Cemetery

    Jones monument

    Like a stone mushroom, this is the visible outcropping of an underground mausoleum. Instead of a heroic statue of steel baron Benjamin Franklin Jones, we get a contemplative allegorical pair, one laying a wreath and palm of victory where his body is buried, the other looking upward hoping to find the real B. F. Jones in that direction. Old Pa Pitt hopes so, too.

    Statue group
    Detail of the statues

    We have more pictures of the B. F. Jones monument from 2014.

  • Melling Obelisk, St. Peter’s Cemetery (Arlington)

    Melling obelisk

    Magdalen Melling died in 1909; Charles Melling died in 1919. This obelisk was probably put up when Magdalen died, or possibly before, since she was about 79 when she died (Charles died at about 93), and the Mellings might have ordered the obelisk in anticipation of the inevitable, as was common in those days. The monument is a standard pattern, but a tasteful one. There are four faces for inscriptions, none of them used; instead, Charles and Magdalen have headstones next to the obelisk.

    Note Charles Melling’s monogram on the obelisk.


    We also have an earlier picture of the Melling obelisk, showing the cross and anchor on the front.