Category: Allegheny Cemetery

  • Laughlin Tombstones, Allegheny Cemetery

    Laughlin tombstones, Allegheny Cemetery

    There was a brief revival of early-nineteenth-century tombstone styles in the 1920s and 1930s, and it produced some very attractive designs. Several of them are in the Laughlin plot. The three above share a weeping-willow design patterned after folk-art tombstones of a hundred years earlier.

    Alice Denniston Laughlin
    James B. Laughlin
    Clara Young Laughlin
    Anne Irwin Laughlin

    This later tombstone is made in the same shape as the others, but with a different decorative scheme.

    Henry A. Laughlin

    In the same plot are some stones with bronze plaques commemorating Henry B. Laughlin and his two wives.

    Alice B. Denniston Laughlin
    Mary B. Reed Laughlin
  • Laughlin Monument, Allegheny Cemetery

    Laughlin monument

    The earliest Laughlin buried here died in 1882, but old Pa Pitt would guess that the family monument might be about a decade later. It is a sober classical base with a statue of Hope carrying the compact portable anchor she sometimes travels with.

    Hope with her anchor
    Laughlin monument
  • Shepherd Shaft, Allegheny Cemetery

    Shepherd shaft

    A marble shaft in the style of the middle 1800s. The inscriptions are mostly legible, except for Jane Shepherd’s, which was probably the last added:

    DIED APR. 5, 1851

    BORN ———-
    DIED — 17, 1877

    JOHN, JR.
    SON OF
    BORN DEC. 16, 1826
    DIED FEB. 3, 1862

    The younger John Shepherd died at the age of 26 during the Civil War, and it is natural to wonder whether he was killed in battle; but since no mention is made of service or sacrifice, he may have died of natural causes.

    John and Jane Shepherd
    John Shepherd, Jr.
  • Porter Monument, Allegheny Cemetery

    Porter monument

    This striking angel is the work of Brenda Putnam, but the cemetery’s site (in an article that has since disappeared) was vague and confusing on dates. It said that the bronze angel was cast “after 1910” as a replica of an original granite sculpture. The earliest dated Putnam work listed in her sparse Wikipedia article is from 1917. Brenda Putnam would have been twenty years old in 1910; she would thus have been a teenager when the granite version was done, if the date “1910” means anything at all. Henry Kirke Porter, identified as “the best-known Porter here” by the cemetery’s site, died in 1921, and perhaps that gives us a better guess at the date of the sculpture.

    If old Pa Pitt had to guess, he would imagine that those glorious wings were too heavy for granite, and the bronze cast was made when the original sculpture proved unstable.

    Angel by Brenda Putnam
    Closer to the angel
    Face of the angel
  • Rook Monument, Allegheny Cemetery

    Recording angel

    An elaborately Victorian column with a recording angel at the top and statues of Hope and Faith on the lavish base. (We notice the absence of Charity, perhaps because the Rooks decided to take their money with them in the form of this monument.)

    Rook monument from the right
    From the hill opposite
    Recording angel against blue sky
    Recording angel
    Recording angel and capital
    Cherub on the capital
    Hope with her anchor.
    Faith with her cross.
    Rook monument

    Note how the shadow of the angel is moving across the Lewis-Elliott monument behind it. If we wait just a few minutes…

    Shadow of the angel