Category: Chartiers Hill Cemetery

  • Hector McFadden Tombstone, Chartiers Hill Cemetery

    Hector McFadden tombstone

    An unusually elaborate stone by a talented local artisan whose talents would soon be rendered irrelevant by the growth of a more centralized monument industry.

    Who departed
    this life Decr 12th
    1834 aged 65

    He was just
    And honest
    And a friend
    To the poor.

    No Christian could ask for a finer epitaph than that.

  • Robert Patterson Tombstone, Chartiers Hill Cemetery

    The letters are formed very well, but here (as in many other early-settler tombstones) we see that marking out the inscription in advance was not part of the stonecutter’s method. He runs out of space for the name of the deceased, and then again on the next line for the name of the town Canonsburgh (which we no longer spell with an H). He also left out the R in “MEMORY,” and the heading SACRED to the IN MEMOY OF is very decorative but grammatically nonsense.

    This transcription preserves the eccentric spelling of the original:

    to the

    Merchant of Canonsburgh
    Who departed this life
    January 31st A. D. 1833
    in the 29th year of his age

    He was a man of temperance and moral habits
    as a man of buissness he was unrivell’d
    as a friend he was truly candid and sincere
    as a husband and parent [he was] kind & affec[tionate]

    Father Pitt took this picture in 1999 with an Argus C3. The Chartiers Hill Cemetery is notable for interesting epitaphs.

  • Nancy Marshall Tombstone, Chartiers Hill Cemetery

    Nancy Marshall tombstone

    Who died July 2nd 1833
    aged 40 years

    Her equal is gone before her but her superior will never follow as a WIFE MOTHER and FRIEND.

    My flesh shall slumber in the ground,
    Till the last trumpet’s joyful sound,
    Then burst the chains with sweet surprise
    And in my SAVIOURS image rise.

    This epitaph is the last stanza of Isaac Watts’ metrical version of Psalm 17.

    Old Pa Pitt took this picture on black-and-white film in 1999 with an Argus C3, which captured a very legible image in spite of strong backlighting.

  • Jacob, Elizabeth, and Charity Bell Tombstones, Chartiers Hill Cemetery

    Three different burials in the same family plot show us three different styles of early-settler tombstones.

    Jacob Bell lived the longest of the three: he was buried in 1842. Shortly after that, local stonecutters would begin to be replaced by more centralized businesses, so this is one of the last of what Father Pitt would call the early-settler tombstones. It does not seem as elegantly cut or proportioned as the earlier tombstones, which makes us wonder whether the stonecutter’s craft was already fading. The inscription reads:

    SACRED to the MEMORY OF JACOB BELL, Who departed this life, Nov. 18th 1842 in the 75th year of his age.

    Elizabeth Bell, Jacob’s “consort” (the stonecutters’ preferred term for “wife”), died in 1829, and her tombstone is typical of the time. It is not as elaborately cut as some other 1820s tombstones, but compare it to Jacob’s and see how much better formed the individual letters are, and how much more carefully laid out the lines are in the inscription.

    IN Memory of ELIZABETH BELL, Consort of JACOB BELL Who departed this life January 13th A.D. 1829 in the 58th year of her age.

    Finally, Charity Bell, who was probably a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth, died in 1832, and was given a tombstone of the Gothic shape popular in the 1830s. The lettering is done very well (non-standard spelling of the month notwithstanding), and the stonecutter has added the tree ornament—probably intended as a weeping willow—that we commonly see on early-settler tombstones.

    IN MEMORY OF CHARITY BELL Who departed this life Aprile the 6th A.D. 1832 in the 35 year of her age

  • Margaret, Mary M., and George Allison Tombstone, Chartiers Hill Cemetery

    This triple tombstone, the only one of its kind from its era that Father Pitt has ever seen, remembers three Allison children who all died in January of 1836. The cause of death is not stated, but it must have been some childhood disease that carried them off one after another. Scarlet fever is a likely candidate.