Category: St. Clair Cemetery

  • Wise Monument, St. Clair Cemetery

    Wise monument

    A typical zinc monument, as usual still almost as fresh as when it was installed—except that one panel is missing on one side, leaving the hollow interior open.

  • Henry Shaft, St. Clair Cemetery

    Henry shaft

    If an illustrator wanted to draw a typical cemetery monument of the middle 1800s, it would look like this. Rich but not extravagantly ornate, these shafts were popular because they easily direct the family to the plot, and they have abundant surface for inscriptions, meaning that one expensive monument can take the place of any number of tombstones, an expense that adds up over the years as scarlet fever and cholera take their toll.

    Unfortunately, the material—limestone or marble—erodes over the decades, so that the inscriptions become illegible after a while. Our readers are welcome to try their hands at reading the inscription for James M. Henry below, but poor old Pa Pitt gave up. The inscription may remember a child who was born in 1831 and died in 1837, but Father Pitt is not willing to stand by that reading.

  • Adamson Monument, St. Clair Cemetery

    Adamson monument

    It is hard to pick a name for this style: it is almost machine-age modern, and it is both romantic and modernist in its deliberate break from any recognizable style of the past. The etched floral decorations soften what might otherwise be a forbiddingly severe composition.

  • Martha Boyd Grave, St. Clair Cemetery

    Martha Boyd grave

    Two women in the Boyd family were given these bed-like romantic graves; the one for Irene Boyd is grander and more ornate, but this one is perhaps in better taste.

    Rear of the headstone
  • Irene Boyd Grave, St. Clair Cemetery

    Irene Boyd grave

    A particularly florid example of the romantic style that was popular in the middle 1800s. In its current state, it does not seem to have any dates for Irene Boyd: the name “Boyd” is on the back, and the name “Irene” on the front, with the rest of the stone given over to decorative elements. The footstone remembers a child, A. E. Boyd, who was born in 1855 and died in 1872.

    A. E. Boyd

    Inscription on the footstone.

    Back of the Irene Boyd monument

    The back of the headstone.

    Irene Boyd grave