Tag: Octagons

  • Sellers Monument, Allegheny Cemetery

    Cemetery records tell us that Sellers burials here go back to Benjamin C. Sellers, who died in 1830; he would have been moved from one of the cemeteries downtown when the Allegheny Cemetery opened in 1845. It is possible, therefore, that this is one of the earliest generation of monuments in the cemetery. The form is a little unusual; it might be described as an octagonal obelisk. Octagons had a bit of a fad in architecture of all sorts in the early to middle 1800s, and several of the older monuments in the cemetery—most notably the Moorhead mausoleum from 1862—are octagonal.

    As a practical matter, too, an octagonal base gives you twice as many sides for inscriptions as a square base, and the Sellers family certainly got their money’s worth from this monument.

  • Reverend Charles Walther Monument, Smithfield East End Cemetery

    This octagonal shaft includes a very unusual portrait head of the Rev. Mr. Walther, along with an open book on which there is an inscription that Father Pitt could not quite read. The date of birth appears to be 1784, but old Pa Pitt could not make out the date of death. The style of the monument is of the 1860s or so, and one suspects that this is one of the monuments moved here when the cemetery moved from Troy Hill. (The Smithfield Cemetery was originally downtown; it moved to Troy Hill in 1860 and to its final home in 1886—thus the name “Smithfield East End Cemetery,” to distinguish this location from its former locations.)

  • Bailey Monument, Allegheny Cemetery

    A somewhat unusual octagonal shaft, with four scrolls for inscriptions at the base. It is difficult to date this monument, because there are inscriptions for deceased Baileys from before the Allegheny Cemetery existed; but if we take the first inscription on the front scroll as implying that the monument was built for Robert Bailey, then he died in 1849. New inscriptions in various styles were added well into the twentieth century, but many of them have been obliterated by time. Robert’s, however, is still partly legible:

    MAY ? 1780?
    DIED ???? 1849

    Cemetery records confirm the date 1849.

  • Ward-Hindman-White Mausoleum, Homewood Cemetery

    An elegant Renaissance octagon reminiscent of the McCune mausoleum in the Allegheny Cemetery.

  • Moorhead Mausoleum, Allegheny Cemetery

    According to the cemetery’s site, this fantastic and imaginative mausoleum seems to have been built for James Kennedy Moorhead; it was designed by Louis Morgenroth and built in 1862, though Moorhead lived twenty-two years after that. The vegetation rising from the roof only adds to the mystery and romance, as if one had stumbled across a lost Gothic Khmer temple deep in the jungle. The name “Moorhead” appears over the door on one side, and “Murdoch” on the opposite side.

    More pictures of the Moorhead mausoleum.