Tag: Statues

  • Nickel Family Plot, South Side Cemetery

    Lina B. Nickel mourner

    A family plot of matching graves that is missing one important tenant, or at least the inscription for him.

    Nickel family plot
    Lina B. Nickel

    Lina B. Nickel, who died in 1916 at the age of 29 or 30, is buried here under an inscription identifying her as “MY WIFE.” But the matching headstone is blank, suggesting that Mr. Nickel (whose name was almost certainly William; see below) is not buried here. A husband in mourning might think that of course he would never marry again and would be buried next to his late wife when he died, but a year or two or five go by, and he begins to take a more realistic view of the rest of his life. Or it is quite possible that the whole matching set was ordered when the two sons died in 1912.

    Mourner

    A standard flower-dropping mourner. The wrists are always a weak point in this design.

    William and John Nickel

    Two young sons, William Jr. and John, died in 1912, very probably of the same childhood disease. From the name William Jr. we can deduce the father’s name.

    Angel

    This angel might also have been dropping flowers, as we can guess from its downward gaze and the eroded bouquet.

    Face and wings
  • Oslacky Monument. St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery

    Sacred Heart statue

    In a cemetery of mostly poor East Europeans (plus Andy Warhol), this Sacred Heart statue is one of the grandest monuments. The earliest burial here was in 1934, and that may be the date of the monument.

    Oslacky monument, oblique view
    From the front
  • 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
  • Aull–Martin Monument, Homewood Cemetery

    Statue

    A granite monument with a crumbling marble statue on top; it was probably allegorical, but one of the arms would have held the key to the allegory, and both are gone. If old Pa Pitt had to guess, he would suggest that this was a statue of Hope, with the left arm holding up an anchor and the right pointing heavenward. This is certainly a good demonstration of the different aging properties of the two kinds of stone.

    The statue may date from 1878, the year the cemetery opened, when the first Martin was buried here; old Pa Pitt suspects that the base is later, replacing an earlier base that had been damaged or become illegible. The individual gravestones in front of the monument are matching in style, and look like the style of the early twentieth century, though they include dates back to 1878. Father Pitt’s guess is that the original base bore inscriptions for all the Martins and Aulls buried up to the time of its replacement.

    Aull-Martin Monument
    Statue, full-length
    Face of the statue
  • Daniel O’Neill Monument, Allegheny Cemetery

    Close-up of the face on the Daniel O’Neill portrait statue

    An editor’s work is never done. Here is Daniel O’Neill, owner and editor of the Dispatch, still at work 145 years after his death in 1877. Though he died at the young age of 47, he had already built the Dispatch into Pittsburgh’s most respected newspaper, a position it held until the great newspaper massacre of the early 1920s, when paper shortages and rising costs forced hundreds or thousands of papers across the country out of business. Before that there had been at least a dozen English dailies in Pittsburgh, not to mention three in German and several in other languages.

    From the hill opposite

    The monument itself is a harmoniously eclectic mix of styles in the Victorian manner: classical elements dominate, but Mr. O’Neill’s desk rests on an Egyptian pedestal.

    From the front
    Daniel O’Neill hard at work
    The full statue
    Inscription on the monument
    Face, three-quarters view