Wednesday, January 20, 2010

From My Personal Archive

One of my favorite places to explore is the Albany Rural Cemetery out in Menands. It's almost 500 acres and there are historic graves at every turn of its winding roads and paths. I especially love the wooded ravines with hidden waterfalls and neglected vaults set into hillsides.

In the 19th-century, the Rural Cemetery was not only famous as a burial place, but as a peaceful park to take a stroll or carriage ride. Guidebooks were even published to highlight the many beautiful monuments and famous graves.

One of my favorite works of art in the Rural Cemetery is the renowned Angel At The Sepulchre by sculptor Erastus Palmer. My other favorite is the statue picture above. It's a small figure, very easy to miss...especially when the grass and weeds are high. The photo was taken about ten years ago and my notes are now missing, but I recall this was the grave of a little child named Rufus Van Antwerp.

The statue is quite worn by the elements and it's been some time since I've seen it in person. In the spring I mean to go back and see just how its fared.

1 comment:

  1. Paula, have you had a chance to go check how this grave has fared? I have been working on the Van Antwerp family and have a child Rufus born in 1849. The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record has a series about the Van Antwerps ca 1949 and it lists a death date for Rufus of 8 May 1888 but I suspect this was a misreading and it may be 1858 or 1853 even. If you do get a chance to check this grave and see any dates on it, I would love to know.

    Holly Timm