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Skyward Gaze, Earthward Touch

Memorial for H. Annie Marshall (1879-1890) in Elmwood (Centralia) Cemetery on Gragg Street, Centralia, Marion County, Illinois. Originally called Centralia Cemetery, this graveyard was in use in the 1860s but not officially established until 1877. Its name was changed to Elmwood Cemetery in 1921.

Deep inside Elmwood sits a large, granite monument shaped like a tabernacle or an ancient Greek temple with four columns. At the top of the monument stands a nearly life-sized statue of a young girl with flowing locks of hair. In her hands she holds a violin. The statue depicts Harriet Annie, the daughter of Dr. Winfield and Eoline Marshall. Annie died of diphtheria in 1890, a few weeks after her eleventh birthday.

A popular local legend maintains that the sweet strains of a violin can be heard emanating from the cemetery at night. The origin of these ethereal notes is said to be none other than the statue of “Violin Annie.”  Some locals also believe that Annie’s statue glows on Halloween night.

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Swansong of My Heart

Monument to Lazelle A. Michael (1852-1939) and his wives, Emma J. (1852-1907), Carolyn E. (1870-1915), and Virginia L. (1876-1926), in Oakwood Cemetery, 50 101st Street, Troy, Rensselaer County, New York. This monument fascinates me, not just because Emma and Virginia were sisters (and clearly the two women depicted in stone), but because I can’t find any information on this family beyond a patent Lazelle filed for an ice cream scoop in 1905. If you know the story behind this monument, please contact me!

The name of Lazelle’s first wife, Emma, is wrapped in grape vines, and the inscription reads:

Abiding faith in immortal hope of glorious reunion.

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The Crestfallen Amaranth

Monument to John (1835-1919), Dora (1833-1905), and Amelia (1864-1941) Nill in Brookside Cemetery, at Watertown Center Loop and Brookside Drive, Watertown, Jefferson County, New York. John Nill was a German immigrant from Nehren, Kingdom of Wurtemberg. He was a baker and cigar manufacturer by trade, Freemason, and mayor of Watertown in 1888. The inscription on his monument reads:

Humanity is our creed. To do good is our religion. The world is our home.

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Left Unspoken

Monument to Maj. Gen. Joseph B. Carr in Oakwood Cemetery, 50 101st Street, Troy, Rensselaer County, New York. During the Civil War, Carr commanded a brigade in the Union Army of the Potomac at the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. He was wounded near the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg and went on to command a division in the Union Army of the James. He was promoted to major general in March 1865, just before the end of the war. He also served as Secretary of State of New York for five years.

This 300-acre cemetery was established in 1848 and designed in rural style. It offers a beautiful view of the Hudson Valley and contains the remains of over 16,000 people, including Samuel “Uncle Sam” Wilson.

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The Artist

Memorial to Thomas (1823-1903) and Minerva (1824-1889) Wood in Green Mount Cemetery at 250 State Street (U.S. Route 2) in the City of Montpelier, Washington County, Vermont, on bluffs along the north bank of the Winooski River. Thomas Waterman Wood was a prominent rural artist and president of the National Academy of Design.

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Keywords: Green Mount Cemetery, Montpelier, Washington County, Vermont, artist, painter, easel, relief, portrait, Minerva “Minnie” Robinson Wood, Thomas Waterman Wood, First Congregational Church

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One Last Time

Monument to Brig. Gen. Adolph von Steinwehr in Albany Rural Cemetery, on Cemetery Avenue off NY State Route 32, in Menands, Albany County, New York. Adolph von Steinwehr (1822-1877) was born in the Duchy of Brunswick, trained as a Prussian officer, and emigrated to America in 1847. He raised a German-American regiment during the Civil War and rose to command a division in the Union XI Corps, Army of the Potomac. Unfortunately, his division bore the brunt of successful Confederate attacks at the Battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and he was later demoted to command of a brigade. After the war, he became a well-known and respected cartographer.

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