Donnelly Mausoleum, St. Mary’s Cemetery

This must have been one of the earliest interments in the cemetery, which opened in 1849, the year Henry Donnelly died. It is certainly grand, and more than a little mysterious—perhaps the most striking in-ground mausoleum in Pittsburgh. In the early and middle nineteenth century, these mausoleums cut into a hillside were the usual resting places of the rich; they are always referred to as “mausoleums,” anyway, but perhaps they would more properly be called tombs, reserving “mausoleum” for a free-standing building. They fell out of favor by the 1870s or so, and proper mausoleums came into fashion.

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