Samuel M. Montgomery and Maria Smith Monuments, Allegheny Cemetery

There is a bit of a mystery to the Samuel Montgomery monument: it gives the date of death as 1844, which is a year before the Allegheny Cemetery opened. Cemetery records say that Mr. Montgomery died in 1847. A close look at the base suggests that it might be a sort of marble palimpsest; the inscription is quite clear, and it may be a replacement for an inscription that was almost completely effaced. The stonecutter may have misread what was left of the earlier inscription. UPDATE: Commenter Lisa Speranza (see below) points out that a number of burials were moved here from other sites when the Allegheny Cemetery opened, which gives us another possible explanation, though it does not resolve the difference between the inscription and the cemetery records.

The Maria Smith is a quite elaborately and romantically mixed metaphor; a woman (now headless) standing, perhaps weeping, next to a broken classical column, sheltered in a Gothic alcove.

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2 thoughts on “Samuel M. Montgomery and Maria Smith Monuments, Allegheny Cemetery

  1. Lisa Speranza

    There are several burials at Allegheny Cemetery that pre-date the 1844 founding of the cemetery. There were several graves moved from other cemeteries, and it was customary at the time for families to also move their deceased when they’d move from one area to another. I can’t say for certain if that was the case for this particular person, but it is certainly a possibility explaining the earlier date.

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    1. Dr. Boli Post author

      Thanks for this clarification. You’re probably right, since this is in the section near the Butler Street gate, where man of the very oldest residents seem to be concentrated.

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