Sellers Monument, Allegheny Cemetery

Cemetery records tell us that Sellers burials here go back to Benjamin C. Sellers, who died in 1830; he would have been moved from one of the cemeteries downtown when the Allegheny Cemetery opened in 1845. It is possible, therefore, that this is one of the earliest generation of monuments in the cemetery. The form is a little unusual; it might be described as an octagonal obelisk. Octagons had a bit of a fad in architecture of all sorts in the early to middle 1800s, and several of the older monuments in the cemetery—most notably the Moorhead mausoleum from 1862—are octagonal.

As a practical matter, too, an octagonal base gives you twice as many sides for inscriptions as a square base, and the Sellers family certainly got their money’s worth from this monument.

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