Logo and link to University of Massachusetts Amherst
Special Collections and University Archives : University Libraries

Collecting area: Gravestones (Page 5 of 6)

Portland Granite Company

Portland Granite Company Records

1836
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 648 bd

Three months after it was incorporated by the state of Maine in March 1836, the Portland Granite Company acquired 17 acres of land from Seth Clark in Westbrook, Me., and began its quarrying operation. With 160 shares of common stock, the company’s members elected a board of three directors (Henry Iseley, M.P. Sawyer, and George Clark), with Henry R. Stickney serving as Treasurer and Secretary. Though not particularly prominent, the firm appears to have operated for at least fifty years, and is listed in directories of state industries through about the time of Stickney’s death in 1887.

Recorded on a slender seven pages in an otherwise blank bound ledger, the records of the Portland Granite Company provide slight but critical documentation of the organization of a significant quarrying operation. Included are the formal act of incorporation for the company, a record of approval by the corporation to accept their charter; notes on the election of officers; company by-laws; approval for the distribution of stock (160 shares); and an agreement with Seth Clark to purchase 17 acres in Westbrook, Me., for the operation.

Subjects

Granite industry and trade--MaineGravestones--Maine

Contributors

Stickney, Henry Rolfe, 1799-1887

Types of material

Articles of incorporationBylaws (Administrative records)
Ridlen, Susanne S.

Susanne S. Ridlen Photograph Collection

1985-1991
11 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 025
Depiction of In Memory of the Orphans
In Memory of the Orphans

A folklorist at Indiana University Kokomo for many years, Susanne S. Ridlen is noted for her research on grave markers in the Midwest. Her dissertation at Indiana University was on tombstones carved to mimic tree-stumps, a rustic form of funerary monument that enjoyed a vogue during the late nineteenth century. Ridlen’s research culminated in publication of her book Tree-Stump Tombstones: A Field Guide to Rustic Funerary Art in Indiana (Kokomo, 1999).

The Ridlen collection provides an extensive visual record of tree-stump tombstones in Indiana. Organized by county, town, and cemetery, the collection typically includes several views of each marker along with documentation of the individual(s) interred, the date of creation, inscriptions, and any other design motifs employed. These images and data form the basis for Ridlen’s Tree-Stump Tombstones.

Subjects

Gravestones--Indiana

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesRidlen, Susanne S

Types of material

Photographs
Rotundo, Barbara

Barbara Rotundo Photograph Collection

ca.1970-2004
9 boxes 10 linear feet
Call no.: PH 050
Depiction of

A long-time member of the English Department at the University of Albany, Barbara Rotundo was a 1942 graduate in economics at Mount Holyoke College. After the death of her husband, Joseph in 1953, Rotundo became one of the first female faculty members at Union College, and after earning a master’s degree in English at Cornell University and a doctorate in American Literature from Syracuse University, she served as an associate professor of English at the University of Albany, where she founded one of the first university writing programs in the United States. Avocationally, she was a stalwart member of the Association for Gravestone Studies, helping to broaden its scope beyond its the Colonial period to include the Victorian era. Her research included the rural cemetery movement, Mount Auburn Cemetery, white bronze (zinc) markers, and ethnic folk gravestones. Her research in these fields was presented on dozens of occasions to annual meetings of AGS, the American Culture Association, and The Pioneer America Society. In 1989, after residing in Schenectady for forty-six years, she retired to Belmont, NH, where she died in December 2004.

Consisting primarily of thousands of color slides (most digitized) and related research notebooks, the Rotundo collection is a major visual record of Victorian grave markers in the United States. The notebooks and slides are arranged by state, with an emphasis on the eastern states, and white bronze (zinc) markers also are represented in photographs and a separate research notebook. The collection also includes several rare or privately published books.

Subjects

Cemeteries--New York (State)Gravestones--New JerseyGravestones--New York (State)Gravestones--Pennsylvania

Contributors

Rotundo, Barbara

Types of material

Photographs
Severy, Robert Bayard

Robert Bayard Severy Photograph Collection

1980-2007
5 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 024
Depiction of Capt. Elisha Davis, d. Oct. 10, 1778
Capt. Elisha Davis, d. Oct. 10, 1778

A local historian and photographer from Dorchester, Mass., and an official in the Dorchester Historical Society, Robert Bayard Severy was born on October 11, 1944, at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Roxbury, Massachusetts. After high school Severy attended Suffolk University and received a certificate from the Franklin Institute in Photography in 1967. For over 32 years, he was employed in the Human Resources Division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, pursuing his interests in photography throughout and documented the changing streetscapes of Boston and nearby towns. Since the early 1980s, Severy has documented gravestones in New England cemeteries.

The Severy Collection includes nearly 2,000 black and white prints (with some color) of gravestones in cemeteries in Massachusetts and Vermont. The collection is arranged by town and cemetery, and includes particularly good documentation of gravestones in Barnstable, Boston (Old Granary, King’s Chapel, Copps Hill), Brimfield, Dorchester (Cedar Grove, Dorchester North), Manomet (Manomet), Newbury (1st Parish), Norwell (First Parish), Quincy (Hancock), Watertown (Mt. Auburn), and Weymouth (Old North, Mt. Hope, Fairmount) in Massachusetts; and Bennington and Wilmington, Vermont. Larger collections of Severy’s work can be found in many other institutions, including Historic New England, The Bostonian Society, The Boston Athenaeum, The Boston Public Library, University of Massachusetts Boston, and several local public libraries and historical societies.

Subjects

Gravestones--MassachusettsGravestones--Vermont

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesSevery, Robert Bayard

Types of material

Photographs
Stanze Monument Company

Stanze Monument Company Records

ca. 1921-1970
7 boxes, 13 drawers
Call no.: MS 734
Depiction of Stanze Monument Co. drawing
Stanze Monument Co. drawing

Established in 1921 in St. Louis Missouri, the Stanze Monument Company was family-owned and operated until it was sold in the mid-1980s. The company custom-cut gravestones for more than sixty years and was one of the last monument companies to cut gravestones by hand.

The collection consists of gravestone, monument, and mausoleum technical and architectural drawings. Most of the tracings and drawings of headstone patterns were used to make glass molds for sand-blasting granite headstones, while the rubbings represent reproductions of designs and font sizes and styles. Some of the architectural drawings depict conceptual plans for a typical forty-acre cemetery. The drawings were transferred from the Kibbe Hancock Heritage Museum in Illinois; a small portion of the materials were identified as being part of the “Gustafson Collection.”

Subjects

Sepulchral monuments--Design

Contributors

Stanze Monument Company

Types of material

Architectural drawings (Visual works)Technical drawings
Tenney, Thomas W.

Thomas W. and Margaret Tenney Photograph Collection

1858-2003 Bulk: 1960-1979
228 boxes 126 linear feet
Call no.: PH 045
Depiction of Submit Gaylord, 1766, Hadley, Mass.
Submit Gaylord, 1766, Hadley, Mass.

Long-time residents of Berkeley, California, Thomas W. Tenney and his wife Margaret took up photography in a serious way in the early 1960s. Photographing the Bay Area scene and publishing in the New York Times and elsewhere, Thomas Tenney became a full-time photographer by about 1960. His photographic interests ranged from urban landscapes and advertising signs to the popular culture of the 1960s and 1970s. Margaret Tenney, also a photographer, was a visual artist who worked in collage and monoprint. For over a decade, the couple took summer trips to New England to photograph colonial and early national gravestones, culminating in a public exhibition of their work in 1972 at the Bolles Gallery in San Francisco.

A vast array of the Tenneys’ photography, artwork, and collection of historic photographs, including thousands of photographs and negatives ranging from the mid-19th century to the early 2000s.

Subjects

California--PhotographsGravestones--ConnecticutGravestones--MassachusettsGravestones--Rhode IslandGravestones--VermontSigns and signboards--Photographs

Contributors

Tenney, Margaret K.Tenney, Thomas W.

Types of material

Collages (Visual works)Drawings (Visual works)Paintings (Visual works)Photographs
Tibensky, James

James Tibensky Collection

1973-1974
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1050
Depiction of Chapinville Cemetery, Salisbury, Conn., April 25, 1974
Chapinville Cemetery, Salisbury, Conn., April 25, 1974

After working for a year on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program, James Tibensky returned to college, declared a major in anthropology, and soon began to focus on gravestones. For his masters degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Tibensky took up an ambitious project, systematically documenting every pre-1800 grave marker in western Connecticut, photographing each stone, and noting the name, date of death, orientation, style, and material. Painstakingly entering and analyzing the data on the computer using Hollerith cards, he completed his thesis, “The colonial gravestones of western Connecticut,” in 1977. During the latter stages of his research, he became a charter member of the new Association for Gravestone Studies.

The Tibensky collection contains the complete product of James Tibensky’s remarkably thorough study of western Connecticut colonial-era gravestones, including approximately 350 rolls of negative film with the accompanying original field nates, printounts, and statistical data, all meticulously maintained.

Gift of James Tibensky, Oct. 2018

Subjects

Gravestones--Connecticut

Types of material

Photographs
Tucker, Ralph L.

Ralph L. Tucker Collection

1951-ca.2000
20 boxes 10.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 041
Depiction of Erased stone, Salem, Mass.
Erased stone, Salem, Mass.

Known for his extensive research into Boston and Merrimac Valley area gravestone carvers, particularly Joseph Lamson and John Hartshorne, Ralph Tucker received the AGS Forbes Award in 1992 for his excellence in carver research. One of the attendees at the inaugural Dublin Seminar, and the first President of the Association for Gravestone Studies, Tucker served as editor of a column, “17th and 18th Century Gravestones and Carvers,” in the AGS Newletter from 1993-1999. Born on May 29, 1921 in Winthrop, Mass., Tucker attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts University, and Episcopal Theological School. He married Mildred R. Moore in 1946 and was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1947. Tucker spent two years as a missionary in China, returning to serve parishes in Utah, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. In addition to extending his ministry to hospitals and prisons, he participated in 1960s Civil Rights protests in Alabama and Boston. In 1985 he went to Zimbabwe as a missionary, retiring to Maine soon thereafter where he acted as interim pastor of Grace Episcopal Church in Bath. Tucker died March 28, 2010, and was survived by his wife, four sons — Ralph, Jr., Richard R., Roger W., and Paul M. Tucker, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The Tucker collection includes research notes and copies of published works stemming from Ralph Tucker’s decades of research on stone carvers and other gravestone-related topics, along with hundreds of images documenting carvers and stones in Massachusetts.

Subjects

Cemeteries--MassachusettsGravestones--MassachusettsStone carving--Massachusetts

Contributors

Tucker, Ralph L.

Types of material

Photographs
W.H. Grindol and Son

W.H. Grindol and Son

1895-1900
1 letterbook 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 705
Depiction of Monument design
Monument design

A great-grandson of Revolutionary War general Henry Haller, William H. Grindol (1840-1927) settled with his family in Decatur, Illinois, in 1864, building a successful career in the retail marble trade. Beginning in partnership with Paul F. Jones, and later with his son, Grindol advertised his firm as dealers in “all kinds of foreign and American monuments,” selling marble and granite monuments, building stone, and iron reservoir vases. He was one of the founders of the Retail Marble and Granite Dealer’s Association of Illinois, serving as President of the Central District in 1897. Grindol died in Decatur in 1927 and is buried at Fairlawn Cemetery.

Grindol and Son’s letterpress copy book contains approximately 900 outgoing letters, 1895-1900, to marble and granite suppliers, in Vermont, Massachusetts, and other states. The majority of the correspondence consists of orders for gravemarkers, with many letters including measurements and other details, along with rough sketches of monuments, decorative motifs, and inscriptions.

Subjects

Marble industry and trade--IllinoisSepulchral monuments--Illinois

Contributors

W.H. Grindol and Son

Types of material

Letterpress copies
Weatherby, Una F.

Una F. Weatherby Collection

1924-1934
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 036
Depiction of Gravestone in Putnam, Conn.
Gravestone in Putnam, Conn.

The botanical illustrator and writer Una Foster Weatherby (1878-1957) was an early student of New England gravestones. Born in Texas in 1878, Una Leonora Foster met a young pteridologist Charles Alfred Weatherby (1875-1949) while traveling abroad in 1910, and seven years later, the couple wed. As Charles advanced in his career to a position at the Gray Herbarium at Harvard, Una became his close associate, working with in the field and as illustrator and photographer. Among the many interests the couple developed was a fascination with photographing early American gravestones, and over the last three decades of her life, Una published occasionally on the subject. She died in Cambridge on August 17, 1957, and is interred with her husband at Center Cemetery in East Hartford, Conn.

The Weatherby collection consists of a substantial typed manuscript illustrating early American gravestones, mostly from New England. Meticulously assembled, the manuscript is divided into six thematic sections based on gravestone design (death’s heads, winged cherubs, wingless cherubs, portrait stones, symbolic stones, and designs and willows). Each stone is represented by a single photograph pasted onto a page, along with a transcription of the epitaph and occasional comments on the design and date on which the information was recorded. Although most stones are from Connecticut and Massachusetts, a few stones from Virginia and South Carolina are included.

Subjects

Gravestones--ConnecticutGravestones--MassachusettsGravestones--New Hampshire

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesWeatherby, Una F

Types of material

PhotographsScrapbooks