Archive for the ‘Green Mount’ Category
This Hans Schuler sculpture depicts the 19th Century ship the Julia Rollins. Marking Commodore Thornton Rollins grave in Green Mount Cemetery, the detailed relief was created around 1935, the year of the Commodore’s death. Thornton Rollins was a successful Baltimore merchant who dealt heavily in the international coffee trade. In 1885 Rollins commissioned the Skinner & Sons shipbuilding company to build the 146-foot bark for his growing enterprise. Baltimore was a thriving American port in the late 1800s and Skinner & Sons was a premiere shipbuilder, employing around 250 people and maintaining a 350′ X 350′ dry dock at the harbor. The Julia Rollins was named after the Commodore’s wife and cost $24,208.
On January 29, 1894, the 586 ton bark came under enemy fire at Rio Harbor. The merchant ship was attacked by Brazilian insurgents during their bombardment of Rio de Janeiro. The complicated diplomatic affair was tempered by the American Admiral Andrew E. K. Benham, a Civil War veteran sent to the region to protect American interests. Benham’s order of return fire from the U.S.S. Detroit stunned the determined insurgents. However, the Brazilian rebels, under the leadership of Admiral de Gama, did not go easily, and musket fire was exchanged. Realizing the American’s strict stance, de Gama attempted to surrender to U.S. forces. Admiral Benham refused and maintained his defensive position until the conflict was resolved. The rebellion ended a few months later and order was returned to Rio Harbor. The minor maritime standoff made newspaper headlines across the United States and was seen as an act of patriotism by President Cleveland and his administration. The Julia Rollins was later renamed the Northwest. It sank off the coast of South Carolina on July 13, 1916.
|Endymion||Sleeping Children||Ellen Walters||Girl Strewing Flowers|
|Bust of William Walters||Roger B. Taney||Clytie Statue (BMA)||William Prescott Smith|
William Henry Rinehart was born in Union Bridge, MD in 1825. The son of a farmer, William began his career working as a fieldhand. The ambitious youth quickly graduated to an apprenticeship with a local stonecutter, an enforcement of his already peaked interest in the arts. In 1844 William moved to Baltimore, taking a job at Baughman and Bevan, then the largest stonecutting firm in the city. Initially tasked with fireplace mantel repair work, one of Rinehart’s first customers was William Walters, a railroad and whiskey man of considerable wealth who would go on the found the Walters Art Musuem. Walters, an avid art collector, was so impressed with Rinehart that he decided to sponsor the young artist. Their fruitful partnership lasted until the sculptor’s death in 1874.
Baltimore has a variety of Rinehart’s work on public display. The Baltimore Museum of Art has two of his important pieces, each designed in the Neoclassical style. Atalanta, an athlete in Greek Mythology, was finished after Rinehart’s death and may have been one of the last things he worked on. Clytie, considered to be the artist’s masterpiece, was completed in 1872 and purchased by John W. McCoy. A year later McCoy donated the statue to the Peabody Institute. Positioned in the middle of a dimly lit room lined with paintings, Clytie is both dignified and mischievous at the same time.
A bronze bust of William Walters is recessed in the outer wall of the Walters Art Museum at Mount Vernon Place. Inside the historic gallery are several pieces by Rinehart, including his original marble likeness of Mr. Walters, the Woman of Samaria and Brooch with Cameo of Spring.
Green Mount Cemetery contains several sculptures by Rinehart, including the renown Sleeping Children, of which there are twenty-five reproductions in galleries and private collections throughout the world. The work was commissioned by Baltimore businessman Hugh Sisson to memorialize his lost children. 150 years of wind and rain has deteriorated Sleeping Children in an elegant manner.
In the center of the cemetery, near the Mausoleum, Girl Strewing Flowers stands atop the Walters Family Plot, her stoic gaze fixed south. William Walters, his wife Ellen, their son Henry and the family servants reside peacefully below the majestic statue. Adjacent to Girl Strewing Flowers is the Tucker Memorial by J. Maxwell Miller. Miller graduated from the Rinehart School of Sculpture.
Known as the “last important American sculptor to work in the classical style,” William Henry Rinehart is one of Maryland’s greatest treasures. He is buried in Green Mount Cemetery, a bronze reproduction of his Endymion statue rests peacefully atop his headstone.
Elijah Bond was best known for filing the first United States patent for the Ouija board. Born in Harford County, MD in 1847, Bond became a successful lawyer in Baltimore City, starting his own practice in the 1870s. He filed the Ouija patent on behalf of the Kennard Novelty Company in 1891. Elijah Bond died in 1921 and was anonymously buried in his family’s plot at Green Mount Cemetery. Robert Murch, America’s foremost Ouija historian, after fifteen years of searching, located the ambiguous grave. Murch erected the Ouija-themed headstone in 2008. The cemetery’s mausoleum is nearby.
Hugh Sisson was born in Baltimore in the twentieth year of the 19th Century. He began an apprenticeship in marble cutting at the age of sixteen, and seven years later, after achieving master status in the field, started his own company. The young Baltimorean quickly rose to the top of his profession, securing government and residential contracts throughout the city. By 1881 the Sisson family business had 1017 employees working in a network of marble mills and quarries. The enterprise provided the marble work for the interiors of City Hall, the Peabody Institute and a long list of other buildings. Hugh Sisson’s greatest accomplishment may be in the District of Columbia. His steam-powered mills fabricated the columns for the U. S. Capital building.
The Edgar Allan Poe Grave Monument is also the work of the master stonecutter. Dedicated in 1875, the Egyptian style monument was designed by George A. Frederick and carved by Sisson. The memorial is situated at Westminster Burying Ground.
Green Mount Cemetery is home to many headstones etched at Sisson’s Steam Marble Works. While I was locating Olivia Cushing Whitridge (Green Mount’s first interment) I noticed H Sisson inscribed at the bottom edge of a grave in the Whitridge family plot. The otherwise unreadable marker points in the direction of its creator. Hugh Sisson is buried with his work, a towering obelisk in the eastern section of the graveyard nobly marks his grave. He died in 1893. William Henry Rinehart‘s eloquent Sleeping Children sculpture is contained within the Sisson family plot.
Green Mount Cemetery is home to over 68,000 graves. Established in 1838, the 68 rolling country acres located in northern Baltimore City is both intriguing and inviting. The historic park of the dead, built on the former site of merchant Robert Oliver’s estate, is filled with fine sculpture and monumental memorials. Among the towering obelisks and ancient markers are the graves of a few important Americans. There’s the Lincoln Assassin John Wilkes Booth and two of his co-conspirators, Michael O’Laughlen and Samuel Arnold. There’s the sideshow performer Johnny Eck and the poet Sidney Lanier. You can also visit Philanthropist Johns Hopkins or the founder of the American Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Thomas Wildey. It’s a fascinating journey through the past. The links below provide focused GPS information for these and other historic graves at Green Mount.
Baltimore’s Green Mount Cemetery is the final resting place of sideshow performer Johnny Eck. Section R, grave 19 contains the remains of Johnny and his fraternal twin brother Robert. The Ecks (or Eckhardts) were born in East Baltimore in the same house they eventually died in. Traveling often, the brothers always returned to their family home, maintaining the quaint rowhouse even as the neighborhood around it slowly declined. The house was purchased by an Eck enthusiast and is being converted to a museum.
Johnny was a true American icon, born with nothing below his torso, he transformed his inadequacy into a prosperous business. He walked tightropes, performed magic, created models, acted in movies and drove his own modified car. Johnny Eck died in 1991, followed four years later by his brother and lifelong companion, Robert. This modest monument marks their permanent address.
John Wilkes Booth was born in Harford County, MD and made his stage debut at Baltimore’s Charles Street Theatre. The Booth family gravesite is located in Baltimore’s Green Mount Cemetery where John Wilkes rests under an unmarked stone. Small and unassuming, the marker sits at the corner of the family plot, dwarfed by the memorial obelisk at it’s center.
Buried here in February of 1869, four years after his death, John’s body went through a series of circumstances before ending up in Green Mount. Originally inhumed at the Old Penitentiary on the Washington Arsenal grounds, the body was placed in an Army blanket and lowered into a hole that was subsequently covered with a stone slab. Two years later it was exhumed and placed in a wooden box in a locked storeroom at the prison. The government was finally persuaded to release the remains to the Booth family in 1869 where it was viewed in Washington and then Baltimore, before finally being placed in Dogwood Plot #9.
Sculptor Hans Schuler (1874-1951) was born in Alsace-Lorraine, Germany. He moved with his family to the United States as a child, settling in Baltimore, where he spent the rest of his life. Schuler studied at the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College Art, and eventually traveled to France to further his education with Raoul Verlet. In 1901, he won the Salon Gold Medal in Paris, making him the first American sculptor to receive the prestigious award. Along with his numerous outdoor public monuments in Baltimore, his work can also be found in important art galleries such as the Walters Art Museum and the Fogg Art Museum. He also created a multitude of cemetery pieces, most of which are located in Green Mount, Loudon Park and Druid Ridge Cemeteries. Hans Schuler was director of MICA from 1925 until the year of his death.
In 1906, Schuler moved into his studio and residence at 5 E. Lafayette Street, now the Schuler School of Fine Arts and Gallery. Established by his children, the small school offers a curriculum organized around realist art and a study of the Old Masters. Most of Schuler’s work was created in the 2-story, Howard Sill designed building.