Click here to contribute to the annual Albany Rural Cemetery fund.
If you 've read any of the articles that I've posted to the main page of this site, you'll notice that I have a strong interest in cemeteries in general and, in particular, the Albany Rural Cemetery. For me, cemeteries are about history, both personal and general. For me, they're a particularly tangible form of history. And Albany Rural is certainly so much more than just the Cemetery where a President of the United States is buried. There are scores of fascinating people here - artists, mayors, soldiers, slaves and so many people who are not particularly famous, but so very interesting.
Currently, I maintain two blogs on the subject of the Rural:
The first is a general blog where I post various monuments and stories that have caught my attention as I explore and research. The second is a more in-depth look at the section known as The Church Grounds, a large lot where the graves from the old State Street Burying Grounds were relocated to make way for Washington Park.
These blogs have also place for me to post the extras that may or may not be included in my book, Beyond The Graves - A History of The Albany Rural Cemetery. I've been working on this project for almost five years now and it has certainly taken longer than expected, partly due to a knee injury in 2012 and partly because there is far more research material to work with that I could have imagined. No matter how much I find, I always feels as if there is more. So the research continues and the manuscript continues to grow. There is a quite a bit of material that I will eventually have to cut from the final draft, but those excerpts will eventually appear here and on the blogs.
A couple of years ago, I heard in a roundabout way that Paul Grondhal of the Times Union was about to publish a book on the same Rural Cemetery. I will admit that I did panic for a moment since it would be quite hard to compete with such a respected journalist and award-winning author and, with so much research still uncomplete, there's no way I could publish first. Once the book, These Exalted Acres: Unlocking The Secrets of Albany Rural Cemetery, was in print, I ordered a copy immediately and realized I didn't need to worry. I enjoyed Grondhal's book a great deal (and regret missing his various author talks on it), but it was clear that the scope and focus of my project is very different that his and that it will not be a competing work. In fact, I will eventually write a review of These Exalted Acres and, if you have not checked it out already, you certainly should. The Kindle edition is available through Amazon and the print edition can be ordered through Lulu.
While I share my research in my manuscript and on my blogs, I'd like to further expand the material I put on-line. So, I hope to add more extensive articles (similar to the Jeremiah Field article that I recently posted) here as time permit,. I am also launching a Facebook page for the project and I do hope you'll join me there as I will be posting all of my related blog updates, articles of interest, links, photos, and more.
Above: A stereoview image of Consecration Lake. Located between the Cemetery's South and Middle Ridges, the lake has since been drained. Remnants of the damn and a stone bridge (where the wooden bridge appears in the photograph) can still be seen with the ravine and several impressive old vaults overlook the site. From my personal collection.
The Potter's Field - list of burials in the Potter's Field at the Albany Rural Cemetery
albanyruralcemetery.org - The Cemetery's website - includes a searchable database of burials, information of current Cemetery use, and some excellent antique views.
Friends of The Abany Rural Cemetery - Printable PDF form - please consider joining!
Above: The exceptional book monument honoring industrialist Henry Burden and his wife, Helen.