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All Souls 2015: “And there are some who have no memorial”

Cross in St. Paul's Lot, Albany Rural Cemetery

Cross in St. Paul’s Lot, Albany Rural Cemetery

On this All Souls Day, I ask you to remember those souls resting on the St. Paul’s lot (Lot 126, Section 26) in Albany Rural Cemetery. It was given to the parish in 1878 by Miss Mary E. Hewson, “as a place where the poor of the Parish might be buried” and has been used regularly since then both for parishioners and for other needy persons.

Dedication of Cross in St. Paul's Lot, 1911

Dedication of Cross in St. Paul’s Lot, 1911

With adoption of The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and Fasts in 1979, this day is now known as Commemoration of All Faithful Departed. Certainly, these souls resting in our lot include faithful members of the St. Paul’s family, including Miss Josephine Chandler, a seamstress at Myers Department Store on Pearl Street for 29 years.

Albany Evening News 1927 Feb 22

Albany Evening News 1927 Feb 22

She was active at St. Paul’s starting in 1920’s, as a member of the Girls’ Friendly Society (performing in minstrel shows, and organizing card parties) and the Business Women’s Guild, as a volunteer at church bazaars, and as a Sunday School teacher. She was buried here from St. Paul’s in 1972.

Josephine Chandler's Tombstone

Josephine Chandler’s Tombstone

But I ask that you also remember “those who faith is known to God alone”, those who are described in the apocryphal Wisdom of Jesus ben Sirach: “And there are some who have no memorial, who have perished as though they had not lived; they have become as though they had not been born, and so have their children after them.”

Among these is Elizabeth Wallace, who died in Albany in 1888. We know very little about her: she was born in Ireland, lived last at 349 Washington Ave, and died of arthritis at the age of 34. Newspapers do no mention her life or her death, and she seems never to have been affiliated with the church. She rests in Tier 1 of the St. Paul’s lot, her resting place unmarked.

The Jay Street Parish House

The Parish House for St. Paul’s Lancaster Street building was at 79 Jay Street, at the rear of the church building. It consisted of two buildings, both donated in memory of long-time members. This photograph, from the 1920 Year Book, is the earliest that shows both sections.

St. Paul's Jay Street Parish House, 1920

St. Paul’s Jay Street Parish House, 1920

The older section on the east side was built in 1883 through a donation by John Henry Van Antwerp in memory of his wife Martha Nancy Wiswall Van Antwerp, who had died in 1880.

John Henry Van Antwerp

John Henry Van Antwerp

John H. Van Antwerp was first elected to the vestry in 1858 and became senior warden in 1862. At the time of his retirement in 1902 he had served continuously as senior warden for an amazing 41 years.

The western section of the Parish House was built in 1920, with funds donated by Pauline Hewson Wilson in memory of her parents, George Powers Wilson and Helen Louisa Hewson Wilson.

George Powers Wilson

George Powers Wilson

Helen Louisa Hewson Wilson

Helen Louisa Hewson Wilson

Parish House Plaque

Parish House Plaque

George P. Wilson had served as vestryman for two periods (1876-1878 and 1884-1895) and two periods as warden (1895-1900 and 1908-1918), for a combined 28 years as vestryman and warden.

There are very few photographs of the exterior of these buildings. The next that I’ve been able to find shows the Van Antwerp section in May 1964, with the date 1883 visible just left of center.

St. Paul's Church Jay Street Facade May 1964

St. Paul’s Church Jay Street Facade May 1964

A few months later, in October 1964, a St. Paul’s parishioner took this photograph of the Parish House just before it was demolished. Several blocks to the south of the church had already been leveled, producing the only picture to show the entire building from a distance.

St. Paul's Jay Street Facade October 1964

St. Paul’s Jay Street Facade October 1964

The final image of the Parish House (from the Times-Union archive), taken a few days later, shows the buildings during demolition, with the 1883 date again clearly displayed.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church is demolished to make way the South Mall Oct. 19, 1964, in Albany, N.Y. Historic buildings and streets 1960s, Empire State Plaza. (Times Union archive)

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is demolished to make way the South Mall Oct. 19, 1964, in Albany, N.Y. Historic buildings and streets 1960s, Empire State Plaza. (Times Union archive)

St. Paul’s Lancaster Building On Postcards!

In the early twentieth century, postcards were a popular way for families and friends to keep in touch. The variety of subjects is immense; cards show not just natural sights, or impressive buildings, but more humble streets scenes, and even churches.

Today we share three postcards printed in the first decade of the last century, all showing St. Paul’s Church on Lancaster Street. The first image should be familiar, because we use it here frequently. It appears on a card mailed from Albany to Brooklyn, New York in December 1911. During this period, the card reverse could be used only for the address, so you see the message on the face of card below the photograph.

Postcard of St. Paul's Church (1911)

Postcard of St. Paul’s Church (1911)

The next card is slightly earlier, but uses the same image, along with pictures of other Albany church and public buildings. It was mailed in December 1906, also to Brooklyn, New York.

St. Paul's Postcard (1906)

St. Paul’s Postcard (1906)

Finally, with many thanks to the good people at the Albany Postcard Project, we are able to share another card, mailed to Schenectady in August 1906. Can you find St. Paul’s? It peeking out from behind the beautiful young woman in the last letter of “Albany.”

Greetings from Albany (1906),  by permission of the Albany Postcard Project

Greetings from Albany (1906), by permission of the Albany Postcard Project

 

Early Spring 1965 — Continued Construction Progress on Hackett Boulevard

Here is another set of unlabeled slides from the St. Paul’s archives, with nice views of the progress of construction. The slides were processed in April 1965, but there are no leaves on the trees and there may be a touch of snow on the nave roof, so the photographs may have bee taken a bit earlier.

First a good shot of most of the site, though only a bit of the chapel shows on the left side. This was taken from what is now the parking lot of Albany Medical Center’s South Clinical Campus, then Child’s Hospital. Was this still open land at that time? It seems not to have been paved.

Hackett Blvd April 1965, showing entire construction site

Hackett Blvd April 1965, showing entire construction site

Next, two dramatic shots of the west end of the nave, almost complete.

Hackett Blvd April 1965, exterior west end of nave

Hackett Blvd April 1965, exterior west end of nave

Hackett Blvd April 1965, exterior west end of nave

Hackett Blvd April 1965, exterior west end of nave

And finally, more detail of the nave construction, with all of the temporary supports still in place.

Hackett Blvd April 1965, construction of nave

Hackett Blvd April 1965, construction of nave