My pal Sarah Celentano of the New-York Historical Society spent Christmas Eve 2019 at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn and got some photos of the Christmas family plot. It’s one of the older plots in the cemetery, in fact, and I remembered I had found it too when I visited in October 2018. To find out more about the Christmas family, I turned to the reliable Maggie Blanck.
Family patriarch Charles Christmas (1795-1868) was British immigrant who owned grand mansion in what is now called the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn that was known as the Christmas Mansion, at 2nd Place and Henry Street.
Charles Christmas was one of the best brokers and bankers in this city. He is now a partner of the great banking house of A. Belmont & Co. Fortunate as Mr. Belmont seems to be in everything, he never was more fortunate than when he secured the brains, financial experience, and the integrity of Charles Christmas. He was for many years the chief manager of Prime, Ward & King, whose fame was world wide. Their banking house was at 42 Wall street. Mr. Christmas left that house in order to go into the same business at 44 Wall street, with Robert I. Livingston in 1834, under the firm of Christmas & Livingston. [Old Merchants of New York City]
They don’t carve tombstones like this anymore — take a look at that elaborate serifed lettering. Christmas’ wife Harriet passed away in 1837, before Green-Wood Cemetery was established, so she was likely exhumed and reinterred in the Christmas Green-Wood plot.
Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”
A Bury Merry Christmas to All!
“Have a Bury Merry Christmas,
And I hope that you have found,
That death’s not good,
Until you’re underground.
Yes it’s hard to light the candles,
When they’re covered with thick earth,
Push the lid, just like I did,
To give yourself some berth.
Ho Ho, my big dead toe,
Has fallen off you see.
Someone has decomposed,
That someone would be me.
Have a Bury Merry Christmas,
Bring out all the green & red,
Yes you will,
Enjoy it still,
Even when you’re dead!”
Dear WMW XVII: My regards to Dr. Martin Abend (dec’d). Take a look at the new “fun city” while you’re at it:
The lettering on that monument has stood up remarkably well to the elements.
Something that old is usually barely legible.Guess it depends on how much
money you wanna spend on a tombstone.