Saturday, August 6, 2011

Searching for Joy

Lest the title has you thinking we were on some sort of cultish spiritual mission, it was actually 'JOY' detergent that was the object of our trip off the grounds while in Chautauqua. The annual trip to Wegmans to find the biggest bucket of 'Joy' detergent made. I don't know why we don't have 'Joy' in Canada. Pity.

I happened to wonder out loud if the Professor had ever seen "The Lady in Glass" at the Jamestown cemetery. He had not. I had learned about her one other summer while touring Dana's childhood haunts in Jamestown.

Here she is. The story?

Unveiling The Mystery Of The Lady In Glass In Lakeview Cemetery


The myths about the Galloway "Lady in the Glass Case" memorial in Lake View Cemetery in Jamestown grow bigger with each passing generation. Speculation ranges from the untimely death of a young bride, to the '50s version of the untimely death on a prom date, to a forbidden love between a rich heiress and her chauffeur.
Some embellish the tale with reports that she roams the cemetery on dark and foggy nights, crying for her lost love. The more creative version is that the body of the young woman is encased within the statue itself.

When Rebecca Jo Rosen of Jamestown contacted descendants of the Galloway family in the course of her research on the cemetery, they were all amused to hear the myths that had grown up around the family monument. Elizabeth G. Smith, great niece to Grace Laverne Galloway, who is buried at that site, offer the family history.

Grace Laverne Galloway was the only daughter of three children born to a wealthy family. Her father, John Galloway, had made his fortune in oil in Titusville, Pa. They lived in a mansion that is now the Moose Club in Jamestown. because she was a promising opera singer who frequently appeared at Chautauqua Institution, her family chose to send her to a Boston institute to study music. She was a young woman with career aspirations and little time for romance.

Although she was said to be very friendly, outgoing and generous with her time and money for charitable work, the fact is, to the best of Elizabeth smith's knowledge, Grace Galloway was never seriously involved with anyone before her death at the young age of 26. When she died in 1898, it was from a case of tuberculosis contracted during her stay in Boston, not from a broken heart.

Her parents eager to find a cure, had sent her to North Carolina in the hope that she would recover. She died a year later in Pittsburgh, on her way back from a visit home. all of the Galloway money could not buy the life of their only daughter, Grace.

Later, the family commissioned an artist in Italy to sculpt a statue, modeled after the likeness of Grace, in a dress they had chosen at random. It was a monument to be built in living memory. The rest of the monument was constructed by John Galloway and his father.

When it became evident that the statue would eventually be destroyed by the elements, it was encased in glass.

"In the next 100 years, maybe people will know that she was Grace Laverne Galloway, who lived and had hopes just like everyone else," says Ms. Rosen.
It's as simple as that.

We did find the 'Joy' and had even more joy cruising the area around Jamestown, NY.

Mason, Cheryl. "Unveiling The Mystery Of The Lady In Glass In Lakeview Cemetery," Jamestown (NY) Post-Journal, 16 August 1997.
Photos: my own


  1. Lovely lady in glass. Wonderful post!

  2. I always look forward to your interesting "bits". Such a beautiful memorial.