Letters to the Editor
Where in the Hudson Valley:
A Massive Monument (March)
|The Celtic Cross in St. Peter's Cemetery Photograph by Holly Meister|
Judging from the dearth of correct responses, identifying the giant Celtic cross pictured in last month’s issue was a little tricky for most of our readers. (But not for all: see below for a selection of the e-mails we received.) The memorial stands in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Poughkeepsie. Made of precast concrete, it was the largest cross of its kind in the country when it was built in 1917. The structure towered majestically for close to 80 years before time and the elements brought it to the brink of collapse. Enter the James J. McCann Charitable Trust, which in the early 1990s donated the funds necessary to rebuild the cross in solid granite. The long-standing tradition of celebrating Memorial Day Mass in front of the cross, which was abandoned in the 1960s, resumed in 1999, according to Fr. James Garisto of St. Peter’s Church. Our thanks to Fr. Garisto and John Ansley of Marist College’s James A. Cannavino Library (Archives and Special Collections, Catholic Studies Collection) for providing information on the cross’s long history. And congratulations to Alan Travis of Lake Peekskill, who was the first to correctly identify the “massive monument.” He wins a gift certificate from Umberto’s of Mamma Marisa in Poughkeepsie.
In response to your Massive Monument article, I believe (actually I know) it is located at St. Peter’s Cemetery on Salt Point Turnpike in the Town of Poughkeepsie, opposite the old Fargo Manufacturing plant and Crystal Glen condos. I remember seeing the original construction before the renovation in 1993; I remember the mosaic tiles which were mostly a brilliant royal blue. For a time I thought they were possibly leaded glass, but now think that would be impossible for an outdoor memorial. Your magazine is wonderful and I have been reading it for many, many years. Keep up the good work.
My friends and I first saw the cross in 1972. We were taking a break from classes at Dutchess Community College and took a stroll through St. Peter’s Cemetery after getting ice cream at Brenners Ice Cream Parlor. It looked like it was made out of old concrete. It sure looks great now!
Claus and Mary Schulz
The Celtic cross is located in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Poughkeepsie. It was erected as a tribute to those in the armed forces during WWI. It was constructed around a steel frame embedded in a concrete foundation. Inside is a brick flue for drainage and the face is concrete with a ground-granite facing. At the time it was constructed, it was described by Popular Mechanics Magazine as “one of the most impressive monuments erected in this country in honor of the men who are giving up their lives in the great war.”
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America
The monument is located in Poughkeepsie at St. Peter’s Cemetery and was made of precast cement. I have been living in Suffern for the past six years, and it was the best move I ever made. With the help of your magazine I have been enjoying the Hudson Valley and all its wonders ever since. Thank you!
I believe that the Celtic cross is in the old/early section of St. Peter’s Cemetery in Poughkeepsie. As a transplant to Vermont with strong ties to Dutchess County, I enjoy the magazine. The photo and article on the Green Fly Swamp was great.
The Celtic Cross is located in the St. Peter’s Cemetery on Salt Point Turnpike in Poughkeepsie. The cross was originally constructed of precast concrete.
Frank T. Mahady
I very much enjoy Hudson Valley, which I find generally informative, witty, well written, and well edited. How appalling, then, to find in the March 2007 issue — and in your Editor’s Note, no less — the construction “...we were Protestant (alright, lapsed Protestants)...” The word “alright” has no place in your magazine or indeed anywhere except in an imitation of semiliterate writing. “Alright” is not all right. “Already,” which has perhaps influenced the creation of “alright,” is all right. “Alright” is all wrong; if it persists, it will soon be alwrong.
Whew! Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.
What can we say? You are absolutely right. We spend a lot of time checking for just such grammatical blunders — but this one slipped through our fingers. You can rest assured we will not make that same mistake again. All right?