Dave Higgins Photography

Looking at life through nano-coated lenses

Posts from the ‘Sights Unseen’ category

Last week I had the chance to meet some of the residents of Albany Rural Cemetery. No, I wasn’t at a seance or anything else paranormal. I was instead taking a tour of a part of the cemetery during which cast members at various grave markers told us about their lives and how they wound up where they are. The event was put on by The Historical Society of the Town of Colonie. It was a fascinating experience that offered a tangible dimension that would have been missing from a simple tour with a dry presentation about who was buried where.

I’d brought my infrared camera with the idea of taking pictures of some of the markers. But I wound up creating infrared images of the presenters in their period costumes. I really like the effect – everything seems more ethereal and timeless. You’ll find them below, along with the brief bios provided to us by the Historical Society. In the end I gained a greater appreciation of how much history is rooted in the Capital Region – especially in Albany Rural Cemetery.

(Per the ARC website: “Among the many historic people interred in ARC are: the 21st President of the United States, Chester A. Arthur; 34 members of Congress; eight presidential Cabinet members; five New York State governors; and 55 mayors of the City of Albany since it founding.” There are also over 1,000 Civil War soldiers buried there, including a handful of confederate soldiers.)

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Charles Fort

Charles Fort: author of several books on unexplained phenomena; beings on Mars controlling events on earth; a sinister civilization extant at the South Pole. Fort said he didn’t believe anything he had ever written. Portrayed by Ed Bablin.

Joseph K Emmet

Joseph K. Emmet: comedic stage actor, best known for his depiction of a character in the play “Our Cousin German.” Emmet Street in North Albany is named for him. The original Wolfert’s Roost was built by “Fritz” Emmet. Portrayed by Sean Owens.

Emily Weed Barnes

Emily Weed Barnes: daughter of Albany Evening Journal editor Thurlow Weed. Became wife of William Barnes, who took over as editor of Albany Evening Journal. During the Civil War, Emily helped establish the Albany Relief Bazaar to raise money for sick and wounded soldiers of the War of the Rebellion. Portrayed by Lori Dollard.

Fredrick Cleveland

Fredrick Cleveland: founder of the Cleveland Baking Powder Company. Cleveland lost two young children with fever, which was later found to be from contaminated water in the home well. His mansion on Van Rensselaer Blvd. was called “Greyledge.” Portrayed by Brian Dollard.

Daniel Manning and his second wife

Daniel Manning: businessman, journalist, and politician. Became editor and owner of Albany Argus. Most notable for having served as the 37th United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Grover Cleveland. Manning Boulevard is named in his honor. Portrayed by Peter Crouse.

Louis Menand

Louis Menand: born in France, came to America and became an authority on horticulture and botanical subjects. Established his business north of Albany near Albany Rural Cemetery. The Village of Menands is named for Louis Menand. Portrayed by Eric Washburn.

Brig. Gen. Adolph Von Steinwehr

Brig. Gen. Adolph Von Steinwehr: born in Germany, his father was a major in the ducal service, grandfather was Lt. Gen. in Prussian Army. Educated at a military academy in Germany, he became a brigadier general in the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. Steinwehr Avenue in Gettysburg is named for him. Portrayed by Robert Mulligan.

Capt. John Cooke

Capt. John Cooke: born in England, emigrated to America. Joined local militia company. Fought in Mexican War and Civil War, where he was wounded in action at Port Hudson, LA. Was a messenger at State Attorney General’s office until his death in 1875. Portrayed by Will Trevor.

Mary McPherson

Mary McPherson: born in Scotland in 1804, moved to Albany in 1819. Had a bronze statue atop a rose-coloered Scottish granite of famed Scottish poet Robert Burns erected in Washington Park at her bequest. Sculptor was Albany native Charles Calverly. Portrayed by Diane Doring.

Stephen Van Rensselaer III

Stephen Van Rensselaer III: married to Margaret Schuyler, daughter of Revolutionary War Gen. Philip Schuyler. During War of 1812, led unsuccessful attack on Queenston Heights. Later became active in politics as NYS Assemblyman & Senator and US Congressman. Founder of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Portrayed by Bill Douglas.

Col. Michael K. Bryan

Col. Michael K. Bryan: born in Ireland, moved to America and settled in Albany. Proprietor of restaurant and hotel in Albany. Active in local militia, becoming Captain. Promoted to Colonel of 175th NY Infantry during Civil War. Killed in battle at Port Hudson, LA. Portrayed by Jim Verhagen.

For more stories about Albany Rural Cemetery residents, visit my page Visits With The Dead.

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All photographs are © Dave Higgins and “Dave Higgins Photography,” 2018; all rights reserved.

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Victory Woods #1 – 9/19/2011

These photographs were taken in Victory Woods, site of the camp to which British General Burgoyne’s forces retreated for ten days before surrendering after the Battle of Saratoga – the first great American victory of the Revolutionary War. This site has recently been developed by the National Park Service, which also maintains the nearby Saratoga Battlefield.

Aside from the new trail and boardwalk – as well as the interpretive signs along them, the woods look pretty much like any other wooded area in the vicinity. Perhaps these photos can conjure up some of the spirit and emotions grounded in this spot.

We watched them stumble at last up the low hills of Saratoga, burning Schuyler’s fine house and buildings as they did so; and there on those heights, with their cattle and horses dying among them for lack of forage, they stayed day after day.

“Rabble In Arms” – Kenneth Roberts

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Lately I’ve been taking some photographs that explore the relationship between earthbound things and the sky. Here’s a sampling.

Cloud Tree – Hubbardton, VT 6/21/2011

Limb – Williamstown, MA 6/19/2011

Wheel Rake – Hubbardton, VT 6/21/2011

Birch – Williamstown, MA 6/19/2011

Fence – Hubbardton, VT 6/21/2011

Birches – Williamstown, MA – 6/19/2011

Trees & Clouds – Hubbardton, VT 6/21/2011

Meadow – Hubbardton, VT 6/21/2011

Pasture – Williamstown, MA 6/19/2011

Contours – Hubbardton, VT 6/21/2011

Slope – Williamstown, MA 6/19/2011

Predator or Prey? – 8/17/2011

Take a Bite – 8/17/2011

Letting Go – 8/17/2011

All photographs are © Dave Higgins and “Dave Higgins Photography,” 2011; all rights reserved.

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Infrared photos can have a beautiful, dreamlike quality. Cemeteries on a sunny day can offer a sense of peaceful beauty. But put them both together and the results can be somewhat spooky…

Chapel – Oakwood Cemetery, 9/6/2009

“Behold The Open Door” – Geneva, 6/5/2009

Grieving Woman – Albany Rural Cemetery, 5/23/2009

Mausoleum – Albany Rural Cemetery, 5/23/2009

Broken Pillar – Albany Rural Cemetery, 5/23/2009

Shaker Cemetery – Colonie, 7/1/2010

“Oliver” – Oakwood Cemetery, 9/6/2009

High Cross – Albany Rural Cemetery, 5/23/2009

Mausoleum with Roads – Albany Rural Cemetery, 5/23/2009

Tracy Mausoleum – Oakwood Cemetery, 9/6/2009

Crematorium – Oakwood Cemetery, 9/6/2009

All photographs are © Dave Higgins and “Dave Higgins Photography,” 2011; all rights reserved.

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Modern science tells us at the most basic level everything is simultaneously an individual (particle) and part of a collective (wave). However, we can never see both of these qualities at the same time: how we look at something will determine whether we see it as one or the other. Furthermore, what we see of an individual thing can be shaped by its relationship to the collective.

This sounds rather abstract and esoteric; but there are examples of this principle everywhere in our day-to-day life. For instance, it’s something I’ve been exploring by photographing leaves…

Leaves – Christman Santuary, 8/30/2009

Leaves and Forest – Christman Sanctuary, 8/30/2009

Trunk and Leaves – Thacher Park, 8/16/2009

Hidden Trunk – Lawson Lake, 7/3/2010

Right Branch – Lawson Lake, 7/3/2010

Left Branch – Lawson Lake, 7/3/2010

Tree Silhoutte – Lawson Lake, 7/3/2010

Maples – Christman Sanctuary, 8/30/2009

All photographs are © Dave Higgins and “Dave Higgins Photography,” 2011; all rights reserved.

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