NATHANIEL TUCKER and ARIEL LOW lots
These two lots are considered together because they are related. Ariel Low bought his lot in late October of 1854; Nathaniel Tucker bought his lot across the way (actually a double lot) just 2 1/2 months later, in early January 1855. Both Ariel Low and Nathaniel Tucker were dealers in leather goods. In their early days their businesses were on the same street in Boston, just doors away from each other. They even died just 6 months apart. Cemetery records indicate that Low bought his lot with business associates and friends; this probably happened with Tucker as well. Since Low and Tucker were both in the leather business, it is very likely they were close friends or business associates.
At the top of the Tucker monument is another allegorical figure, this time Hope. The figure of Hope is always shown with her attribute, an anchor, as here. The bottom part of the monument shows a more personal scene: a couple in nineteenth century clothes cross their hearts as they face each other, as winged cherubs hover over them in the clouds. Put together with the choice of Hope as the main figure, the scene most likely refers to the expectation that the couple and their family members and friends would be reunited in the afterlife. (Note: there are no 19th century children buried in the lot, so we don't think the cherubs refer to Tucker children.) Death would bring a joyful reunion in Heaven. Notice also the motif you have already seen, the inverted torches.
The Ariel Low lot across the way is shared with members of several other families, which contains another type of monument. The sarcophagus refers to a casket. It is covered with an elaborate and beautifully carved sheaf of wheat. The sheaf of wheat refers to the fact that Low had a prosperous, successful and long life, and that his “harvest” was now in. Low made sure people knew he was a good Christian, as represented by the cross. The ivy refers to things like friendship, fidelity, and everlasting life.
Taken together with the granite curbing at each of these lots, reminiscent of city lots, the Low and Tucker lots create a kind of neighborhood. Clearly, Ariel Low and Nathaniel Tucker, along with their friends and family members, replicated and even perpetuated here in the cemetery their earthly bonds of friendship and kinship which would continue in the hereafter.
Very likely also in the nineteenth century the lots were furnished with iron garden furniture and urns with plantings. (This is no longer allowed.) It was not uncommon to think of the family lot as an extension of the family’s home, a place to pay a “visit” to departed loved ones, and to spend a little time at the lot. A visit to the family lot could be an enjoyable, relaxing one, especially in a beautiful park-like cemetery like Forest Hills—exactly as it was meant to be used.
Proceed to the next stop, the Stillman E. Chubbuck family lot.
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