4. Charlotte Canda
Debutante Charlotte Canda was coming home from her “coming out” party on the evening of her seventeenth birthday in 1845 when the horse pulling her carriage down Fifth Avenue was spooked by a thunderclap. Charlotte was thrown from the carriage and died in her father’s arms. She had been hard at work on designs for the tomb of her aunt, who had recently died. Those designs went into her own grave as Charlotte’s grieving father immediately began plans for an elaborate memorial to his daughter at Green-Wood.
The resulting tomb became one of Green-Wood’s most popular tourist attractions once it was completed in 1848. By the 1860s, people knew “Miss Canda” from poems and songs about her grave at Green-Wood. The gorgeous, Gothic style memorial is filled with symbolism: it is seventeen feet wide and seventeen feet long, for each year of Charlotte’s brief life. A statue of Charlotte stands underneath a canopy of stars, decorated with roses, which symbolize the loss of a young woman. Charlotte’s fiance, a young man named Charles Albert Jarrett de la Marie, consumed with grief, committed suicide a year after her death. At the time, suicides weren’t allowed to be buried in consecrated ground, so he rests just adjacent to Charlotte’s epic memorial at Green-Wood.
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