Mason, Cheryl. “Unveiling The Mystery Of The Lady In Glass In Lakeview Cemetery,” Jamestown (NY) Post-Journal, 16 August 1997.
The Post-Journal website: http://post-journal.com/
By CHERYL MASON
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.
The life size glass enclosed statue of a young woman in Lake View Cemetery attracts attention of thousands of persons each year…And many stories, most of them untrue, circulate about the young woman.
Years ago, in response to many inquiries from Post-Journal readers, the story of the monument was learned from Mrs. Fred Galloway of Orchard Park, formerly of Jamestown, sister-in-law of Miss Grace Galloway, to whom the family monument is dedicated.
Grace Galloway died Nov. 2, 1898, at the age of 27…She was taken ill with tuberculosis while studying music in Boston, Mass., and died in less than a year…She had gone south to Asheville, N.C., for her health, and had also been a patient at Saranac, and was returning south when she died in Pittsburgh, Pa…Funeral services were held at the First Baptist Church her and Miss Galloway’s favorite hymns were sung.
The Galloway home was what is now the Moose Club Home at Fifth and Liberty Streets…John Galloway, father of Grace Galloway, had seen a monument in a Buffalo cemetery which impressed him and gave him the idea for the monument in Lake View Cemetery…He engaged an artist in Pittsburgh who modeled the figure in clay from Miss Galloway’s last portrait…It was sent to Florence, Italy, where it was carved in Italian marble…Miss Galloway’s dress was sent along with it so that it could be copied.
The statue is true to Miss Galloway’s height and figure, although some of the family felt that the face does not too much resemble her.
The other part of the monument is of masonry…Both Mr. Galloway and his son, Fred Galloway, were masons.
Miss Galloway was said to have been a loving, kind and cheerful person, giving freely of her time and money to helping others.
Local Information at Your Click!
An Index to Area Resources on the Web
Local Information at Your Click! is supported by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds,
awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2003.