Happy Valentine’s Day to Brooklyn’s Romeo and Juliet
The tragic pair lie together for eternity in Green-Wood Cemetery
Happy Valentine’s Day to Brooklyn’s own Romeo and Juliet.
They lie together — or as close together as the rules of 19th-century Catholicism would allow — for eternity in famed Green-Wood Cemetery.
It wasn’t a family feud that tore this tragic couple asunder, which is of course what happened to Shakespeare’s lovers.
It was a carriage accident in 1845.
Charlotte Canda perished on her 17th birthday after she was thrown from a horse-drawn carriage on the way home from a party in Greenwich Village.
The young debutante died in her parents’ arms. If that’s not enough to rip your heart apart, consider the fate of her fiancé, Charles Albert Jarrett de la Marie.
The grief-stricken French nobleman killed himself for love of her, a year after her death.
Because he committed suicide, he couldn’t be buried in the same consecrated ground as the Catholic teenager — whose family had a stunning tabernacle-shaped Gothic Revival monument built for her at Green-Wood.
It has hauntingly beautiful statues of her — wearing her birthday gown and a crown of 17 rosebuds — and two companion angels.
A notable architect of that era, John Frazee, made the white marble monument. Its design was adapted from sketches Charlotte herself had made for a monument for an aunt who had died.
Jarrett de la Marie is buried in unconsecrated ground at the edge of his beloved’s gravesite.
His tombstone is nearly illegible from long years of exposure to the elements. We know it’s his thanks to a posting on Green-Wood Cemetery’s website that tells the story of the star-crossed lovers.
Touched by the couple’s tragic romance, Victorian-era New Yorkers flocked to their gravesites at Green-Wood.
This past weekend, there were footprints in the snow around their graves — an indication that modern-day romantics among us remember their sad story.
With additional reporting by Stephanie Kotsikonas
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