Green-Wood Cemetery’s phallic tombstone

Rising out of a lovely hillside in Brooklyn’s most famous necropolis is this large, cylinder-like monument. The carved garland that circles the top is an especially realistic touch.

phallictombstone The gravestone marks the burial site of one A.G. Jennings. No other information  about who he was or when he died exists.

Huge ego? Performance issues? A job manufacturing bullets? A.G. Jennings took his reasons for such a phallic monument to the grave.

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24 Responses to “Green-Wood Cemetery’s phallic tombstone”

  1. The Kid Says:

    I wish you had ended this post with:

    “A.G. Jennings took his reasons to his phallic grave.”

  2. Ruth Edebohls Says:

    According to some quick research, Abraham G. Jennings was the founder of the Jennings Lace Works, with an office in Manhattan and a factory in Brooklyn. His son, Albert Gould Jennings, is also buried at the site. They manufactured silk laces, trimmings and hairnets. Abraham is also the author in 1900 of “The Earth and the World”, A Layman’s Contribution to the Religious Thought of the Times. He was interred in Green-Wood June 6, 1904. His son Albert, according to the New York Times of October 10, 1913, had his marriage annulled on the grounds that his wife “accepted invitations without consulting him and altogether showed a too independent spirit”. Perhaps the garland on top of the monument is a popular Jennings lace pattern?

  3. wildnewyork Says:

    Great detective work. Maybe it’s a popular lace pattern…that just happened to be anatomically correct.

  4. Alma Says:

    A.G. Jennings owned a brownstone at 313 Clinton Ave, Brooklyn, N.Y.
    In the late 1960’s several friends of mine rented rooms on the first floor.
    They had very frightening paranormal experiences many times, scaring them so much that they called the local police! The police knew about the house, 313 Clinton Ave., Brooklyn, as a hot bed of ghostly activity. One warm evening, we were all gathered on the front steps, talking about our experiences, when the then owner of the house, a handsome, young black man came up the front walk.
    I ventured to ask if he knew his house was haunted and he said “Yes, on the 2nd floor!” He then proceeded to tell us of his many personal experiences, including being locked in his bedroom and unable to get out.
    He knew eventually the ghost would let him out, and it did, as the door unlatched and swung slowly open. At another time, a large mirror at the end of a landing fell, but much too far from where it would have naturally landed if it had truly just gotten naturally loose. He said it hit the opposite wall, at the far landing.
    All the tenants had items misplaced, doors that wouldn’t stay put, lights that wouldn’t stay on or off, cold spots, electrical dizziness, etc..
    A year or so later my friends moved out and the place was sold.
    I’ve been intrigued with this true haunting and wanting to know more about it.
    So, he annulled his marriage after nearly 20 years? (NYTimes, Oct.25, 1894.)
    Wonder what was happening inside that house.
    Do you have anymore leads on this story?
    And that wild “tombstone”!!!
    Feedback anyone?

    • Janna Kennedy Says:

      I now live at 313, and have for 25 years! The ghost thing has come up many times and we have experienced the open door thing. We knew the 3rd owner of the house who also believed ghosts lived in the house. I personally do not believe in ghosts, however I am tickled pink to learn this history about the house. It’s just funny that I took Halloween to new levels without the knowledge of the previous history on the house other than the rumors of ghosts opening doors. I also did not know that was A.G. Jennings tombstone at Greenwood, seen it, but had no idea of the connection. Very happy to know all this groovy history!

  5. Marc Ashmore Says:

    Spooks, ghosts and goblins are not unknown visitors to 313. They are, indeed, invited annually. Though, if I could see one in person I would be a happier man. And if one appeared in Mr. Jennings fine lace, I would only assume that ghosts are drag queens too. With excellent taste. “What? This old thing? I saw it in the window and just had to have it.”

  6. Alma Says:

    Wonderful to receive your response. The Jennings Lace Factory AKA Nottingham Lace Factory was on the corner of Park Ave. and Hall St, where the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway now runs.
    I don’t have the exact address. It’s a 15 minute walk from 313 Clinton Ave..
    It’s very interesting to me that a Halloween theme of such magnitude would be inspired by the location.
    The owner of 313, Albert, was the third son and last chosen to help his father run the lace business. It appears his two older brothers were the more valuable and knowledgeable helpers, but when they died Abraham had only Albert to turn to. I believe that may have been a down turning point for the business. There must have been great drama occurring in that household at 313.

  7. Alma Says:

    Marc, I love your comment about the lace curtain.

  8. Deek Says:

    I am one of the cohorts in Jana’s Halloween activities, and I’m chuckling over this all! I live just one block away from the location of where the lace factory was. I’ll have to take a look see, to see if there is any remaining signage, and if so, take photos.

  9. Alma Says:

    These are the hidden stories of old New York. Do you realize that lace was an important commodity at the time that the Jennings lived there? It would be history completely lost if not for the commotion caused by ghosts to get our attention.
    I am becoming amazed at the way this is turning out.
    I wonder what photos you’ll take, Deek, and whether or not “something” may be captured.
    Have any other photos been taken inside the house? And, if so, have there been any anomalies?
    Deek, were you inexplicably “drawn” to 313, or already a friend?

    • Deek Says:

      I was dressed as the accordian player from Nightmare Before Christmas, and a buddy was dressed as Beetlejuice. We we on our way to a local bar after a Halloween party, and saw the giant Jack Skellington on the front porch roof.
      We saw a party going on inside and just knocked on the door out of the blue.

  10. Robb Says:

    I lived for a short time at 313 and have known Jana (and Marc) for most of my life. The few months I lived in the basement in 1987, I often heard someone walking down the hall and entering my bed room. (They scoff.) I never saw a spirit but a date of mine did. Perhaps that’s what scared her off! The Halloween decor every year is a must see!

  11. Alma Says:

    I wouldn’t scoff…….
    What did your date see?
    If she tells us her ghost vision, I’ll tell you mine………her first, though, so I don’t influence the memory in any way…

  12. Alma Says:

    Hi, I’ll be in NYC June 26-July 18. Would anyone like to visit the Jennings Lace Factory site with me?

  13. Janna Kennedy Says:

    Hey Alma;

    The day I posted on this blog site from my office in the city, my daughter was
    home alone up in the kitchen [parlor floor] doing home work when she heard
    a giant crash! Well, guess what…a huge vintage mirror I have owned for over
    30 years crashed to the floor in the downstairs hallway. It had been securely hanging there for YEARS! I guess we have stirred up the invisible residents here!

  14. Marc Ashmore Says:

    Just get me some video and we can at last lay this, “is there such a thing as a ghost, or isn’t there” thing to rest. There are at least three shows on Discover/History/Science channels that delve into this and are, at the end of the day about NOTHING. $$$BOOYAH$$$. No writers. No actors. And the producers rake in all the advertising dollars for a show about NOTHING. Zilch. Zero. Bupkis.

    I would like to see a ghost. I would like to see an alien. I would like to make $2.5 million dollars a year convincing people that they exist with no proof whatsoever. But I guess I’m not enough of a jerk.


  15. Robb Says:

    Well, after Jana contacted me (physically not spiritually) I came back to the blog and want to now apologize to Alma as I did not know you had responded to my posting. This was 22 years ago (OMG!) but if memory serves, my lady friend (stop laughing Jana!) saw the dark figure of a man in the door frame of my room. I had gone out to get some ice cream and when I returned ten minutes later my guest was waiting for me outside the house talking to Jana’s husband. When we got back inside she told me she wanted to leave for as she waited for me to return, she heard me walk down the hall and enter the room, but who (or what) she saw was not me, just a shadow of a man (which Marc often has referred to me as, so you can see her mistake) I have long since lost contact with her so I cannot illuminate further. I also believe (Jana can correct me on this) that my old room has been altered or enlarged into the surrounding rooms so it no longer exists. And if my old college chums are doing a seance, I AM SOOO THERE!!!!!

  16. Marc Ashmore Says:


  17. Kathleen Angier Says:

    Hello all! I read all this info after looking up an old bookplate I found in an old book on lace trimmings at a Massachusetts book sale. The plate belonged to Albert Gould Jennings. A shield with a top triangle portion pointing skyward. Floriated trim around the shield. At top of shield rests an old knight’s helmet looking to the left. Three ‘phallic looking’ columns placed at 1–6–& 11.o’clock. Floating above the shield is a griffin style head clutching another column in it’s beak, also looking left. A banner attached to shield’s bottom reads: “IL BUON TEMPO VERRA”. Finishing with his full name in old English script at bottom.

    • Alma Carey Says:

      Hi All,
      I’m sorry to have been out of touch for so long. Life jumped out and landed on me! I haven’t yet done more on my plans to write and research more on the Jennings family. I want to take that project up again. I found the house where Suzie Crimmins grew up and married Albert Jennings. It’s a fine story. If you think you want to host a seance some time, Janna, I would love to be included. Possibly we could video and record it in case we capture anything.
      Miss you!!!
      Kathleen, is there a chance to post a photo of that symbol? BTW, I’m on Facebook, under Alma Carey (I’m in Burbank, CA)

  18. Jennifer Blanton Gunzburg Says:

    In the early 70’s I lived in the garden apartment of 313 Clinton Av. I was newly separated from my Pratt graduate student husband at the time. I adored the house and felt extremely fortunate to live there. I’ve enjoyed reading the house’s history and also reading about Janna the Holloween Lady.

  19. Benjamin P. Feldman Says:

    Not sure if folks have their facts right here or not; please see the dispositive article on Daytonian in Manhattan:

  20. Benjamin P. Feldman Says:

    And see Find-A-Grave about this marker and decedent….

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