Reminiscent of the final scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” a truck entered the Druid Hill Cemetery in Pikesville, Maryland to pick up a statue. The truck was sent from the Smithsonian Institute to pick up the legendary “Black Aggie.” Forms were signed, receipts were given.
The Smithsonian, however, has no record of receiving the statue.
The Black Aggie was Baltimore’s most well-known urban legend. Its disappearance, of course, made perfect sense.
For those new to legend of the Black Aggie, here is the short version.
The Black Aggie was a copy made of the statue “Grief” commissioned by Henry Adams of Washington DC whose wife killed herself in 1885 after the death of her father. The artist for the sculpture was none that the quite famous Augustus St. Gaudens. St. Gaudens is most famous for his “Walking Liberty” design used on the $20 gold coin.
The name of the statue became known as “Grief,” the writer Mark Twain being the one whose name for it stuck.
The statue was finally placed in the cemetery in 1891.
Just a few years later, the statue has mold marks, which were soon discovered. It seemed someone was set to make a copy of the work. Indeed, in 1907 the copy showed up at Druid Hill Cemetery. The owner of the site was Felix Angus. Angus was a Civil War veteran and later the owner of the newspaper “American” published in Baltimore.
Mr. Angus paid a Mr. Pausch for the statue. It is unsure if Angus knew at that time it was a copy. Upon finding out that her husband’s statue was copied, Mrs. St. Gaudens announced that it was a barbaric thing to do.
Of course, after the statue was placed in Druid Hill in 1907, things began to get weird. The grass in front of the monument died and did not grow while the statue stood. Young groups began to challenge each other to spend the night in front of the statue.
Several people died, supposedly of “fright” in the statues presence. The statue was thought to attract ghosts and other beings from the cemetery.
One of the final moments for the statue residing in Baltimore was when someone attacked the statue and sawed off one of its arms. Graffiti began to desecrate the Angus tomb. The managers of the cemetery asked that the statue be moved.
And so, in 1968, the truck took the statue and as far as anyone knew, the statue was stored right next to the box containing the “Ark of the Covenant” of Indiana Jones fame.
A reporter investigating the story finally caught up with its present whereabouts. Apparently, the statue now resides in the garden at the Dolly Madison House in Washington DC.
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By the way, as a Channel 37 bit of trivia, The Black Aggie is the inspiration for the angelic statue in our Eva Golemina story of last year.
If any of our fans would like, if you find yourself in DC, send us a picture of the Black Aggie and its new digs (originals, please, not file photos from the internet). The first five fans that do can get a copy of one of our e-books listed in our store. Please, do not go at midnight! We need all the fans we have.