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John bore a deep affection for his brother Charles and never recovered from the latter’s death; he died in 1887, leaving the family fortune and business in the hands of his younger brother, Robert Johnston.

About 30 gravestones stand in the old burial ground, dating from 1743 to 1889.

The showpiece at Old Calvary is the massive Johnston mausoleum that sits atop a hill near the cemetery’s eastern edge.

Built of huge granite blocks, this domed neo-Baroque chapel and tomb has a figure of Christ holding a cross at its summit and sculpted angels at each corner of the roof, gazing heavenward. Johnston, was one of the city’s most successful merchants when he built the mausoleum in 1873, reportedly at a cost of $200,000 (roughly equivalent to $4 million today).

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The 50-foot-high granite obelisk is surmounted by a bronze figure representing peace that was sculpted by Daniel Draddy.

Draddy also created the four life-size bronze figures depicting Civil War soldiers that stand on pedestals surrounding the column (identical figures border the Soldiers’ Monument at Green-wood Cemetery, which was erected three years later).

By the early 1900s, it had over 750,000 interments and handled 18,000 burials a year—almost half the annual deaths in the city at that time.