In the High Grove section of the Pittsfield Cemetery stands the Allen Monument, which was erected in 1885 to mark the final resting place of the Honorable Thomas Allen.
This monument stands 42 feet tall, measures 4 ½ feet square at the base and tapers gradually to 2 feet 9 inches at the top before coming to a point. It weighs 45 tons. It is the largest polished piece of red granite in the world! Although there are larger stones, they are not polished. This monument came from Thomas Allen’s own quarry about 80 miles south of Saint Louis , Missouri, The columns at the entrance of the old athenaeum, which is now the courthouse, also came from his quarry.
It took one year and 25 men using special tools and techniques to shine and buff the stone until it gleamed. Before the work was completed, an accident broke off six feet from the tip, reducing the original 48 feet to 42 feet. The monument was repointed and although no longer a perfect obelisk, it was still very impressive.
A special railroad car had to be used to transport the stone in June of 1885. It arrived in Pittsfield in mid July. The monument was moved from the railroad to the cemetery on rollers at the rate of only 1000 feet a day.
The Allen Monument reached its resting place at the Pittsfield Cemetery on July 23,1885. One hundred and thirty three years later, it is still as beautiful.
Information taken from a dissertation by John F. Condron