Going, But Can’t Tell Where.

phineas wright and his tombstone
Phineas Wright and his tombstone

Going, But Can’t Tell Where.

“Going, but can’t tell where,” is the terse and philosophic inscription engraved in bold letters on the front of a handsome monument shipped from Worcester recently to Putnam, Ct., where it will occupy a conspicuous place in one of the cemeteries of the Connecticut city.

The monument was ordered and paid for by Phineas G. Wright of Putnam and some time in the future it will serve to mark his final resting place, although at present Mr. Wright is hale and hearty and would be considered a good risk by many insurance companies.

He is a man of pronounced and original ideas and instead of leaving the erection of a suitable monument in his memory to posterity, he decided to have a monument built to suit his own tastes and ideas. The monument which left Worcester recently embodied in detail Mr. Wright’s plans. It is built of granite, weighs over 10 tons and cost considerably over $1000. [$1,500 say some other sources.] On the front of it is a splendid life sized bust of Mr. Wright, which he pronounces a perfect likeness of himself. He was obliged to come to Worcester several times to pose for the plaster cast which was used as a model for the bust, and during his visits impressed everybody at the Worcester Monument Co., where the monument was designed and built, as a pleasant and jolly man who did not consider the selection of his own monument a melancholy proceeding.

He informed the men at work on his monument that his grave is already dug and bricked in and that the man or men who assisted in burying him will find liquid refreshments in the grave to revive them after their exertions. Mr. Wright did not seem to have the slightest idea of dying right away, but realizing he would have to die at some time, he said he wanted a monument to suit him and the only way he can be sure of this is to have it built while he was alive.

There is a great deal of lettering on the monument for in addition to the main facts concerning himself. Mr. Wright also had the history of his family engraved on it. The front of the monument is devoted to the bust of Mr. Wright and just below it is the odd inscription


The Worcester Monument Co. got the contract four months ago and since then a crew has been at work on the monument. The model from which the bust was designed was made by Supt. A. K. Hewett. and the bust was cut by S. Ravidou. The monument is a creditable piece of work sure to attract attention any where. In the course of years thousands are sure to stand before it and study the likeness of the man in granite who will have gone but can’t tell where.

Granite 1 November 1903 p. 19

Wright died in 1918, aged 89. You’ll find more information at his findagrave listing.


Chris Woodyard is the author of The Victorian Book of the Dead, The Ghost Wore Black, The Headless Horror, The Face in the Window, and the 7-volume Haunted Ohio series. She is also the chronicler of the adventures of that amiable murderess Mrs Daffodil in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales. The books are available in paperback and for Kindle. Indexes and fact sheets for all of these books may be found by searching hauntedohiobooks.com. Join her on FB at Haunted Ohio by Chris Woodyard or The Victorian Book of the Dead.


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