Friday, August 28, 2009

Carved in Stone... Cast in Bronze

I recently visited the cemetery in Chazy where Alice and William Miner are interred. Also buried at Riverview are William Miner's grandparents, Lydia and Clement Miner, and his Aunt Huldah and Uncle John Miner, who raised him after his parents died (Will's mother and father are buried in Wisconsin and Ohio respectively.) Entombed in the mausoleum with Alice and William is their infant child, William Miner, Jr., and Alice's three sisters Matilda, Bertha and Louise Trainer.

A note, written by William Miner in 1925, served to secure
the area for the Miner/Trainer mausoleum.

Riverview Cemetery was incorporated in 1920 but has been continually in use since 1811, possibly earlier. The land, and a few of the homes around the old cemetery, were purchased by William H. Miner in 1916, and he deeded the cemetery and one house to Riverview Cemetery, Inc. in 1920. In 1926 Alice and William built the stone chapel and in 1927 the mausoleum. The plans were drawn up by Frederick Townsend, the architect who designed The Alice T. Miner Museum, Chazy Central Rural School, Physicians' Hospital and many of the buildings on Heart's Delight Farm.

The earliest plans, drawn up by Townsend in 1918,
depict a rather stately structure.

Frederick Townsend's final drawing shows a more rustic building...
The Alice holds the sketches for the mausoleum, the
stone chapel and the museum in its archives.

For the first time I had the opportunity to see the inside of the mausoleum, a solidly built stone structure... I found the workmanship on the interior absolutely breath-taking, which was a surprise after studying the somewhat plain exterior of the building. The mausoleum is entered through a bronze gate with the initials "T M" which is repeated along with a bronze wreath inlaid in the marble floor.

As with all of the Miner structures,
the mausoleum was clearly built to last.

The plaque placed above the door to the mausoleum is inscribed with the
names of the members of the Trainer and Miner families interred within.

The interior of the mausoleum is beautifully decorated with mosaic tiles carefully handset in artistic designs, and seven colors of polished marble are arranged for the floor. The walls feature inlaid glass tile borders which are repeated throughout the space. The back wall is decorated with marble that was cut and then laid out as though unfolding a piece of paper, creating interesting rorschach images. The most interesting, yet subtle, image is just above a pink marble urn in the rear of the chamber. The urn may have been filled with fresh cut flowers from Heart's Delight Farm.

In the rear of the chamber, above a stained glass window, an
intertwined 'T' and 'M' are framed with a mosaic border.

The tiles used in the borders appear to be hand cut and are quite small - none larger than one inch. The room has a lovely domed ceiling with a glass and bronze light fixture. Clearly the best artisans available at the time were hired to create the lovely detail and lasting workmanship displayed is this final resting place for Alice T. Miner (1863-1950), William H. Miner (1862-1930), William Jr. (March 16, 1902 - March 30, 1902), Matilda Trainer (1851-1916), Bertha Trainer (1857-1928), and Louise Trainer (1861-1932).

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much! I've often driven by and wondered what the mausoleum is like inside but I never expected to find out. It's much more beautiful than I expected.