Mount Albion Cemetery
Terraced graves and tall trees, 2010
|Location||NY 31, Albion, NY|
|Owned by||Village of Albion|
|Size||70 acres (28 ha).|
|Number of graves||1,337|
|Website||Mount Albion Cemetery|
|Find a Grave||Mount Albion Cemetery|
|The Political Graveyard||Mt. Albion Cemetery|
|Governing body||Village of Albion|
|NRHP Reference #||76001261|
|Added to NRHP||September 27, 1976|
Mount Albion Cemetery is located on New York State Route 31 in the Town of Albion, New York, United States, east of the village of Albion, which owns and operates it. It is a rural cemetery established in the 1840s on a glacial drumlin.
From its original 25 acres (10 ha), it has almost tripled in size. Graves are on terraces in the rolling terrain. Tall trees, including some locally rare species, maintain a parklike atmosphere. Its notable monuments include a local Civil War memorial, a chapel and entrance arch. The dead buried there include Rufus Bullock, the first Republican Governor of Georgia and nine congressmen from two other states beside New York.
In 1976 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district. It was the first property in Orleans County listed on the Register, and is so far the only one in the Town of Albion.
The cemetery is a 70-acre (28 ha) rectangular parcel on the south side of Route 31 between the Butts and Keitel Road intersections, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of the village of Albion. Its terrain is gently rolling, dominated by a 680-foot (210 m) hill in the southeast quadrant. The area is rural, with the cemetery's sandstone office and barn located opposite its main entrance, near another smaller cemetery across the street. Immediately west of the lot is a small business. On all other sides the cemetery is surrounded by open lots and worked fields.
The northern three-quarters of the property has tall mature deciduous trees sheltering most of the graves; the southern quarter is open. Among the trees are a rare yucca and one of the few butternuts in the area. Rows of evergreens are located north and south of the hilltop; on the south the land is still wooded and not yet used for burials.
A network of paved roads, many named after trees and shrubs, runs through the cemetery. The rises in the terrain are terraced to allow for level gravesites. There are three entrances from Route 31; the central one across from the cemetery offices is the main entrance. It is framed by a carved Medina sandstone arch with a slate roof and iron gates. A short distance south is a small parking lot and sandstone chapel, a Gothic building with steep gabled roof shingled in slate.
|Walking - Down the Mt. Albion Cemetery Tower|
Atop the hill in the southeast quadrant is the cylindrical 58-foot-foot high (18 m) Soldiers and Sailors Monument, also of red ("Medina") sandstone. A pointed-arched door on the north side opens to a spiral staircase climbing to the overlook at the top, which offers 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside.
In the northwest corner of the cemetery is a small square pond fed by a natural spring. It is trimmed with blocks which are made out of cement by the local cement company that was in Albion to look like sand stone, red ("Medina") sand stone and granite. On its south side is a domed cement block (made to look like sand stone) spring house with "1908" carved into it made out of the same cement blocks as the pond.
Mt. Albion was established 11 years after Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Massachusetts popularized the rural cemetery, where graves were located in a parklike setting outside an urban area. Two local citizens urged the village's trustees to buy 25 acres (10 ha) including Mount Albion, a high drumlin that overlooked the village area from the southeast. Years later local historians agreed that they could not have found a more ideal location anywhere else in the area. A former engineer on the nearby Erie Canal, Marvin Porter, has been credited with the design of the landscape in the eastern, oldest portion of the cemetery. Other sources suggest that there was little formal organization and plot owners largely took care of their areas themselves.
The sandstone buildings reflect the prosperous output of local quarries at that time. After another 13.5 acres (5.5 ha) was added on the west of the original cemetery in 1872, sandstone was used for the monument to local war dead on the cemetery's highest point two years later. Local architect William V.N. Barlow, whose house in the village of Albion is also on the Register, designed the chapel and entrance gate in the early 1880s.
By 1894 the cemetery had reached its present size. As it expanded, the parklike atmosphere was maintained. The rises were terraced with the dells between them kept flat. Trees and shrubs similar to those in the eastern half were planted, some in an orchard. Further park amenities, such as the 1908 pond and the Ingersoll Memorial Fountain in front of the chapel in 1914, were added.
A number of politicians, from New York and other states, are buried at Mount Albion.
- Rufus Bullock (1834–1907), former lieutenant colonel in the Confederate Army and the first Republican Governor of Georgia during Reconstruction.
- Lorenzo Burrows, (1805–1885), served two terms in the U.S. House from New York. Later served as state comptroller and ran for governor.
- John Curtis Chapman, (1772–1834), Harvard graduate and lawyer who served in New Hampshire House of Representatives for one term in the early 19th century, then the U.S. House as a Federalist for a term. After another term in the New Hampshire House, moved to upstate New York.
- Sanford E. Church (1815–1880), Lieutenant Governor of New York, also state comptroller and chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals.
- Noah Davis, (1818–1902), one-term U.S. Representative from New York. Later presided over Boss Tweed trials as U.S. Attorney for Southern New York.
- Gilbert De La Matyr, (1825–1892), Methodist Episcopal Church elder who served a single term as U.S. Representative from Indiana after the Civil War.
- Ben Field, (1816–1876), single term in State Senate.
- Gideon Hard, (1797–1885), single-term U.S. Representative from New York who later served in state senate and as judge.
- Elizur Kirke Hart, (1841–1893), U.S. Representative and state assemblyman.
- Charles Horace Holmes, (1827–1874), U.S. Representative from New York.
- Edwin Ruthvin Reynolds, (1816–1908), U.S. Representative from New York and state judge.
- Donna Strickland Rodden, (1926-1985), first woman mayor of Albion (one of the chapel windows is dedicated to her).
- John Gilbert Sawyer, (1825–1898), U.S. Representative from New York.
- C. E. Brooke (June 1976). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Mt. Albion Cemetery". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2009-06-14. See also: "Accompanying seven photos".
- Albion Quadrangle – New York – Orleans Co. (Map). 1:24,000. 7.5 Minute Series (Topographic). U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- "Mount Albion Cemetery". findagrave. Retrieved July 23, 2010.
- "Mt. Albion Cemetery". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved July 23, 2010.
- Village of Albion, Cemetery website
- Mount Albion Cemetery at findagrave.com
- Mt. Albion Cemetery at The Political Graveyard