MOUNT ALBION CEMETERY
14925 State Route 31
Albion, New York 14411
Bella Morte Rating: 3 Tombstones
Mount Albion, like her sister cemetery, Mount Hope, in nearby Rochester, New York, is composed largely of wooded glens, winding roads and numerous burial terraces formed by glaciers in the area's distant past.
Despite what the outstanding images we have chosen to share on this page and in our gallery for the cemetery might lead you to believe, Mount Albion is fairly bereft of ornate monuments, family mausoleums and carved figures; yet, what it lacks in these areas is more-than-compensated for by the outstanding landscape. This includes a variety of majestic trees, our favourites of which are the colossal beech trees which tower above the grounds like silent sentinels.
Mount Albion earned the distinction of being one of the first cemeteries to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior. Encompassed within its 100 acres are more than twenty-five miles of paths and roadways which wind their way among such features as the Civil War Memorial Tower. The Tower, completed in 1865, was built of sandstone from nearby Medina. It rises 68 feet above the grounds and, for those of you who may not think that sounds very imposing, a trip up the twisting, claustrophobia-inducing black metal stairway in the Tower's heart might bring about a change of mind, particularly if, as we did, you happen to make the trip on a day of powerful, gusting winds which sound their guttural cries like so much mournful moaning through the throat of the Tower. Hmmm...a night journey here might challenge even the staunchest souls.
At any rate, our trek up the Tower's haunting stairway was rewarded with tree-top views of the surrounding countryside which stretched to the horizon on every side. We stayed only briefly, however, as the railing atop the structure is low and the winds threatened to sweep us over the side and, as much as we love cemeteries, we are not yet ready to take up permanent residence.
Don't leave the Tower without paying homage to the spirits of the 463 men of Orleans County, in which the cemetery lies, who, as the inscription above the gate proclaims: "Fell in Defense of the Union." All 463 names are etched into stone tablets in the Tower's entryway.
Elsewhere on the grounds, two other areas have been set aside for Veterans. Though it is quite common to have Veteran's burial sections in cemeteries, what makes Mount Albion unique in our explorations is that, aside from the "traditional" Veteran's section, the graveyard also has a Companion Veteran's Section where double stones memorialize both the Veteran and his or her partner. We found this appealing in that it seems tragic to separate in death those who have served our country and have often, in answering the call of duty, been separated from their partners in life as well. It seems only fitting that their final rest should be beside their companions.
No visit to Mount Albion would be complete without stopping to see the Lily Pond, the Ingersoll Fountain, and the Chapel, and, should you wish to bring your lunch while tracking down these sites, you'll find numerous shady spots in which to enjoy your repast or, if you prefer, the grounds also offer a picnic table, complete with umbrella!
Our visit to Mount Albion saw very few interruptions as the cemetery seems to be traveled by few. So, if it is solitude in a beautiful, natural setting that you crave, we recommend a retreat to this peaceful, rural graveyard.