you did what? visited mausoleums?

Occasionally I have "firsts" even at 40+. Standing beside a woman in the Butler Mausoleum on Wednesday I admitted to another first and she seemed unable to believe I had never been in a mausoleum before. In fact, I think I said I was creeped out as we stood in front of one open, but thank God, empty, crypt.

My thinking is that I can't believe people have been.

But, there I was, standing toe to toe....well, sort of, with row upon row of folks who had passed to the other side. Thankfully they were sealed up tight in precast vaults with a piece of shiny white marble laid at their feet, or heads depending on which side of the aisle they were.

But, just like Pringles potato chips, I couldn't stop at one. No, in fact I visited four mausoleums that day, all in DeKalb County. Waterloo, Auburn, and Garret also have these apartments for the deceased. One we did not have the ability to go inside, the others I received the grand tour. Why would I do this? That's a good question. I was asked to survey their architectural design and make a few inquiries to their historical importance.

Now, maybe this goes to the whole look of surprise when I said I had never been in a mausoleum before, but for some reason the folks in DeKalb County jumped on the mausoleum bandwagon much earlier than most small towns in Indiana. One industrious fellow by the name of Frank Emerick (intombed in Butler's) promoted these for the Buckeye Mausoleum Company and the four were built between 1915 and 1922. And don't get the impression that these are small family vault style structures. These house 100+ deceased and one was so elaborate to even include a marble fireplace.....I guess if they get cold?

I'm not aware of, outside larger metro cities in Indiana, other structures like this from this early of a period existing anywhere else in Hoosierdom. These definitely are classy little places. Mosaic tiled floors, beautiful stained glass windows, tiled roofs, marble throughout, granite and limestone....these things were built with more pizazz than most churches or banks of their time. Still, I couldn't get over the urge to whisper and I stayed near the center of the aisle-just in case.


Anonymous said…
I have never (really) been in one. Is there a hint of death in the air or are they well ventilated?
vanilla said…
There is a mausoleum in Fairview Cemetery in Tipton. I don't know when it was built. 139 interments.

You can see a picture here:
hoosier reborn said…

no hint of death-that was part of the engineering marvel, I'm sure, proper ventilation.

Thank you, and thank you for the link. I'm trying to track these down across I very much appreciate it.
Anonymous said…
Kurt, There is a beautiful one in Connersville,IN (east of town on SR1 on SR44). My great-grandparents are buried there.
You are always doing something interesting.
Anonymous said…
Correction: east of SR1 on SR44

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