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Broken sign no easy fix at Mount Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 April 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – A driver smashed the sandstone sign outside Mount Albion Cemetery last December. 

Village officials are trying to find a replacement that matches the historic flavor of Mount Albion, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

ALBION – Jason Zicari sensed something was amiss at Mount Albion Cemetery on Dec. 21. He and the staff at the historic cemetery were working on a burial.

Zicari noticed the large sandstone sign in front of the cemetery had been broken off. A chunk of the wrought-iron fence was also knocked out.

A driver late the previous night smashed into the sign and fence. It has been months of haggling with an insurance company since then.

“Everything is waiting on the insurance,” said Zicari, the cemetery foreman.

Zicari is determined to have the sign be made of sandstone and match the historic character of the cemetery, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. He is still trying to find a sandstone piece that is smooth on both sides and about 5 feet by 7 feet.

Zicari has been scouting old sandstone pieces, including former sidewalk panels. But those sidewalk pieces tend to be smooth on the top side and rough on the bottom. And they are a little too small for the cemetery sign.

“We got to get lucky,” Zicari said about finding the right sandstone for the project. “We’re trying to find a match and put it up like it was.”

He also wants the letters to be carved to match the former sign, which was installed in 1985. The cemetery crew painted the letters of the sign black about six weeks before it was destroyed. The paint made the sign stand out more, Zicari said.

With the new sign, the village may include that Mount Albion is owned by the village of Albion.

The sign also will need a new foundation. Zicari said the section of the gate that is missing will be replaced with a combination of old and new metal.

He is hopeful the entire project will be done by July.

“We’ve had to start from scratch with the whole thing,” Zicari said.