Historic cemetery chapel will be open on Memorial Day

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 May 2014 at 12:00 am

Clarendon is seeking state grant to help with restoration

File photos by Tom Rivers – The chapel at Hillside Cemetery was erected in 1894 from local Medina sandstone. The Clarendon Town Board and Historical Society is seeking $225,000 to help restore the building.

CLARENDON – It’s an iconic structure in the heart of Hillside Cemetery, but few people ever go inside the chapel that was constructed in 1894.

The structure will be open on Memorial Day from 9:30 a.m. to noon, and town officials and members of the Clarendon Historical Society hope the open house will kick off a fund-raising effort to restore the chapel, which needs masonry repairs, a new roof, and restoration to windows.

The town and historical society believe the building needs $225,000 in restoration work. The town, which owns the cemetery, is seeking a matching parks grant through the state. The Historical Society and town are trying to rally the local share to preserve the building.

Hillside Cemetery, located at the corner of Route 237 and South Holley Road, last year was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The cemetery with 3,500 graves is a distinctive example of a Victorian style cemetery on the west side of South Holley Road. That older section includes terraces and monuments that emphasize a sentimental Victorian attitude. Across the road on the east side the cemetery reflects the open lawn-park style.

The National Register listing should boost the town’s chances for securing funding for the chapel restoration. The Historical Society and town would like to use the building for community events in the future.

This photo was taken inside the chapel looking through one of the windows.