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Mason helps create new stone sign for Mount Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 August 2013 at 12:00 am

Previous sign was smashed by a motorist in December

Photos by Tom Rivers – Neal Muscarella carries a shovel of mortar to help build a new base for the sign at Mount Albion Cemtery. Muscarella located the big piece of stone for the sign and has built the base using stone from the old sign as well as old curbs in the village.

The previous sign at Mount Albion Cemetery as it looked last October. The new sign is a bigger than the old one.

ALBION – After about eight months with no sign leading to Albion’s historic cemetery on Route 31, Mount Albion now has a stone sign matching the sandstone character of the site.

Neal Muscarella, an Albion mason, located the stone for the village, and he has worked to build a sandstone base for the sign. Brigden Memorial in Gaines put the lettering the sign.

It’s been an eight-month ordeal for the village, haggling with a motorist’s insurance company and trying to find enough of the old stone to rebuild the sign.

A driver smashed the sandstone sign outside Mount Albion last December. Village officials didn’t want to put up a wooden sign. They made the extra effort to find a big piece of stone for the gateway into Mount Albion, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Muscarella was able to reuse some of the pieces from the old sign for the base. But many of the pieces were broken. The village Department of Public Works had a pile of old sandstone curbs, and Muscarella was able to cut and face some of those pieces to build a new base for the sign.

The new sign will be bigger than the old one. I give the village a lot of credit for utilizing sandstone for the sign, and not taking the easy way out with a wooden sign. We’re also lucky we still have a guy around like Muscarella, who knows how to cut the stone like the quarrymen from more than a century ago.

Neal Muscarella of Albion builds a wall of sandstone for the base of the new sign at Mount Albion Cemetery. It took the village several months to find the stone to create the sign.