President Lincoln now prominent part of Mount Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 February 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Mount Albion Cemetery now includes the image, signature and words from one of the most famous Americans.

“The Lincoln Stone” was added to the cemetery on Dec. 27. Brigden Memorials in Albion created the memorial, which was paid for by Rajean Furmanski and Douglas Rich.

The large granite grave stone is near the front of Mount Albion, just east of the Civil War section near the western entrance of the cemetery. Furmanski has long admired Lincoln for his leadership during the Civil War, for seeing the country through such a tumultuous time.

“Without him there would be no Union,” Furmanski said about Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president. “He did so much for the country.”

The Lincoln Stone is 5 feet, 8 inches in height. It includes a quote from his inauguration on March 4, 1861. Furmanski said those words, urging no hatred, goodness for all and direction from God would serve the country now, more than 150 years after Lincoln’s death.

“How wonderful to use those words today,” Furmanski said.

Furmanski said there are numerous cemeteries and public places with memorials for Lincoln, including many bronze statues in his likeness.

She wanted a Lincoln display in Albion. She reached out to Jason Zicari, the cemetery superintendent, and he suggested the spot on a hill near the front of the cemetery. He is near many people that were buried in the cemetery in the mid-1800s.

The stone can be seen by passing motorists and walkers.

“He is there for the people to see and enjoy,” Furmanski said. “It’s a historic cemetery up there and this adds a touch of history.”

The stone also includes Lincoln’s signature. Furmanski is pleased with how “The Lincoln Stone” turned out.

“We were so shocked when we saw it,” she said. “He just seems to come alive.”

She is hopeful someday an Albion student will portray Lincoln during the Ghost Walk, where students portray famous “residents” of the cemetery each fall.

Albion has a connection to Lincoln. Grace Bedell, the girl who wrote a letter to Lincoln encouraging him to grow a beard, grew up in Albion.

Furmanski also expresses her love on the stone to her son Roger “Rogee” and grandchildren, Thomas and Elizabeth.