Fall River rose granite
F.O.G. received an email from a relative of Nicholas Kessell, a Fall River stone cutter who worked with the T. Richard Kessell & Alexander Lawson monument company. Lawson’s was located just outside the gates of Oak Grove Cemetery for many years and produced wonderful monuments of granite quarried from local sites. The rosy Fall River granite was especially fine. The quarry was filled in many years ago. An excellent article appeared in The Spirit recently http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110714/PUB03/107140358
The sad story of mill girl Sarah Cornell is a well-known Fall River tragedy. Found hanging by the neck in a tree, she had written a note saying if anything happened to her, see the Reverend Avery! Here is her stone in Oak Grove which is in the third section over in front of the door of the brick outbuilding in the north- central part of the cemetery. Her stone is wearing very thin and is nearly illegible. For more about poor Sarah’s story http://www.brown.edu/Facilities/University_Library/exhibits/RLCexhibit/avery/averyms.html The site of her hanging is now the westernmost part of Kennedy Park.
An early postcard of Oak Grove shows Prospect St. planted thickly on both sides with trees. Dr. Nathan Durfee, who once owned the original land parcel bought by the city from him for the cemetery, is given the credit for the tree-lined approach.
Photographs labeled WC were taken by Will Clawson, SD by Shelley Dziedzic on the Friday after New Year’s Day. The ground was particularly warm hitting the cold air, and a very theatrical misty effect was the result!
There are several postcards of Oak Grove, made during the golden age of postcards from 1900-1920 when every prominent beauty spot and building or structure was fodder for the photographer’s camera. A penny postcard was the way to keep in touch with friends and family while traveling or on vacation and there are hundreds postcards of Fall River scenes available on Ebay and through dealers in ephemera.
The postcard above was postdated 1910 and shows ivy-covered walls and archway at Oak Grove. The ivy obscures the magnificent iron work of the gates as well as the inscription. There is a photograph of Oak Grove taken in 1890 which also shows the ivy growing on the gates, so it is likely this is how the Prospect Street entry looked at the time of the Borden funeral on August 6, 1892.
Below are two cards with no dates, showing the arch with and without ivy. All postcards shown here were purchased on Ebay.
It’s hard to know exactly the date of this photograph. The view is in front of the office building. Oxen were frequently used to haul the granite up to the cemetery on sledges. The arch was erected in 1873. To see the image at full size, click on the photo above. (photo courtesy of Oak Grove Cemetery).