Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Cemetery - Rockefeller Secret Reburial

Published in August 1915 in the  Pawtucket Times out of Pawtucket, RI

Body Removed From Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Vault and Taken to Train.

 NEW YORK, Aug 11 – Taken through a driving hailstorm form the vault at Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, in which it had rested since March 12, the body of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller was buried yesterday in Lakeview cemetery, Cleveland. Such secrecy marked the removal that only with the arrival of the coffin at Cleveland did the plan of the family become known.
     It had been Mr. Rockefeller’s purpose form the time of his wife’s death, March 12, to lay her to rest in Cleveland, her girlhood home. The controversy over his takes which threatened to keep him away from the city, and the fear that a demonstration might mark the coming of the body, let, however to a delay of tour and one-half months. Meantime, Mr. Rockefeller had gone to Cleveland for the summer, and when attention came to be distracted from him he set about fulfilling his plan.
Monday morning work was sent to Charles Vanderbilt, a Tarrytown undertaker, to prepare for the shipment of the body that evening. He got the permit for the removal, then tried out the roads that would have to be traveled form the Old Dutch Church at Sleepy Hollow to Harmon, where the Rockefellers board New York Central express trains when they halt to change form electric to steam power.
     The state road from Sleepy Hollow to Harmon is being rebuilt, and a four mile detour is necessary. Vanderbilt covered the route before noon, and at 8 o’clock the 12 mile drive with the body was begun. Frederick Briggs, superintendent of the Rockefeller estate at Pocantico Hills was present when the coffin was taken from the green granite vault on the John Archbold plot. The only others there were guards on duty, the undertaker and his men.
     No one attended the body on the journey. Vanderbilt sat beside the driver on the hearse, but no one else took part in the enterprise. Soon after the trip was started a violent storm broke over the river hills and soon hail was driving in a way that made the most careful handling of the horses the price of safety for an hour the storm continued, and not until the journey was near a close did it cease. The coffin was placed aboard a baggage car of the Lake Shore Limited which leaves the Grand Central Terminal at 5 30 o clock, and reaches Marmon soon after 6. There was nothing about the rough box to indicate its unusual character and those about the station got no inkling of the fact that an event the neighborhood had long been anticipating was at hand. A similar absence of precautions marked the arrival at Cleveland.